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Hurricanes and Storms
What to Do After a Hurricane or Other Storm
When you make a hurricane claim or any storm claim with an insurance company, you are merely making a claim under your contract called the insurance policy.   A hurricane claim made under your insurance policy entitles you to recieve the repairs and replacement of your home that is damaged by the hurricane or other storm.  
Insurance companies frequently deny hurricane or other storm claims for a variety of  reasons.  In hurricanes, the insurance company may deny a hurricane damage claim by asserting that the damage to the home was caused by "rising waters" or flooding which is not covered under a homeowners' policy unless you have a specific flood insurance policy.  
Insurance companies also deny hurricane and other storm claims by asserting that certain damage was not caused by the hurricane or hail storm or other storm.  In addition, the insurance company may only offer to pay for part of the damages claiming that the structure is depreciated or that the costs of repair are not as great as they actually are.  In the end, you should be very careful about accepting an offer of settlement of your hurricane or other storm claim because you may be entitled to considerably more than the insurance company is offering.  
You should consult an attorney if you are unsure and you should be able to employ an attorney on a contingency basis since the contractual nature of your hurricane or other storm claim allows you to recover separate attorneys' fees from the damages you need to recover to repair your storm damage.   Be very careful about agreeing to pay an attorney by the hour for representing you on a hurricane or storm damage claim.   It is your right to negotiate the legal fees charged by the attorney and it is a question of risk between you and the attorney.  If your hurricane or storm claim is good, the attorney has no more risk than you do in accepting your representation on a contingency basis.  If you claim is not so good, then making you pay the hourly fee shifts all of the risk to you.  If your claim is good and you just want to employ your attorney on your storm or hurricane claim on an hourly basis, you are free to do so. 
Evin G. Dugas - Attorney at Law 512.261.0044
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