It is hurricane season again, and it is time to prepare for potential damages.
In addition to getting all of your supplies, checking the generator, and making sure you have a place to go if you need to evacuate, you should also photograph or videotape your home.
Why? Because if your home is damaged in the storm, it will be much easier to show the damages by providing before and after photos to the insurance company.
Do Insurance Companies Need Photos?
There are not any actual laws or insurance contract stipulations that state that you, as the homeowner, must take pictures of the damage to your home. The insurance can and will do that when they come to the house to start the claims process.
Taking pictures yourself, especially if you have before pictures, will help ensure that the property damage claim process moves smoothly.
You are encouraged, however, to take the following steps to ensure that the photographs have the best information so that if there are any questions about your claim, the pictures can answer the questions.
Taking Pictures For Insurance Claims
When you are taking insurance pictures, you want to use the following tips for the best results:
- Use a camera that has a date and time stamp. This ensures that you can prove when the pictures were taken in comparison to the time the storm went through. If you use your phone to take pictures, make sure that this is enabled on your phone. GEO location data can also enhance the validity of the pictures.
- Take several views of the damage so that you can show the full extent of the damage. If you can include other identifying information within the picture, that can help. For instance, if you can include the house numbers of your home in one shot, that would be helpful. If your car is damaged, make sure that you get a picture of your license plates in one of the shots.
- Use a tape measure in the pictures in some of the pictures if possible. For instance, hold a tape measure next to a damaged area so that you can show the real size of the area. The tape measure verifies the extent of the damage.
What Not To Do When Taking Insurance Photos
- Do not make any repairs to the house before taking a claim picture of the damage. This includes tarping your roof. Once you have taken the pictures tarp the roof or cover broken windows and take additional pictures with the damages covered. This shows the insurance company that you have taken additional steps to protect the house from further damage.
- Do not enter any area that may be dangerous or unstable, climb on the roof without the right equipment, or if it makes you feel uneasy, or go near any area that may cause you harm. Take your pictures at a distance of these areas and explain later why there are no close-ups of that area. Your insurance adjuster will get photos of those areas when they arrive.
Even With Pictures, Insurance Claims Can Be Reduced Or Denied
Even when you have thoroughly documented the damages to your home, the insurance company will undervalue or deny your claim.
If you are making a claim for damages, protect yourself and your home by having legal representation. When you have an insurance claim attorney managing your claim, you can feel secure in knowing that you will get the best possible outcome for your claim.
Your attorney will make sure that the insurance company complies with the terms of their policy, follows Florida laws for repayment times, and does not undercut the actual cost of your repairs.
If you suffered property damage, contact the attorneys at Landau Law today for a free case consultation.
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