Hurricane Michael has passed through the Florida panhandle, but for many home and business owners, the nightmare isn’t over. While reports of damage are still incoming, current figures are tallying at least $5 billion in insured losses due to storm damage.

While assessing damages following a natural disaster like a hurricane can seem overwhelming, it is extremely important — and time-sensitive — that storm damage be recorded and reported accurately in order to recoup your losses.

After you have guaranteed the health and safety of your family and loved ones, you should follow these four steps to make sure all storm damage is properly accounted for.

Ensure Proper Safety Precautions

The immediate aftermath of a storm can leave a lot of standing safety risks that need to be mitigated before you can start taking count of damages. Ensure that any downed power lines are addressed by local utilities before reentering your property. If you smell gas in the home while assessing damage, turn the gas line off immediately. Make sure to clear your property of any debris such as nails, broken glass or other sharp objects.

Take Detailed Photos of Storm Damage

A picture says one thousand words, and that is especially true of storm damage. Make sure you diligently document all existing damage to your home or property after a storm to provide your insurance provider. You should also make sure your photo documents are properly dated.

Contact Your Insurance Provider Immediately

You should report storm damage as soon as you are able to prevent any delay or technical preclusion for loss coverage.

Contact an Attorney

Unfortunately, your needs following a hurricane aren’t always addressed properly by your insurance company. Often, disputes can arise between you and your insurer over timelines for reported damage or loss-recovery. At this point, you may need to seek advice from a qualified, licensed attorney to settle and/or resolve insurance disputes resulting from storm damage.

The last thing you want to worry about following a storm or disaster is to fall into the middle of a construction dispute. It is best to work with reputable or known contractors and construction laborers.

Our expert legal team’s efforts in providing timely, professional legal counsel in the field of construction law have garnered praise from award committees and peers. For more info about assessing storm damage following a hurricane or settling insurance disputes, contact our team today.