As residents and businesses deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, a Cat-4 storm that hit Louisiana and the Gulf earlier, properly documenting storm damage will be critical to avoid being cheated by insurance companies.
“As Mississippi Attorney General after Katrina, I saw firsthand how devastated homeowners, businesses owners and local governments were at the mercy of their insurance companies, which used their adjusters, engineers and lawyers to stack the deck in their favor.” said Jim Hood, now counsel at the D.C. based law firm Weisbrod Matteis & Copley (WMC).
Hood explained WMC has developed a checklist to help storm victims – homeowners, business owners, churches and local governments – make sure insurance companies don’t deny policyholders the full amount they are owed.
“We have posted a guide on our website to avoid scam artists, such as out-of-state tree trimmers, roofers and contractors, who also prey upon storm victims.”
WMC also suggests the following initial steps to properly document storm damage claims.
- Take photos and video of all rooms, the sides of your property and any expensive personal items.
- Store photos on a portable device and/or in the cloud for easy access.
- If you have time to evacuate, take files containing your insurance policies with you.
- Place plywood or waferboard over any windows and doors and take photos whenever possible because some insurance policies require you to take some precautionary measures.
- Take photos and report any price gouging to your state’s Attorney General.
For the full list of steps to take before and after a storm, visit the WMC Storm & Insurance Claim Preparation page at wmclaw.com/storm-insurance-claim-preparation.
ABOUT WEISBROD MATTEIS & COPLEY
WMC is one of the nation’s premier policyholder-side insurance recovery firms and was named by the National Law Journal as one of the ten hottest litigation firms in the country. For more information, visit wmclaw.com. WMC has offices in Washington, D.C., Fort Lauderdale, FL, Jackson, MS and San Juan, PR. WMC’s headquarters is located at 1200 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036 and may be reached at (202) 499-7900.