Next Steps for Hurricane Harvey Victims in Port Aransas
The devastation left in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is estimated to be in upwards of $180 billion. Not since 2005 had a storm the magnitude of Harvey made landfall on the United States. Because of its proximity to the point at which the storm hit, Port Aransas was among the most affected. Now, thousands in the Texas Coastal Bend communities are beginning the long journey to rebuild what’s been lost.
As state and federal agencies begin to assess the impact of Hurricane Harvey, an alarming realization is emerging that will affect residents of Port Aransas and all others hit by the storm. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has indicated they will likely face a payout of $11 billion in damage. While this is only a fraction of the total cost of the storm, the greater concern is a lack of immediately available funds to cover any payments. Even as FEMA approaches Congress in the hope of receiving more money, that process could take weeks or even months to resolve.
Agitating the problem even further is the sheer number of claims being reported. Insurance companies throughout the region are scrambling to meet the demand, and the more recent impact of Hurricane Irma is making it even more difficult.
The Port Aransas hurricane insurance claims lawyers of Carabin & Shaw are here to offer assistance to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. We also want to give you some next steps for Hurricane Harvey victims in Port Aransas.
- File your claim promptly. Insurance companies generally handle claims on a first come, first served basis, so if you haven’t yet, be sure to call your insurance company or broker to report your claim. Many companies have set up dedicated phone lines just for victims of Hurricane Harvey. It may take several attempts to get through, but it’s important you let your insurance company know of your intent to file a property claim.
- Take photo evidence of everything. Whether or not your insurance company requests it, be sure to take good, clear photos and video of any damage you suffered, including photos of personal items. You’ll also want to hang onto any damaged items until your insurance adjuster has the chance to complete an inspection.
- Prevent further damage. The next step for Hurricane Harvey victims in Port Aransas is to “mitigate your damages.” This refers to a clause in most insurance policies placing an expectation on the property owner to prevent further damage. If you fail to do so, you could jeopardize compensation for your claim. You’ll also want to become thoroughly familiar with the rest of your policy, especially during this time. If you have any questions about it, an experienced attorney can help.
- Document all interactions with insurance. We also recommend you keep an ongoing journal of your conversations with your insurance company. Record dates, names, and summaries of your interactions, so you have good documentation in the event you run into a problem or dispute with your insurer.
- Keep any receipts of expenses you incur as a direct result of your damages. From temporary repairs to lodging, all of these may be covered under your policy, and you’ll need proof of these expenses for your insurance company.
We hope these next steps for Hurricane Harvey victims in Port Aransas have been helpful to you. We understand this is a trying time for you and your loved ones.
Dealing with an insurance company is never easy. From trying to decipher the legal terms in your homeowner’s insurance policy to waiting for your insurance company to call you back to coordinating with the adjuster to perform an inspection of your property, the claims process can be frustrating. The attorneys of Carabin & Shaw in Port Aransas are here to help you.
We’ll meet with you for a free initial consultation to discuss your Port Aransas hurricane claim. One of our lawyers will explain everything you need to know and be available to answer any questions you may have every step of the way. Our attorneys also have a wealth of experience in protecting homeowners’ rights in situations like this.
To schedule a free visit with one of our lawyers in Port Aransas, give us a call today at 361.717.4411 or toll-free at 800-862-1260.