"Before you go and hire some big out of town firm you see advertising storm assistance claims, I simply ask you to consider this. I was born an raised down the bayou. My family still lives in Galliano, Cut Off, Grand Isle, and other parts of Lafourche Parish. I have seen first hand how terrible and destructive this storm was to my hometown. I've had to help my own family sift through wrecked belongings, tarp their roofs, and salvage what little of their property wasn't still wet or covered in mold. I've driven down ravaged streets to hand out supplies and food to those who have lost everything; even the roofs over the head. I've seen the look of despair in people's eyes while volunteering at supply pickups and donation distribution centers. It’s because of this first-hand knowledge that I can relate to those of you that have suffered catastrophic loss to their homes on a personal level, represent them efficiently, and stop at no end to get them the money that they deserve for their tremendous loss.
The destruction that was left by Hurricane Ida has never before been seen in our lifetimes but I am certain that places such as South Lafourche, Houma, the River Parishes and surrounding areas will come back stronger than ever. There is not doubt that right now times are tough and the recovery seems never ending, but I know that the comeback story of the Cajun people will be a greater one for the history books than the damage from the Hurricane itself."
My Home Was Damaged in Hurricane Ida - What Now?
In the midst of the turmoil and recovery already facing our area due to Covid, Hurricane Ida was the last thing that we needed in South Louisiana. Sadly, Ida headed straight for our coast and the damage was catastrophic for many of those in the lower lying River Parishes as well as the Greater New Orleans area. Though the storm has passed, its effects will last for years to come.
The beginning of this long road to recovery will depend very heavily on the variety of insurance claims being filed in Hurricane Ida's aftermath. From homeowner's claims to business interruption filings and even FEMA assistance, those affected will rely on the funds received from these claims in order to pick up the pieces and rebuild not only their homes, but for some, their entire lives. Unfortunately, even in the midst of the worst storm our area has ever seen, insurance companies will be up to their usual tricks and trying to pay out the least amount possible on these damage claims.
The fact of the matter is that most people are very inexperienced when it comes to insurance claims in general and you could be leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table in accepting any initial offers your insurance makes. That is where my office comes in. Insurance companies employ teams of adjusters who want to devalue your claim from the start and it's my personal duty to make them pay fair value for my clients. Every single day, I deal with these insurance adjusters low balling my clients on settlement offers. I know their tactics and rest assure; if you employ me as your lawyer for any storm related claim, I will personally fight for every single cent that you deserve and need in order to get your life back on track.
TOP 7 Things You Should Do For Ida Claims
1. Don't wait to file your claims!
If you have a homeowner or business insurance policy that potentially covers storm damage, make that claim with your carriers immediately. Hurricane Ida caused catastrophic damage to all areas of Southern Louisiana and the amount of claims that will be filed with all carriers will be tremendous. The longer you wait to make a claim, the longer it will take for you to get your damaged assessed and (hopefully) your claim paid out and settled. In addition, organizations such as FEMA or the SBA can provide you with disaster relief options whether or not you have homeowner or business coverage.
2. Get Familiar With Your Own Insurance Policies
Your insurance policy will dictate exactly what kind of losses are covered in the event of storm damage such as those suffered due to Hurricane Ida. There are multiple types of coverages available such as wind, flood, and contents coverage which may all provide different avenues of recovery and relief under your policies. Insurance policies may also provide for "loss of use" coverage which could potentially reimburse you for hotel and supply expenses solely due to an evacuation caused by a hurricane. Every single year you timely pay your premiums in exchange for coverage in your times of need. These policies are detailed outlines of the particular losses that your insurance company promises to pay, and those that it does not cover in the event of storm damage. Make sure that you are knowledgeable about your own policies and extent of coverage.
3. Document, Document, Document
Try your best to document all communications with your insurance company and all adjusters which may be assigned to your claim including date, times, summary of what was discussed, etc. Try to record all phone conversations or at least request confirmations in writing after speaking to anyone on the phone relating to your claim. If a claim is denied, ask for the reasons for the denial in writing. If they promise to do something and don't, then this will be crucial to your claim dispute. Make sure to take pictures and/or videos of all the damage to your home, your roof, and your personal property. If there is any damage to your vehicles, UTVs, or camper/RVs, take pictures of those, too. Additionally, make detailed or itemized lists of all personal property damage that you may have sustained in the storm. You can even go a step further by trying to get replacement cost value from the same or similar items on the internet as well as photos of the damaged items. Documents such as these can become very valuable and serve as crucial evidence that could be used to help your claim if the insurance company denies any damage or loss and a dispute results.
4. DO NOT Solely Depend on Your Insurance Company Adjusters
Though they make come off friendly and ensure you they want to help you rebuild your life, remember that these are either employees or contractors paid directly by the insurance companies! They DO NOT have your best interest at heart and often times, they are just the first component of your insurance claim to provide estimates. They won't be the ones actually deciding your damages or offering you settlements. While you should be cordial and cooperative in working with these field adjusters to provide as much information on your loss as possible, you don't want to solely rely on them to document the full extent of your loss and calculate the amount you should be owed for your damages. You should absolutely make all attempts to evaluate your own losses by documenting, as mentioned above, as well as taking pictures/videos of all damage caused by the storm and even getting your own contractor estimates for damages and repairs.
5. Get Your Own Preferred Contractor For Estimates and/or Repairs
In addition to the above, you need to do your own research on the true cost of home repairs and even replacement costs of any major items damaged by the storm. One key factor to remember is that you have your own choice of contractor or roofing company to perform this repair work for you! DO NOT only rely upon an insurance company to calculate the amount you are owed AND pick and choose who repairs your home, roof, or property just because they wrote your policy! The ability for you to efficiently and effectively rebuild your life after a storm like Hurricane Ida depends to a large degree on the handling of your insurance claim.
6. Save Your Receipts for Reimbursement
If you had to evacuate for Hurricane Ida and racked up any expenses related to the evacuation or post storm cleanup process itself, make sure to save your receipts because these MAY be covered under your insurance policy. Things just as gas, long term rent, meals, and even hotel expenses are things that may qualify. You want to have any and all receipts in order to show these incurred expenses due to the storm.
7. Seek Advice or Legal Help If Need Be
Lastly, you should contact an attorney who is experienced with dealing with insurance claims and can work with you to maximize your recovery. The ability for you to efficiently and effectively rebuild your life after a storm like Hurricane Ida depends to a large degree on the handling of your insurance claim.
going through your own insurance may help ease some of the burdens of getting your property damage claim handled. All too often, an at-fault driver's insurance will conduct unnecessary and lengthy investigations until they finally accept liability. If you are fortunate enough to have your policy with key provisions, y ou can simply file a claim through your own carrier and this can speed up the process of getting you in a rental and your vehicle repaired or replaced.
How We Can Help
Tommy J. Badeaux is a motivated and experienced damage claim attorney who will represent you to the full extent in legal proceedings against big insurance companies to ensure you get fair compensation for your loss due to major storms. All of our client's claims are investigated thoroughly so that each case’s strengths and weaknesses are clearly defined, allowing sufficient time to develop all possible theories of liability and recovery. Tommy and his staff work with each and every client, explaining what is happening and why things occur throughout the entire process so that you are better able to make fully-informed decisions regarding your particular damage claim. It is the firm’s sole mission to recoup the maximum recovery for its clients but also to do it in a way that alleviates anxiety and makes the entire situation as easy as possible during these difficult times. Though clients are very much involved in the process, our office takes on the full burden of a successful resolution. It is his goal to make all of your problems become his problems so that you aren't under any additional stress and can focus solely on rebuilding efforts to get your life back on track.
Tommy will advise you on the best way to handle your claim from the beginning, help you understand your own insurance policy and coverages, hire any necessary experts, recommended reputable contractors and repairmen, and represent you aggressively throughout your claim all the way through settlement, mediation, or litigation. Rest assured, our firm is here to help you with your claim. We understand firsthand how hard it is to pick up the pieces after a storm and not know where to begin or who to turn to. Tommy's own experience in handling insurance damage and total loss claims allow our firm to know all the tricks that insurance companies deploy to keep them from paying out a fair amount in settlement. We will work tirelessly to help our clients get the compensation they deserve for their property loss and entitled damages. The Law Office of Tommy J. Badeaux works only in the best interest of the client and our goal is to always maximize recovery for them.
If you’ve suffered damage or loss as a result of Hurricane Ida, #BetterCallBadeaux at (985) 677-1085 or (504) 323-4777. You can also click HERE to fill out our online consult form to set up your FREE consultation and discuss what rights/remedies you may be entitled to.