Preparing Your Family and Home for Hurricane Season

June kicks off hurricane season. This can be a scary time for Floridians and their families, but we want to help ease those nerves and turn your focus toward preparing your home. Whether you plan to stay in your home during hurricane season or pack up the family and head elsewhere, preparation is the key to protecting yourself and your assets.

In the unfortunate event your home is hit by a hurricane or severe weather in the coming months, the insurance claims process can be arduous and meticulous. It’s important to prepare now just in case that day comes for you and your family. So, what steps should you take to get ahead of the process?

Review your insurance policy

When hurricane season and storms approach, it’s best to understand the financial protection you have under your current insurance policy. Now is the perfect time to review your policy and ensure it’s up to the standards you desire.

Your policy should have specific definitions of the home or dwelling that is being protected, your deductible, and other important insurance details. With the increased costs of construction materials, you may find that your home is currently underinsured. Many insurance policies contain penalties if a property is underinsured Should you review your insurance policy and find your coverage isn’t up to satisfaction, you’ll need to apply changes before imminent danger to your home is present and not after (your changes may not apply if you wait too long to change your policy).

Document your property

The next and most important step in the process to prepare your home is to take a thorough inventory of your property. This includes not only your actual property and home, but also the belongings within your home.

Proper documentation can include a written list of any items and the condition of your property, but it’s more important to take pictures. Exterior photos, interior photos and a photo inventory of all your belongings are crucial to document the condition of your property before a hurricane strikes. You should also take steps to secure your home right before a hurricane and document those steps. This can include putting up shutters, moving outside items inside, boards placed over any openings, etc. 

If you have a thorough collection of photos to document your inventory and the steps you’ve taken to protect your property, the insurance company won’t be able to claim later that you failed to protect the property which is one of your duties under an insurance policy. 

Keep all important documents safely stored

Preparing an inventory of your home and documenting the condition of the home is worthless if you don’t safeguard those materials. If you are taking photos of your home with your phone, back up the photos to the cloud or store them in some other offsite storage. If your inventory is written on paper, plan to keep that document somewhere in your home that is less likely to be damaged or store it completely offsite. Our office has represented countless clients that followed steps to document the property only to lose that documentation because their phone was damaged or because the documents got wet during a hurricane. 

Speak to an attorney

If you’re leaving home to get ahead of hurricane season, it’s best to get in touch with an attorney who knows Florida insurance laws to make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to protect your property. At Alvarez Law Group, we understand the stress hurricane season brings and want to give your family peace of mind. We’re a small firm that gets big results for our clients. Contact us and make sure you’re prepared.

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At Alvarez Law Group, we are proud of our reputation for being a trusted advocate during insurance claims litigation and real estate transactions.

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