Secure Your Future, Protect Your Home Schedule a Meeting With Us
Submerged houses in water after flood

What to Do After a Natural Disaster

The Seawell Firm, LLC Feb. 2, 2024

Experiencing a natural disaster can be both terrifying and overwhelming. We understand how you might feel, especially if your home has been damaged. It's a stressful time filled with uncertainty about the future. At The Seawell Firm, LLC, we're here to help guide you through this challenging journey. 

We are a trusted law firm located in Mobile, Alabama, serving clients throughout Baldwin County, Mobile County, Fairhope, and Daphne. Our team is dedicated to assisting individuals like you in handling the complexities that follow a natural disaster. We bring our knowledge, experience, and compassion to every case, ensuring that you're not alone in this difficult time. 

Assessing the Damage

The first step after a natural disaster is to assess the damage to your home. This can be a daunting task, but it's crucial to understand the extent of the damage and what needs to be repaired or replaced. Here are some key steps to follow: 

  • Document everything: Take photographs and videos of all the damage. This includes interior and exterior damage, as well as damage to personal belongings. Remember, the more documentation you have, the better. 

  • Make a detailed list: Write down everything that was damaged or destroyed. Include details like brand names, purchase dates, and approximate values. 

  • Note structural damage: Pay special attention to any structural damage to your home, such as cracks in the walls or foundation or a sagging roof. 

  • Be safe: Always put your safety first. If there's extensive damage, it might not be safe to enter your home. In such cases, professional help should be sought. 

Contacting Your Insurance Company

One of the first steps you'll need to take after assessing the damage to your home is contacting your insurance company. This initial contact is more than just a formality—it's a crucial part of the process that can significantly influence the outcome of your claim. 

Claims adjusters, while often friendly and personable, work for the insurance company. Their job is to assess the damage and determine how much the insurance company should pay out for your claim. However, they may not always fully grasp the extent of the damage or the true cost of repair and restoration. That's where we come in. 

When we speak with the claims adjuster, we're not merely passing along information—we're painting a clear, comprehensive picture of the damage and its impact on your life. We highlight the key issues, emphasize the necessary repairs, and argue for a fair and equitable assessment of your claim. 

Understanding Your Rights

Experiencing a natural disaster and the subsequent damage to your home can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure about the steps ahead. Fortunately, as a policyholder, you have rights, and it's crucial to understand them. 

Filing a Homeowner's Insurance Claim 

The first right you need to be aware of is the ability to file a claim with your homeowner's insurance company. It's essential to do this promptly after discovering the damage. The process typically involves notifying your insurer about the incident, documenting the damage, and providing any necessary information for them to evaluate your claim. 

Understanding Claim Denials 

Sometimes, insurance companies may deny homeowner's claims. This could be due to various reasons like policy exclusions, failure to meet policy requirements, pre-existing damage, lack of sufficient evidence, or even alleged fraudulent claims. However, not all denials are justified. 

If your claim has been unjustly denied, we'll be there to fight for your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve. 

Dealing With Bad Faith Practices 

Insurance companies are required by law to act in good faith. This means they must handle claims promptly, conduct proper investigations, offer fair settlements, and provide clear explanations for any claim denials. Unfortunately, some insurers may fail to meet these obligations. 

At The Seawell Firm, LLC, we're committed to holding insurance companies accountable for bad faith practices. If you're facing unreasonable delays, unreasonably low settlement offers, misrepresentation of your policy terms, or unjust claim denial, we're here to help. 

Filing a Lawsuit 

In certain cases, it might be necessary to file a lawsuit against your insurance company. This could be due to unjust claim denial, coverage disputes, or breaches of contract terms. As your legal representatives, we're prepared to take this step if it's in your best interest. 

Safety Precautions 

While you're eager to get back to normalcy, it's vital to remember safety precautions. Be cautious when returning to your home after a disaster. Structural damage, downed power lines, and gas leaks are just a few hazards you might encounter. Always listen to local authorities and only return home when it's declared safe. 

Seeking Assistance 

If your insurance doesn't cover all the costs or if you don't have insurance, there are other avenues of assistance. Federal agencies, like FEMA, and local charities often provide aid to those affected by natural disasters. It's important to reach out to these organizations quickly as there may be deadlines for aid applications. 

Knowledgeable Legal Support

The aftermath of a natural disaster can be stressful. From dealing with insurance companies to understanding your rights, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Our team at The Seawell Firm, LLC is here to provide the legal support you need during this challenging time. 

We, at The Seawell Firm, LLC, are committed to standing by your side every step of the way. With our experience and dedication, we'll help you through a disaster, protecting your rights and giving the assistance you deserve. Your journey to recovery begins here with us.