Did You Sustain Damage from Superstorm Sandy?
When Superstorm Sandy came ashore, billions of dollars of damage occurred. Many people are still reeling in the aftermath. The following discussion may help you to understand what you are dealing with when you try to recover for the damage to your home.
Sandy lost its hurricane status when it came ashore in New Jersey. New Jersey declared the standard hurricane deductibles inapplicable. This seemed like good news for homeowners because hurricane deductibles are high compared to regular homeowner policy deductibles.
However, homeowners face a high hurdle in proving whether the damage to their property was caused by wind or flood. While wind damage is usually covered, damage caused by flood is not. Flood insurance covers such damage, but many homeowners simply did not have this coverage or even suspect if would be needed.
So what may happen is the insurer claims flood damage and the homeowner argues for wind damage. Sometimes one home may have sustained both types of damage, further complicating the issue. The problem is identifying what caused the damage to your particular property. Since a storm surge was involved, insurers will be attempting to link that to flooding and thereby avoid paying.
There are two basic kinds of wind damage: direct and indirect. Direct wind damage includes roof shingles blown off your house and the destruction of walls, porches, fences and outbuildings being moved by the direct force of the wind. Indirect damage occurs when the wind turns objects into missiles that blow onto your property breaking windows and anything else in its path. It is important to document wind damage to bolster your claim.
You must read your policy carefully to see what type of damage is covered. Pay attention to what the adjusters say and be prepared to present your own evidence. Your insurer has an obligation to deal with you in good faith. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney to assist you with your claim.