Our Firm’s thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the massive tornadoes that recently struck Tennessee. With the loss of not only property, but most importantly life, this is a tragic event for our state. If you were impacted by this catastrophic storm, we don’t have to tell you what a stressful and challenging process lies ahead … you are certainly already aware.

First, when faced with property damage to your home or business, it is important to take a deep breath, don’t panic, and make a plan. While not an exhaustive list, here are some suggestions that we recommend you consider when navigating storm damage to your home or commercial building:

  1. If you have sustained property damage, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to make a claim.
  2. Document all communications with your insurance carrier, including any verbal communications. If practical, follow-up verbal communications with confirming emails to make sure there are no misunderstandings.
  3. If you had to make emergency (or temporary) repairs to your property, keep records and receipts of those repairs.
  4. If you have been displaced from your home due to the damage, communicate this to your insurance company and ask about your Additional Living Expenses, or “ALE,” benefits. Be sure to keep a record (even if you keep a simple notepad) of where you stay and the corresponding dates. Maintain all receipts, credit card statements, and anything else that reflects expenses incurred due to your displacement.
  5. If your business has been forced to close, keep a record of the days closed, expenses associated with closure, and ask your adjuster about your Business Interruption, or “BI,” benefits. Again, maintain all receipts, credit card statements, and anything else that reflects expenses incurred while your business is closed.
  6. Obtain and save any videos or photos of the storm as it came through the area, especially near your property.
  7. Take videos and photographs of your damaged home or business, furnishings and belongings, trees, landscaping, etc., to document the damage to your property.
  8. Start a list of all damaged contents items, such as furniture, electronics, clothes, etc.
  9. Do not throw anything away until your insurance company, and anyone you have hired on your behalf, have inspected the damage.
  10. Request a certified copy of your insurance policy from your adjuster.
  11. Comply with your insurance carrier’s requests for photographs, inspections, etc.; in short, cooperate with the investigation of your claim.
  12. Ask your insurance adjuster if there are any forms required to be completed within a certain timeframe to ensure you meet all deadlines.
  13. If you think the damages you sustained may be worse, or cost more to repair, than the insurance company suggests, get a second opinion from someone that does not work for the insurance company.

Our Team sincerely wishes you the best as you navigate this difficult process.