Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc on the South Carolina coast in late September 2022. The storm flooded homes and businesses, causing extensive property damage, leaving thousands of people without power. Ian’s second U.S. landfall hit near Georgetown, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, and at least 74 mph winds seventy miles from the center of the storm.
What Types of Damage Can Hurricanes Cause?
Tropical storms and hurricanes can cause a great deal of destruction. Storm surges and battering waves can cause loss of life, erode beaches and dunes, damage roads and bridges, and destroy buildings. They often produce torrential rainfall of more than six inches, resulting in destructive and dangerous flooding. With a rapid rise in water levels, flash floods can happen quickly, and flooding of streams and rivers can last for several days after the storm. Major hazards associated with hurricanes include:
- High winds
- Rip currents
- Heavy rainfall and inland flooding
- Storm surge and storm tide
How Can Hurricanes Damage Homes?
Hurricanes have the power to decimate residential structures:
- Homes can be ripped apart by the storm’s high winds.
- Inland flooding and storm surge can cause catastrophic damage.
- Moving water with overland surge and flooding can cause a structure to collapse.
- Waves striking a building can destroy a wall or the foundation of the structure.
- The weight of the water (approximately 1,700 pounds per cubic yard) can demolish structures not designed to withstand so much force.
What Steps Should You Take If Your Home Has Been Damaged by a Hurricane?
Homeowners insurance and flood insurance can come into play when a hurricane strikes. If your home has been hit by a hurricane, take the following steps toward recovering compensation:
- Take photos and record all the damage you can see. These pictures and records will serve as evidence of the damage the hurricane has caused to your home. Pay attention to every detail, as you will be seeking compensation for every necessary repair.
- Cover your property with a tarp to help prevent further damage. If you fail to tarp your property after a hurricane, your insurance company may claim damage occurred after the storm because you failed to take the proper measures. Check the “Duties After Loss” clause in your policy to clarify what your responsibilities are.
- File a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. Check your policy to find out what the time frame is for filing and get it done as quickly as you can. Others in your area will have suffered similar losses and will also be filing claims.
When Do You Need a Lawyer?
You may need to hire an attorney if your insurance company leaves you hanging. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to delay, deny, or undervalue claims. If you experience any of these insurance company tactics after your home has been damaged by a hurricane, it is in your best interests to speak with a South Carolina insurance bad faith lawyer.
Insurance bad faith occurs when an insurance company refuses or fails to pay out on a legitimate claim. At Allen Law, our founding attorney is a former insurance defense lawyer who is intimately familiar with how the “other side” works. We are seasoned trial lawyers with a history of success for our clients. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to hold insurance companies accountable for bad faith practices.
If Hurricane Ian damaged your property and you are not being fully compensated in a timely manner by your insurance company, contact us at (843) 882-5005. We offer a free initial consultation with no time limit.