Hurricane Sandy May Delay Your Closing
Many (if not most) mortgage lenders will require that homes in FEMA declared “disaster areas” (that includes Maryland and DC) be re-inspected prior to closing. If the home sustained substantial damage lenders may require repairs be completed prior to closing and, in some cases, another appraisal be completed. IF YOU HAVE A CLOSING PENDING YOU SHOULD CHECK WITH YOUR LENDER IMMEDIATELY TO DETERMINE IF AN INSPECTION AND/OR ADDITIONAL APPRAISAL WILL BE REQUIRED.
Tips On Home Insurance Claims Arising From Hurricane Sandy
Many homeowners whose homes suffered damage from Sandy are now left with the ordeal of pursuing a claim with their homeowner’s insurance carrier. Here are some tips that may be considered when pursuing an insurance claim:
- Make temporary repairs necessary to prevent or reduce further damage and save all documentation relative to the cost of the repairs.
- Document and take an inventory of all damages to your property before you start the cleanup process. Take videos or photos and, to the extent possible, save remnants of damaged property for inspection by the insurance adjuster. If possible have “pre-Sandy” pictures of the damaged areas available for review by the adjuster.
- Contact your insurance company and keep a written log that memorializes the date of each contact, the information discussed and the individual (with contact information) with whom you communicated. If possible, send confirmatory emails to the person confirming what was discussed and/or agreed upon.
- Be cautious when approached by unsolicited contractors who indicate they can make necessary repairs. When natural disasters occur it is common for “scam artists” to try to take advantage of distraught homeowners by making promises of quick repairs. Contract with repair contractors only with approval from your insurance company and only after you have been able to verify their trustworthiness and reputation through independent sources.
- If you disagree with your insurer’s position relative to your claim or its handling, seek the advice of an attorney before proceeding and do not sign any document which releases the insurance company from any obligations it has under your policy.