New Orleans Faces Tough Struggle to Rebuild

New Orleans faced a major clean-up after Hurricane Ida ripped through the area, causing significant property damage. The Category 4 hurricane, which killed 115 people,  was the second most destructive storm to hit Louisiana, second only to Hurricane Katrina. The storm caused $65.25 billion in damages and cost many their homes and businesses. 

Property damage in the Bayou area was significant with 13,000 homes destroyed. Below the intercoastal waterway, authorities said the area was not habitable. The storm also took a toll on businesses with many owners saying that after the pandemic this is just another nail in the coffin. Hitting on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Ida, with 150 mph winds, did major damage.

Housing Damage in Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc on residential and business property. Authorities reported that after the storm 60,000 properties had differing levels of roof damage. Roughly 25,000 properties were flooded, causing serious destruction. However, it was the wind that caused the biggest problem. An analysis of 380,000 structures revealed severe roof damage to 90,000 properties. 

Business Structural Damage From Hurricane Ida

Area businesses were dealt a severe blow after Hurricane Ida. Not only were many heavily damaged by high winds, but the flooding that accompanied the storm made it difficult to meet supply demands because of blocked roads. Fallen trees took out electrical power all over the area, and businesses were dependent on gas generators, which leaked carbon monoxide. Some businesses were entirely destroyed.

Recovery Is not Just Replacing a Building’s Structure 

Although replacing a destroyed or heavily damaged structure is a big part of the recovery process, a business’s inability to run its enterprise can often force the owners into bankruptcy unless their insurer steps up to the plate. Filing a small business interruption claim can sometimes give a company the time it needs to recover. 

In addition, some policies also cover service interruption, so understanding what your insurer is obligated to do is critical. The Olinde Law Firm works with many clients to make sure the insurance company is not trying to underpay the policyholder. 

The Elements of Recovery

The following are essential areas critical to recovery:

  • Structural damage: Policyholders are entitled to the cash value of the damaged structure as well as the replacement costs. What some policyholders don’t realize is that there is a time limit to obtain the replacement cost. In addition, structural damage also includes fences or storage facilities.
  • Contents: The onus is on the policyholder to provide a list of all contents destroyed in the storm. If some contents are missed in the final tally, the insurance company will pay far less than it should on destroyed contents. 
  • Additional expenses: Businesses and homeowners find themselves paying considerable sums of money to keep the business going or to secure lodging for their families. The cost of gas, lodging, and other expenses are all covered by most insurance policies. 

Making Sure All Property Damage Is Recovered

The problem with property damage recovery is that some problems may be ignored, either on purpose by an insurance adjuster or by mistake. For instance, when the roof is damaged, the main areas are fairly easy to spot. However, it’s what is unseen that can cause problems in the future, and these are costs the policyholder should not have to pay. 

To fully recover compensation for property damage, many structures require a full roof replacement. Insurers will often deny that the roof is structurally damaged beyond the superficial damage that is obvious. It is necessary to do a thorough assessment that categorically proves that the insurer needs to pay for a full roof replacement.

How Olinde Law Firm Can Help

As you can see, businesses and homeowners need someone in their corner when dealing with an insurance company. At the Olinde Law Firm, we send our investigators to examine the structure as soon as possible so deadlines will not be missed, limiting your ability to be compensated. We do everything that is possible to ensure that our clients do not suffer financial disability due to insurance company deceptive tactics. 

Call us at (785) 777-1000 to arrange for a free case review. We will answer your questions, investigate the level of damage and help assure that you receive the full replacement that you deserve. You can also contact us online