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Baton Rouge7908 Wrenwood Blvd
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Phone: 225-224-2222
Fax: 225-932-9286

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Lake CharlesCapital One Tower
Suite 1270
Lake Charles, LA 70629

Phone: 337-436-2121

New Iberia424 West Main St
New Iberia, LA 70560

Phone: 337-551-4242

Houston3730 Kirby Drive
Suite 1200
Houston, TX 77098

Phone: 800-374-8422

New Orleans1615 Poydras Street
Suite 900
New Orleans, LA 70112

Toll Free: 800-374-8422

Update: Simien & Simien, LLC is open and we are here to help you as we know your needs do not stop. The firm is currently open and operating. In light of current public health concerns, please know that we are following all health guidelines to protect both our team and our clients. We are offering virtual meetings by request.

Attorneys Serving Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi

Tips for Recovering from Tornado and Flooding Damage

A total of six tornados tore through Louisiana on Feb. 7 with speeds as high as 150 mph, leaving tracks as long as 23.3 miles, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather system included two EF-3, one EF-2, two EF-1 and one EF-0 rated tornados that ravaged Livingston, Ascension, St. James, St. Tammany and Orleans Parishes injuring at least 33 people and damaging more than 700 properties.

For many, the recovery had just begun from the Louisiana Flood of 2016, which drenched countless homes and business in 25 inches of rain within one week.

As property owners begin to assess the latest damage and begin repair work, there are several things that should be kept in mind when dealing with insurance companies and contractors.

Insurance Coverage

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Those who experienced damage from the tornados, should reach out to their insurance companies immediately to file claims for damages. Tornados are covered under a homeowner’s policy as “acts of God” and should not affect your premium.

It is important that you know what your policy covers and if there is a deductible that must be met before your coverage kicks in.

You can minimize your losses by covering any holes in your walls or roof to prevent additional water damage or mold.

It is critical that you take photos and document all of the damage you have experienced. Take photos before you begin and throughout the clean-up process to show the full extent of your losses.

Flooded Commercial Property

Flood victims with commercial properties who do not have flood insurance may have other coverages within their insurance policy that still apply. You may have valid claims for:

  • Business interruption coverage
  • Power interruption coverages
  • Sewer back-up coverage
  • Inland marine coverages

All of these coverages should be available in the absence of flood insurance coverage.

Commercial property owners should check their policies and coverages very carefully and submit proof of damages to their insurers under each coverage that is not excluded in the absences of flood insurance.

Hiring a Contractor

Prior to hiring a contractor to do the repair work on your property, make sure to do your research:

  • Make sure they are licensed, insured and bonded. You can check with the State online and ask to see proof from the contractor. You can also call the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints against the contractor.
  • Check with neighbors, friends or coworkers for recommendations for contractors they have used before.
  • Get written estimates from several firms. If there is a difference in price, ask if there is a reason.
  • Ask for a list of references from the contractor.
  • Get a written contract that is clear and concise and includes the who, what, where, when, how and cost of your project.

After a devastating storm, property owners should be on the look-out for scams. Signs of a scam can include:

  • Asking for payment for everything up front
  • Asking you to get required building permits
  • Pressuring you for an immediate decision
  • Only accepting cash payments
  • Offers a lifetime warranty

Once you have hired a contractor, keep detailed records of every aspect of the project, including phone calls and other correspondence and photos of the job progress.

Once the job is complete, do not make any payment or sign an affidavit or final release until you are completely satisfied with the completion of the project.

If you feel that you have been scammed or ripped off by your contractor or if your insurer refuses to cover a valid claim, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Our insurance lawyers have decades of experience working with insurance companies and can help make sure they cover the full costs you are owed.

Call (800) 374-8422 for a free, no obligation consultation.

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Our team of dedicated Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi attorneys represent injured persons throughout Louisiana, including Alexandria, Opelousas, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Houma-Thibodeaux, New Orleans, Shreveport, Monroe, and throughout Mississippi and areas of Texas including Orange, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston and the other metro areas.