EDISON - A year after Sandy, many people still aren't back in their homes and many are still fighting in vain with their insurance companies for money to rebuild.
Disaster recovery attorney Glen Ged joined News 12 New Jersey to talk about homeowners' legal rights when it comes to taking on the insurance companies and fighting for what you've been paying for.
The firm Ellis, Ged and Bodden filed 250 lawsuits on behalf of Sandy victims on the one-year anniversary of the storm.
MORE: Sandy Coverage
Ged's top tips:
1. Document everything. Get a notebook and keep record of all important numbers, names, contact information, letters and phone calls to and from the insurance company.
2. Be pro-active in the claims process. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
3. The insurance company is a for-profit company. Think of your claim as a negotiation. They are not your friend.
4. Document and support your claim with proof, receipts, estimates and details.
5. Don't sign legal documents without consulting a qualified attorney.
6. Mitigate your damages by securing damaged property, and keep the property safe from further damage by the elements.
7. Review your policy for all conditions that must be adhered to.
8. Notify any mortgage lenders who have an interest in your home of the damage.
9. Find a qualified expert to help you with your claim if you need assistance.
10. If you receive a payment, read the letter that comes with a payment carefully. Usually you can cash advanced payments and checks for coverage without jeopardizing your right to seek additional funds. Make sure the letter accompanying the check confirms this. It is important that you cash the check and continue the claim.