Hurricanes are one of the most destructive forces in nature, with the ability to destroy homes and entire communities in just a few hours. This sudden loss of your property and the emotional toll it can take is devastating, but having a homeowners insurance policy that covers hurricane and tropical storm damage should offer you some piece of mind. However, that may not be the case.
The insurance company may undervalue your damages and find a way to pay you as little as possible, or avoid paying altogether for the damages sustained to your property.
We will investigate your case and consult with our team of insurance experts to determine the full value of your claim. We will fight for you both in and out of court, to obtain the insurance benefits that you are owed from your insurance company.
Our representation may begin with calling the insurance company on your behalf to report your claim and attending the insurance company’s inspection of your home. We will make every attempt to reach a favorable resolution for you. If this cannot be obtained, we can file a lawsuit to recover the insurance benefits owed to you. We can handle your insurance claim from beginning to end.
It is critical to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights.
We’re here to help keep insurance companies accountable and give you the opportunity to get your life back on track.
Unfortunately, even the best attempts to protect one’s property will likely end with some kind of damage in the event of a hurricane. If your home or business is damaged in the storm, you will want make sure you take the following steps to ensure your insurance claim is handled promptly in a fair manner.
Cover Up Your Damaged Property It’s important that if your property sustains any damage, that you cover it up with a tarp or something similar to prevent water intrusion or any other further damage. Remember, the insurance company will take any reason it can to avoid paying you, and if they claim your damaged property became more damaged after the storm they may blame you for the damage and deny your claim.
Document Everything It is recommended that you start outside and get your entire house in each shot — all four sides and as much of the roof as you can. Make sure to take photos of your entire yard, also. Start by taking wide shots of the yard, then move in closer to take shots with more detail. Then, head inside and start taking photos there. Start by taking photos of entire rooms, then move on to taking photos of individual items. A complete photographic record is important to prove your losses if you need to file a claim. As you take your photographs, make an inventory of damaged property. This will also help with your claim.
File Your Insurance Claim Promptly Insurance policies typically require you to act fast after storm damage. This is why it’s paramount that you take your photographs, write your inventory, and file your claim as quickly as you can.
In Florida a general homeowners policy will cover wind damage, meaning if your roof or siding is ruined by the wind, the damage will be covered.
Further, roof damage caused by a storm can lead to other ensuing damage to your home that is covered under most homeowners insurance policies. When a storm dislodges and damages roof shingles or roof tiles, it creates an opening allowing water to leak into your house, thereby causing water damages to the interior of your home including your drywall, cabinetry, electrical system, flooring, appliances, counter-tops and personal items. All of the above, and more, are most likely covered by your insurance policy. Moreover, if the damaged roof shingles or tiles are discontinued and cannot be matched, you may be entitled to a new roof.
Your insurance policy will also cover structures outside your home like sheds or fences. It will also cover your rental or hotel expenses should your home become uninhabitable as a result of the hurricane. If you have personal property damage, such as clothes, furniture, and household goods, your policy will cover this, too. Your policy also provides a certain amount of coverage for debris removal and for temporary measures taken to protect your property from further damage, such as tarping your roof or temporarily repairing a roof leak. Of course, every policy is different and an experienced attorney can explain what your policy does and does not cover.
Keep in mind that there is a special deductible for hurricane damage in Florida, which is set at a fixed percentage based on the amount of the entire policy, and must be met before the insurance issues payment.