Hurricane Insurance Claims in Florida
Hurricane Insurance Lawyers
Florida residents know how dangerous hurricanes can be—they are unpredictable and likely to cause severe damage to people and property. To make matters worse, insurance companies always find new ways to avoid paying, and leave you out in the cold when you need them the most.
You will need help from experienced lawyers to stay ahead of their tactics. Here's why.
Main damages caused by hurricanes
Hurricanes are some of the most destructive forces of nature. Unfortunately, they never come alone. These phenomena are often accompanied by storm surge flooding, tornados, and thunderstorms.
Damage depends on wind speed and other factors, but hurricanes can usually cause...
- Heavy structural damage to buildings.
- Water seepages, busted pipes, leaks, and other related damage.
- Car accidents.
- Shattered windows, displaced shingles, or detached doors. Depending on their force, they can even rip off roofs entirely.
- Debris can cause physical harm, such as fractures, heavy bleeding, and traumatic brain injuries.
Does hurricane insurance cover flooding?
Hurricane insurance usually covers strong wind damages to your property, but it doesn't normally cover flood damage. In other words, you need a separate flood insurance policy in order to be protected against flood damages.
Most flood insurance coverage in Florida is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The reason is the risk—due to Florida's unique geographic conditions, flooding is more frequent and intense here than in other states. Few private companies offer flood protection at a reasonable price.
An above-average disaster risk also means that the job of insurance adjusters in the state is to maximize the company's income by any means possible. Under Florida law, when insurers attempt to avoid liability through unreasonable obstacles, they are considered to be acting in bad faith, and you may receive compensation.
I think my insurer is acting in bad faith. What can I do?
Here's a tip on how to scare insurance adjusters: contact a lawyer.
Never try to take on the insurance company on your own. One of the reasons companies think they can get away with questionable practices is because they have the support of a legal team to protect them from claims.
Once you and your family are safe, document the condition of your property. Any photos or videos of the damage will be helpful during the claim. Upon completion, call our attorneys at 321-999-1111 to discuss your case and coverage. Jason Recksiedler is certified as expert by the Florida Bar and can help you with your hurricane insurance claim.
Common tactics by insurance companies include accusing you of not following proper protocols or not filling out paperwork correctly. If an attorney is handling everything, you will be one step ahead.
Keep an eye out for other home insurance adjuster tactics, such as
- Suspiciously fast payments: These deals usually means that you are receiving a small fraction of what you deserve.
- Request for written releases of any supplemental claims: When this happens, there is likely a basis for a claim.
- Attempts to pay you under a different coverage category: In the right coverage category, they would have to pay you more.
- Unnecessary and unreasonable delays: Many companies will try to wear you down until you accept less compensation than you deserve.
If you notice your insurer is trying any of these tactics, contact our hurricane insurance attorneys as soon as possible.
Property damage insurance claim process
Having your home damaged by a hurricane can be heartbreaking and overwhelming for you and your family. The steps you take, or the ones you do not take, can make a huge difference in the benefits you recover from your insurance company. Our legal team is here to make sure you recover the full amount you are entitled to. The claim process includes the following steps:
- Damage Report: As we mentioned, you should record any damage and report it to your insurer and your attorney.
- Coverage evaluation: Your options will depend on the circumstances of the damage (in this case, a hurricane) and the policy you have purchased.
- Claim preparation and filing: Once the coverages that apply to your case are identified, it is time to start the claim.
- Insurance investigation: The adjusters will analyze the situation to identify the causes of the damage, identify inconsistencies in your history, and determine the amount to be paid. During this stage, you should be especially careful about what you say. If you don't know the value of something, don't give estimates without first consulting a professional.
- Repairs or replacements: Once the adjusters have evaluated the property, you can begin repairs. Don't schedule repairs or buy replacements before adjusters have assessed the situation. If you do so, the adjusters could allege they were unable to inspect the property in its original condition.
- Settlement negotiations: After the evaluation, adjusters will offer you a settlement based on their calculations. Never accept an offer without consulting a lawyer!
- Court: If the insurance company refuses to pay or the settlement is inadequate, you can sue them for compensation.
Is there a time limit to file a home insurance claim in Florida?
Yes. According to state law, you must file any hurricane damage insurance claim within three years after the hurricane hit land. It may seem like enough time, but ideally, your best option is to start as soon as possible to avoid complications.
Our hurricane claim lawyers are ready to help you
Insurance policies can protect you from unexpected events, and the support of an experienced team of attorneys can protect you against questionable tactics from insurance companies. After a life-changing event, such as a hurricane, you need all the help you can get to focus on your well-being and your family.
At First Choice Law, our priority is to guide you through those difficult times. Call us today at 321-999-1111 24 hours a day or fill out the online form located at the top of this page, and we will contact you shortly.