Was Your Property Damaged By a Hurricane in Florida? Call Us Now for Help With the Insurance Claims Process
When we start paying for an insurance policy, we hope that we never need to use it, and if we do use it, we expect that we should be compensated fairly. Unfortunately, insurance companies focus more on saving money than on paying comprehensive damages to policyholders. If you want to get the money you deserve, then you will likely need to stay involved and aggressive throughout the entire claims process. While all property damage claims are complicated, navigating the process after sustaining hurricane damage to your home or business can be especially challenging.
Working with a home damage insurance lawyer is one of the best ways to make sure that you are leveling the playing field to get the money you deserve without taking on the stress and emotional burden. At Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC, our Florida hurricane damage insurance attorneys are committed to getting real results and real justice for our clients. We are on the side of policyholders—not the large insurance companies. If you have any questions about a hurricane damage claim in Florida, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a free, no-obligation initial legal consultation.
Broadly speaking, hurricane damage insurance is a type of coverage that provides financial protection for damages caused by tropical storms. Typically, homeowners’ insurance does cover hurricanes as standard coverage. However, if you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes or there is a high risk of significant damage from hurricanes, you may need to add hurricane coverage to your base policy. It is important to make sure that you are covered for all potential issues to ensure that you are not on the hook for the damages, so be sure to talk with your insurance agent about whether or not hurricane damage is covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy.
Hurricanes are a significant problem. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) emphasizes that hurricane damage costs have been gradually rising over the last several decades. Florida faces the highest risk. According to data cited by Policy Genius, Florida has been hit with nearly twice as many hurricanes as the second-highest state (Texas). Hurricane insurance can help you provide much needed financial protection to homeowners and business owners.
The specifics of what your hurricane insurance covers depend entirely on your policy details, but typically a hurricane damage policy will cover damage caused by high winds, wind-driven rain, and other hurricane-specific conditions. Under these coverage areas, you will be able to file for compensation for any number of things, such as damage to your roof from high winds, water damage due to heavy rains, and more. Some of the common damages caused by hurricanes include:
Most insurance deductibles are set, flat fees, but this is not typically the case with hurricane insurance. For a hurricane-specific insurance policy, you will likely pay a deductible that is a percentage of the value of your home. These percentages typically range from 2% to 5% of your insured home value, but the specific deductible will depend on a range of factors that you will need to discuss with your insurance agent. Make sure that you are clear of these terms before accepting the policy to be certain that you do not have surprises if you need to use this insurance to recover hurricane damages.
The unfortunate reality is that hurricanes are a common occurrence in Florida. It is essential to be prepared for them to ensure the safety of yourself and your family. Here are four key points to keep in mind when preparing for a hurricane in Florida:
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The aftermath of a hurricane or major tropical storm can be stressful, confusing, scary, and overwhelming. It is vital that you stay safe and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your property. Here are three key points to keep in mind:
After a hurricane, it is important to assess any property damage as soon as possible to ensure your safety and begin the recovery process. A proactive, safe approach is always best in these cases. Here is a post-hurricane checklist that you can use to get started in Florida:
It depends. In Florida, most homeowners’ policies provide hurricane coverage for damage—but the scope and extent of coverage depend on several factors, including the precise cause of the damages. For example, it is not uncommon for a standard homeowners’ insurance policy to exclude flood risk.
While most homeowners’ policies in Florida provide some coverage for hurricane damage, there are several reasons why a claim may be denied. Unfortunately, many people struggle to get their claims paid. Here are some of the most common reasons for claim denial:
Bad faith insurance refers to a situation where an insurance company fails to fulfill its obligations under an insurance policy and acts in an unethical or deceptive manner towards the policyholder. This can include denying a valid claim, delaying the claims process, or providing inadequate compensation for the loss or damage covered under the policy. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 624.155), policyholders have the right to bring a bad faith claim against an insurance company that mishandles their hurricane damage case. You may be able to recover the full value of your initial claim plus additional damages for bad faith.
A denial of a hurricane damage claim can be stressful and confusing—not to mention the time-consuming process of learning about insurance claims, building a body of evidence, and trying to navigate the paperwork. While there is a four-year statute of limitations to submit a residential property damage claim in Florida, you do not want to wait to file an appeal. You should be sure to dispute a denial of your hurricane damage claim promptly, in accordance with your policy.
Yes. If your property damage claim was unfairly denied by your insurance company, you absolutely have the right to take legal action. An insurance carrier does not have the unilateral authority to make the final call on whether or not you are entitled to benefits. Hurricane damage appeals and litigation are complicated. Consult with an experienced water damage insurance lawyer as soon as possible.
The value of a hurricane damage settlement varies based on a wide array of case-specific factors, including the extent of the coverage and the damages sustained by the homeowner or property owner. Perhaps the most important thing to know about the hurricane damage claims process is that you should not agree to accept a settlement from the insurance company until you truly understand the full and fair value of your case. An attorney can help.
Hurricane damage claims are complex. You cannot rely on an insurance company to protect your rights and your interests. If you have experienced damages due to a hurricane to your roof, windows, structures, or interior of your home and are planning to file an insurance claim, contact our law firm first for a free consultation to learn about how we can help you get the money you actually deserve, and not just the money the insurance company wants to pay.
Working with an experienced legal professional is one of the best ways to get through this process successfully, freeing up your time to focus on your personal life following a hurricane while improving your chances of a fair payment amount. At Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC, we are a details-focused law firm that goes above and beyond to hold property insurance companies accountable.
At Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC, our Florida hurricane damage claims lawyers are standing by, ready to protect your rights and interests every step of the way. Whether you need help with an initial claim or a property damage appeal, please do not hesitate to contact us for a no-cost, no-commitment initial consultation. With offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, and Starke, we are well-positioned to handle hurricane damage claims throughout all of Florida.
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