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Hurricane Loss Insurance Lawyer


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.

What is Hurricane Damage Insurance?

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.


What are the Most Common Damages Caused By Hurricanes, and What is Covered?

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:


  • High winds can cause damage to roofs, windows, and siding and can even cause buildings to collapse;
  • Heavy rainfall and flooding can damage foundations, cause water damage to walls and floors, and lead to mold growth;
  • Storm surge, which is the rise in water level caused by the hurricane, can cause flooding and erosion along coastlines;
  • Debris, such as tree limbs and other objects, can be blown around by high winds and cause damage to buildings, vehicles, and other structures; and
  • Power outages and downed power lines can disrupt daily life and pose a serious danger.

What is a Normal Deductible for Hurricane Insurance Coverage in Florida?

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.

How to Prepare for a Hurricane in Florida

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:


  • Stock Up on Emergency Supplies: Make sure you have enough non-perishable food, water, and medication to last for at least a few days. Additionally, you should have a first-aid kit, flashlights, and extra batteries, as well as a battery-operated or hand-cranked radio.
  • Secure Your Property: Trim trees and remove any loose items that may cause damage in high winds. If you have shutters, ensure they are in good condition and can be easily installed. If not, consider purchasing them or boarding up your windows with plywood.
  • Know Your Evacuation Routes: Research and plan for evacuation routes in your area, including where to go and what to bring. Be aware of local emergency shelters and their requirements, such as pet policies.
  • Stay Informed: Monitor the weather updates and follow the advice of local authorities. Stay informed through local media outlets and social media, and be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

To learn more, schedule a free consultation with us today.

What to Do After a Hurricane in Florida?

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:


  • Check for Damage: Assess the damage to your property and take necessary steps to prevent further damage. If your home has sustained significant damage, contact your insurance company to start the claims process.
  • Be Cautious of Potential Hazards: Be aware of potential hazards such as downed power lines, flooded areas, and debris. Avoid driving through flooded areas, and use caution when walking outside.
  • Be Ready to Seek Help: If you need assistance, reach out to local authorities, community organizations, or emergency services. Take advantage of resources such as disaster relief programs and volunteer groups that may be providing assistance in the aftermath of the hurricane.

Your Post-Storm Property Damage Checklist

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:


  • When Safe, Check Your Property for Damage
  • Pay Special Attention to Vulnerable Areas (Roof, Exterior Walls, etc.)
  • Look for Water Stains or Other Signs of Water Intrusion
  • Take Photographs of Any Damage, and Write Down a Description
  • Gather Your Insurance Policy Documents
  • Notify Your Property Insurance Company of Any Damage

Does Your Homeowners’ Policy Cover Hurricane Damage?

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.

An Overview of the Most Common Reasons Why Hurricane Claims are Denied

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:


  • Lack of Coverage (Exclusion): Some policies may not cover certain types of hurricane damage, such as flood damage, or may have specific limitations or exclusions that can result in claim denial.
  • Failure to Maintain the Property: Insurance companies may deny claims if the homeowner failed to maintain the property adequately before the hurricane, such as neglecting to trim trees or failing to secure loose items.
  • Alleged Pre-Existing Damage: Insurance companies may deny claims for damage that existed before the hurricane, such as a roof leak that occurred before the storm.
  • Failure to Provide Documentation: Insurance companies may require documentation of the damage, including photos and receipts for repairs, and may deny claims if the homeowner fails to provide this information.

What is Bad Faith Insurance?

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.

How Long Do I Have to Dispute an Insurance Claim?

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.

Can I Sue the Insurance Company for Denying My Hurricane Property Damage Claim?

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.

Understanding the Potential Value of a Hurricane Damage Settlement

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.

How Can BK Law Firm Help in a Hurricane Damage Insurance Case?

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.

Contact Our Florida Hurricane Damage Claims Attorney Today

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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