We Represent Homeowners and Business Owners in Hurricane Ian Damage Insurance Claims in Fort Myers and Throughout All of Southwest Florida
At Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC, our Fort Myers Hurricane Ian claims attorneys have the skills, expertise, and experience to help clients get real justice and real results. Our firm assists homeowners and businesses with all aspects of the property damage claims process. If you have any questions about a Hurricane Ian damage claim or appeal, we are here as a resource. You do not have to go up against the insurance company alone. To set up a free, fully confidential consultation with a top-rated Florida hurricane damage lawyer, please contact our Fort Myers law office today.
Hurricane Ian Caused Major Damage in Fort Myers and Throughout Southwest Florida
On September 28th, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa Island in Southwest Florida. The storm was just below peak intensity at the time, with the wind hitting as high as 155 miles per hour (MPH). The hurricane caused enormous damage in Fort Myers and throughout the surrounding communities. Unfortunately, dozens of lives were lost in the storm. As of November 1st, 2022, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) reports that 130 deaths have been linked directly to Hurricane Ian in the state—with the most being in Lee County (60), Sarasota County (10), Collier County (8), and Charlotte County (8).
While the final tally is still being calculated, a report cited by Risk Management Solutions (RMS) estimates that Hurricane Ian damage is expected to be between $53 billion and $74 billion—which would make it one of the five costliest storms in United States history. Property damage stretches from South Florida to the Carolinas though Southwest Florida was the epicenter of the damage. Fort Myers was hit especially hard by the storm. Photographs from one month after Hurricane Ian show immense property damage. Experts told ABC News that it is expected to take “years” until hard-hit places like Fort Myers are fully rebuilt.
An Overview of Hurricane Ian Damage Claims in Fort Myers
Does property insurance cover hurricane damage in Florida? The short answer is, “it depends.” While it is always important to check the specific terms of your policy, most homeowners’ insurance policies offered in Fort Myers and Southwest Florida cover the wind damage and rain damage from a hurricane. However, the claims process can be complicated. Most homeowners’ insurance policies in Florida do not cover flood damage or storm surge damage. If you have any questions or concerns about your policy, an experienced hurricane damage lawyer can help.
The Steps to Take to File a Hurricane Ian Damage Claim in Southwest Florida
Was your home or business damaged by Hurricane Ian? It is imperative that you know how to protect your legal rights and financial interests. Here is an overview of the most important steps to take if you are filing a Hurricane Ian damage claim in Fort Myers:
- Record the Damage (Photos/Video): It is crucial that you carefully document any damage to your property. The more documentation you have of the damage to your Fort Myers home, the better position you will be in to get full and proper insurance benefits. Take pictures and/or record videos of property damage.
- Write Down Everything That Was Lost or Damaged: Beyond taking photographs and videos of property damage, it is also a good idea to document your losses by writing down everything that was lost or damaged in the storm.
- Make Sure Your Insurer is Notified: A homeowners’ insurance policy will impose certain obligations on the policyholder. As a general rule, homeowners’ insurance policies require property owners to notify the insurance company of damage in a timely manner.
- Follow Insurer’s Guidance for Mitigation of Property Damage: Homeowners and business owners have a general responsibility to protect their home or commercial property from further damage. Make sure you comply with the insurance company’s guidance for the mitigation of any post-storm property damage.
- File a Claim for Hurricane Ian Damage Claim: Notifying your insurance company is not the same thing as filing for benefits. You should file a Hurricane damage claim before the deadline expires. You should check the specific terms of your homeowners’ insurance policy or your commercial property insurance policy to determine how to file a claim.
- Appeal the Underpayment of Benefits or Denial of Your Claim: The unfortunate reality is that homeowners and business owners in Fort Myers cannot necessarily rely on the insurance company to look out for their best interests. The insurer does not get to make the final decision on your claim. You have the right to challenge the underpayment of benefits and appeal the denial of your claim.
You do not have to navigate the Hurricane Ian property insurance claims process alone. Professional guidance and support are available. Whether you are filing a claim, challenging a delay, or appealing a denial, our Fort Myers homeowners’ insurance attorneys are prepared to help.
Know the Best Practices for a Filing a Hurricane Damage Claim
If your home or business was damaged by a hurricane in Fort Myers, it is normal to feel stressed out, confused, and altogether overwhelmed by the process. Getting repairs for your property can be a challenging and sometimes even frustrating process. By observing the best practices, you can put yourself in the right position to maximize your property insurance benefits. Some of the best practices for filing a hurricane damage property insurance claim in Florida are as follows:
- Do Not Delay—Act Now: The sooner you take action, the better position you will be in to recover homeowners/property insurance benefits. Be proactive. There is no benefit to waiting to get started with your property damage claim.
- Get Organized: Organization is one of the keys to navigating the Hurricane Ian property insurance claims process. Make sure you have photos and videos of the property damage, a comprehensive account of your losses, a copy of your property insurance policy, and estimates of repairs. Keep yourself organized throughout the claims process.
- Avoid Misrepresentations: Making material misrepresentations or material omissions to the property insurance company could undermine your ability to get benefits. In some cases, misrepresentations could invalidate coverage or lead to even worse consequences.
- Seek Professional Guidance and Support: By working with skilled professionals—from a qualified contractor to an experienced Fort Myers hurricane damage lawyer—you can be confident that your claim is in good hands.
- Work With Licensed Contractors, Wait to Make Final Payment: Unfortunately, natural disasters are high-risk times for scams, including price gouging and contractor fraud. Make sure that you are working with licensed, reputable contractors. It is also a best practice to avoid making the final payment until all repair work on your home or commercial property is completed.
Why Rely on the Fort Myers Hurricane Ian Damage Lawyers at BK Law?
Hurricane damage claims are complex. You do not have to figure them out all on your own. At Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC, we provide results-driven legal advocacy to homeowners and business owners. Our firm always puts in the time, resources, and personalized attention to provide clients with the highest level of legal service. When you reach out to our Fort Myers law office, you have a chance to consult with a Hurricane Ian insurance claim lawyer who is ready to:
- Comprehensively review your property damage claim during a free, confidential consultation;
- Thoroughly investigate the Hurricane damage, securing all of the documentation you need;
- Represent you in settlement negotiations with the homeowners’ insurance company; and
- Develop a personalized legal strategy to help you maximize your insurance benefits.
Contact Our Fort Myers Hurricane Ian Damage Attorneys Today
At Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC, our home damage lawyers are standing by, ready to help you and your family secure the full and fair insurance benefits that you deserve. Contact us today to set up your no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation. With a law office in Fort Myers, we handle Hurricane Ian damage claims throughout Southwest Florida, including Lee County, Collier County, Hendry County, Charlotte County, De Soto County, and Sarasota County.