In Florida, the threat of hurricanes is genuine, especially during the six-month Atlantic hurricane season that begins June 1st and ends November 30th. If you are a resident of Florida, you know how devastating hurricanes are. They are known to cause substantial damage to properties and even cause personal injuries. There is a common misconception that some parts of Florida do not get hurricanes. However, according to hurricane reports, all of Florida’s coastlines have been impacted by at least one hurricane since 1850. This simply means that all the coastlines found in the state of Florida have frequently found themselves in the path of these massive storms.
Why should you contact a Florida hurricane damage attorney? Because weather-related property damage in Florida is unavoidable, Floridians have learned to expect property damage after a hurricane. This is why homeowners have hurricane damage insurance policies. Do you know that weather-related property damage is the most frequent type of insurance claim filed in Florida?
Yes! People in Florida rely on their insurance companies for financial compensation when they experience weather-related damage. This sounds like an easy process: you pay insurance premiums and in return, they pay in case of damage. However, things do not always go this way. That is why it is wise to seek the services of our experienced Florida hurricane damage attorney.
At Klotzman Property Damage Law, we are committed to serving our clients with all we have. We help protect the rights of our clients. We understand that policyholders pay insurance premiums, trusting that in the event of serious damage from a hurricane, they will be compensated. It is our job to make sure the insurance company does not take advantage of your predicament and offer a low settlement or deny the claim. Moreover, we offer a free case evaluation to determine if your claim is covered by your insurance policy. We will call out the insurance company for any bad faith action. Call us today at 954-915-7405 to get a free case evaluation.
Having your property damaged or lost because of a hurricane brings on waves of emotions. Although hurricanes are not the most frequent natural disasters, they do happen and bring their devastation. However, the million-dollar question is; what should you do after a hurricane has damaged your property? Well, below are the steps to take:
Know your rights
It is highly important that you know and understand your rights. Make sure that you understand your insurance policy, your rights, and what coverage you have from your insurance company. There is no better way to know about your rights other than by talking to our Florida hurricane damage attorney. You can achieve this by taking advantage of our free case evaluation session to ask questions, learn more about your legal options, and decide the best step to take. Call us immediately after a hurricane has damaged your property.
Contact your insurance company
Just like it is with any other insurance claim, you should always inform your insurance agent and company first. Doing this will help speed up the process. The best thing about having a property damage lawyer by your side is that they will help and guide you through the whole process. Do not be afraid to ask any questions you may have. Based on the damage and the insurance policy you have, our lawyers will speak to all the insurance companies. Remember, a vehicle is your property and it has its own insurance cover. This means that we will help file a claim for both the vehicle and the home.
Take inventory of the damage
The insurance company will want to know everything that was lost or damaged in the hurricane. Of course, it can be difficult to remember all your possessions, but you should try your best to take inventory of all the damage and losses immediately. It is wise to take images or videos using your phone to document the damage. Write down as many possessions as possible and do not forget to make copies. The goal of documentation is to make the process go faster.
Preparing for the claim adjuster
Of course, after informing the insurance company, you should prepare for the claim adjuster. The best thing about our service is that we will correspond with the insurance company and adjuster directly on your behalf. The insurance adjuster will ask different questions and for different information, which is important to provide quickly. The sooner they have all the information, the faster the process will be. Because we have years of experience, we know what insurance adjusters look for, which we will help provide ahead of time.
It is wise to document everything, especially when you have begun rebuilding again. If you hire a contractor to help you rebuild, have them document everything in writing. Do not forget to always keep the receipt for everything you purchase and for any hotel you stay at. This should also include other expenses such as cars, rentals, business, and others. You should know that the insurance adjuster will not reimburse you for any item that was not bought. Always keep a copy of every transaction you make.
What Is The Difference Between Hurricane Water Damage And Hurricane Flood Damage?
Research shows that approximately 14,000 people in the U.S. experience water damage emergencies every day. On the other hand, 98% of basements have suffered from some kind of water damage in their lifetime. However, many people confuse the difference between hurricane water damage and flood damage. It is wise to understand the difference between the two for insurance purposes. In other words, insurance companies take the two as two different policies.
Florida hurricanes come with different forms of impact, which are all known to cause serious property damage. They include the following:
Simply put, this refers to the water damage caused by man-made structures such as plumbing, backup toilets, washing machine overflows, flooded air conditioning units, and so on. The severity of water damage can be minimized by taking actions such as closing valves, using water-removing tools and equipment, and more.
This simply refers to damage caused by water that is a result of a natural disaster. This can be anything from heavy rain to hurricanes, tropical disasters, and others. Remember, flood damage includes damage from flash flooding, prolonged roof leaks, and sump pump failure. All in all, it is quite challenging to control or minimize the severity of flood water damage.
For insurance purposes, it is wise to understand the difference between the two. Remember, you do not want to have the wrong insurance policy based on the risk. The best thing is that some insurance companies do offer both coverages under the same policy. However, this will be based on different conditions, such as location and the amount of the policy premium.
What Is Covered Under Homeowner’s Insurance In The Event Of Hurricane Damage?
If your property is damaged by hurricane winds, your homeowner’s insurance will generally help cover the cost of repairs. What does this mean? Well, it simply means that the homeowner’s insurance policy will cover damages from a hurricane’s rain and wind. However, you should note that the policy will not cover water damage caused by a storm surge or flooding from a hurricane. In the state of Florida, you will need separate flood insurance for storm damage.
For this reason, if you are a resident of Florida, you should note that the insurance company may charge a separate and more expensive policy deductible for hurricane, flood, and water damage. On the other hand, it is common for insurance companies to place moratoriums on existing and new policies the moment a hurricane has been officially named by the National Weather Service. This is why we recommend getting the coverage you need and making changes to the policy in advance before a storm arrives. Remember, you will only be covered for things that you can prove you lost or damaged.
Places You Need To Inspect On Your Property After A Hurricane
It is wise to inspect your home for any damage after a hurricane. You should do this carefully. Industry professionals recommend starting from the roof and working your way down. If your roof is high and too steep, we recommend seeking the services of a professional. Remember, your safety should be paramount. While inspecting the roof check carefully at every vent, chimney, flashing, and other areas. The goal is to check for any loose or missing shingles. Other areas to inspect are:
Dryer vent outlets
Inspect the dry vents for debris that may have flown in during the storm. If you find anything, make sure that you have removed it. Also, do not forget to inspect for any damage.
Inspect your home electrical system
During a storm involving heavy rain and flooding, it is advisable to disconnect or shut down your home power system. The idea is to prevent shocks and any related injuries. After the storm, consider inspecting the electrical system for faults. It is wise to allow an electrician to do this. Ensure all fixtures are not full of water.
Inspect for foundation failures
Heavy accumulation of water is known to cause house foundation failure. We recommend checking the walls and floors of your home carefully for cracks. You should do this indoors and outdoors. A crack is a sign of foundation damage and the house is shifting.
It is wise to inspect the basement. If you find the basement is flooded, do not worry, because a heavy storm is known to make even the driest basement look like a swimming pool. All you have to do is drain the water and use a fan to dry the basement. Do not forget to inspect for damage.
Strong winds are known to make windows shutter. Inspect all windows and areas around the windows for damage.
How Can A Hurricane Damage Attorney Help Me With My Claim?
Insurance companies are like any other business. Their primary goal is to make money. For this reason, for insurance companies to increase their profits, they will have to take in more in terms of premiums compared to payouts. For this reason, they will look for any reason and find many tactics to either decrease the value of the claim, delay, or deny a legitimate property claim. The benefit of having an experienced lawyer by your side is:
- Get quick results
- Reduce the chances of denial or undervaluing
- Help in negotiation settlement
- Collecting required documents
- Trial preparation and representation
For Property Damage Legal Consultation and Representation, Call Us Today.
Hurricane damage is covered through different separate policies. These policies are filled with complex language full of technical jargon. The insurance company will look and find any reasons to pay the least possible payout. At Klotzman Property Damage Law, we will help you by ensuring you receive a fair insurance payout. The best thing is that we work based on a contingency fee. This means that we do not get paid unless we win you the fair compensation you are owed.
There are no upfront fees or costs. We work closely with many adjusters, contractors, and other experts in their field who will help in analyzing complex cases and expert statements. Having an experienced Florida hurricane damage attorney acting in your best interest when dealing with an insurance company is the right way to ensure you are protected and can receive what you are owed. Call us today at 954-915-7405 and book a free case evaluation session.