A hurricane is one of nature’s most destructive forces, with the ability to wreak havoc on communities in just a few hours. The damage and loss of property and the emotional toll that follows a hurricane can be devastating. Luckily, homeowners, renters, or commercial property insurance policies that cover tropical storms and hurricane damage can offer some peace of mind.
But what if your insurance company undervalues or denies your claim altogether? Often, insurance companies are more concerned about profit than paying claims to policyholders. It’s not uncommon for insurers to undervalue the damages or deny claims. You don’t have to shoulder these burdens alone.
If you’ve been hit by a hurricane, having an experienced Fort Lauderdale hurricane damage attorney to help you handle insurance companies is extremely beneficial. Are you fighting the insurer’s “delay, stall, or deny” tactics in a quest for getting your insurance claim paid for hurricane damages?
Contact the dedicated hurricane damage lawyers at Klotzman Property Damage Law in Fort Lauderdale immediately. We are a reputable law firm with the experience and resources to take on any insurance company that acts in bad faith and attempts to deny paying the compensation you need to recover and rebuild after a disaster.
Call 954-915-7405 to schedule a free consultation. Our Fort Lauderdale property damage lawyers will step in to advocate strongly on your behalf.
What Should I Do After a Hurricane Has Damaged My Property?
Residents of hurricane-prone locations know what to expect and watch out for tropical storms, especially during peak hurricane seasons. Unfortunately, despite plenty of notice and thorough preparations to protect one’s property from a storm’s impact, the aftermath can be pretty devastating in the event of a hurricane.
If your business, home, or other property was damaged in a hurricane, please make sure to take the steps below to ensure your insurance claim is handled promptly and fairly by insurance companies.
Take Steps to Mitigate Further Storm Damage
If your home sustains any damage after a hurricane, take measures such as covering up the house with tarps and plywood to avoid further damage from winds or rain that is not part of the storm.
Insurers will do everything in their power to try and reduce the amount they pay for your claim. For example, insurance adjusters might try to claim that the damage to your property was due to weather events that occurred after the hurricane.
Document Everything That Was Damaged
It would be best if you treated your hurricane-damaged property as the scene of an accident. Take plenty of photos and videos of all property damaged during the hurricane. Take photos of the entire house, including the indoors and the yard.
Documenting property damage is one of the most crucial steps after a hurricane and will help prove losses if you file a claim. Keep an accurate and detailed digital or written inventory of damaged property as you take photos.
File Your Hurricane Damage Insurance Claim on Time
Insurers typically require property owners to file a claim quickly after a hurricane. Depending on your insurer and specific policy, you may have a limited window to file your hurricane damage insurance claim.
So make sure to check with your insurance carrier to find out the deadline for filing a claim. A recommended practice is to file your hurricane damage claim as soon as possible after the hurricane.
Hire an Experienced Hurricane Damage Lawyer
Remember, insurance companies are looking out for themselves. You need someone who is experienced in your corner looking out for you. You can trust our skilled Fort Lauderdale hurricane damage attorneys to determine what fair compensation is under your insurance policy and fight for it.
What Is the Difference Between Hurricane Water Damage and Flood Damage?
In the aftermath of a hurricane, property owners are confused about the difference between hurricane water damage and flood damage. Not property owners are aware of the difference, which is why some mistakenly use the terms flood damage and water damage interchangeably.
So, why is understanding the difference between hurricane water damage and flood damage important?
Nothing is more frustrating than a property owner discovering that they don’t have proper coverage after a hurricane. Note that flood damage is often not included in your usual hurricane insurance policy. If you aren’t aware of the difference between flood and hurricane water damage, you could be left to pay significant repair bills.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What Is Hurricane Water Damage?
Hurricane water damage usually refers to damage that occurs before the water comes in contact with the ground. That could mean a hailstorm or severe rainstorm during a hurricane that causes roofs, walls, and windows to leak.
Suppose water enters a property during a hurricane from the windows and roofs and causes damage to walls, roofs, personal property, and basements. In that case, the resulting damage may be classified as hurricane water damage.
What Is Flood Damage?
Suppose a hurricane causes your yard to overflow with water, and the resulting flood cause damage to your property. In that case, the consequential damage is considered flood damage.
Are you unsure about the source of your water damage after a hurricane in Fort Lauderdale? Insurance is a complicated field, and it’s crucial that you read and understand the fine print of your policy, or better yet, contact your insurer to get more info regarding what is and is not covered.
If you’re having trouble getting your insurance carrier to clarify what your policy covers, our team at Klotzman Property Damage Law can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What Is Covered Under Homeowner’s Insurance in a Hurricane?
The time to think if your homeowner’s insurance covers hurricanes isn’t when a storm is approaching, it’s before hurricane season. So, what exactly is covered under homeowner’s insurance in a hurricane?
Typically, homeowner’s insurance will cover damage from tropical hurricane winds and rainstorms. However, your insurance carrier may charge a separate policy deductible for hurricane damage or exclude windstorms altogether. It’s crucial to ensure you get the coverage you need and modify your policy well before a hurricane.
Your homeowner’s insurance policy provides coverage against hurricane damage in the following ways.
Dwelling coverage covers damage to your home’s structure, the roof, and built-in appliances inside your home like kitchen cabinets and your water heater, and may pay up to your policy limits.
Personal Property Coverage
Personal property coverage covers damaged property not physically attached to your home. If your personal belongings, such as clothing, plants, appliances, and furniture, are damaged in a hurricane, personal property coverage may pay to replace or repair damaged personal items.
Loss of Use Coverage/Additional Living Expenses
Suppose your house is uninhabitable after a hurricane; in that case, the loss of use coverage under your homeowner’s insurance will cover temporary food and housing costs.
Other Additional Coverages
Other additional coverages (for additional premiums) that may be part of your homeowner’s policy include:
- Water backup coverage
- Debris removal coverage
- Windstorm insurance.
Important: While your standard homeowner’s insurance policy may cover wind and water damage in a hurricane, it does not cover flood damage unless you have a separate insurance policy for floods.
While you might be fully insured against hurricane damage, insurers will never pay for what you can’t prove was damaged or lost. They will also never pay for more than you asked for. Homeowner’s insurance carriers will require proof of the damage and/or loss to process your claim.
Documenting hurricane damage will validate precisely what was damaged and missing, giving the adjuster a frame or reference. The skilled Fort Lauderdale hurricane damage lawyers at Klotzman Property Damage Law can thoroughly inspect and document your damages and stop insurance adjusters from lowballing your claim.
Places You Need to Inspect on Your Property
After a hurricane, the extent of damage to your property is proportional to the intensity and duration of the storm. Even if your home, business, or other property looks to have withstood the most recent hurricane, using a checklist for areas to inspect may reveal hidden damage that you would not have noticed otherwise.
Here is a post-storm property damage checklist to guide you through the process.
Roofs are the most exposed building components. They are susceptible to wind and storm damage. Is there any damage to the roof? Inspect the roof for damaged seams, shingles, missing or broken materials, gaps or holes, fallen and loose debris, water pools, or any water stains.
Hurricane water damage might have occurred if there were any holes or cracks. Get a licensed roofing inspector to examine your roof for hurricane damage for peace of mind and accuracy.
Investigate the attic for water damage. A damaged roof might have allowed water to damage your attic space.
Regardless of the types of windows you have, they can easily take damage from a hurricane. Inspect for dents and cracks in frames, broken panes, holes or rips in window screens, or damage to the seal in double pane windows, which creates fogging.
A hurricane’s strong winds and rainstorms can affect every component of a wall. Are your walls damp after a hurricane? Does your exterior stucco have holes or cracks? Keep an eye out for any physical and water damage to your walls.
Your Plumbing System
Pipes, gutters, downspouts, and other components of your plumbing system can be chipped, cracked, or obstructed with debris after a storm. Carefully check for damage to your plumbing system.
It’s common for outdoor facilities, including decks, fences, walkways, porches, and driveways, to experience paint chipping, breaking, cracking, and other damages after a storm. Be aware of trees and debris on your property and inspect damage caused by the debris.
Buildings in a hurricane’s path are not the only ones the storm can harm. Heavy rains, strong winds, and flying debris may harm the interior of your property, including many pieces of equipment, furniture, and other personal belongings. Besides, water damage caused by water entering the house can promote mold growth inside your property.
No matter how modest, hurricane damage can lead to extensive damage that often results in costly long-term issues if not addressed quickly. Check your property for all sorts of problems over several days, as you may not spot all issues immediately. If you fail to spot and document damages early enough, you might not recover the true value of your damages.
How Can a Hurricane Damage Lawyer Help Me With My Claim?
When you consult with Klotzman Property Damage Law, our hurricane damage lawyers in Fort Lauderdale will guide you through every step of the claims process.
- We review your policy to determine what duties and rights are contained in your insurance policy.
- We conduct a thorough property inspection and damage estimate.
- We handle communication with insurance companies and demand the maximum coverage for your losses.
- We can dispute a claim denial.
Although your home, business, or other property is insured, hurricane damage insurance claims can be complex and are frequently denied. Insurance companies will often try to reduce the compensation you can recover, if any.
The hurricane damage lawyers at Klotzman Property Damage Law are adept at fighting insurance companies and will ensure you don’t get shortchanged on your insurance claim settlement offer. Let our dedication, skills, and experience work for you!
Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Hurricane Damage Attorneys!
If a hurricane has damaged your business or home, and you are in compliance with your policy, then you have a right to expect your insurance carrier to honor your right to compensation as dictated by the terms of your insurance policy.
When insurance companies delay, stall, lowball, or deny your hurricane damage claim, you need a skilled and dedicated hurricane damage lawyer to hold them accountable. Don’t allow your insurance company to cheat you or treat you unfairly.
At Klotzman Property Damage Law, we have a well-earned reputation for having the skills, resources, and experience to keep insurance companies honest regarding maximum compensation for property owners after a hurricane.
With our Fort Lauderdale hurricane damage attorneys, you will have the assistance of lawyers who can asses the true extent of your hurricane-related damage, estimate how much your claim may be worth, discuss legal options, navigate the complex insurance claims process with your insurance carrier, and negotiate for maximum compensation.
Call Klotzman Property Damage Law at 954-915-7405 for a free no-commitment consultation.