Storm season is an inevitable part of living in Miami. It’s important to understand your rights as a homeowner after suffering storm and hurricane-related property damage. Insurance companies will attempt to undervalue the losses you suffered due to a storm or hurricane. You may need the help of a storm damage attorney to file a property damage insurance claim and fight for fair compensation.
At Klotzman Property Damage Law, we have been representing clients in property damage insurance claims for many years. We can assist you with the claim process from start to finish if you have suffered any form of storm damage. Call us today at 954-915-7405 to get a free consultation with one of our experienced Miami storm damage lawyers.
What Types of Storm Damage Are There?
The extent to which your property is damaged by a storm depends on various factors, not the least being how huge the storm was. Moreover, the location and design of your property also greatly affect how it will weather through a storm.
Many properties in Miami are vulnerable to wind damage as well as flood damage. People who live in low-lying areas are advised to take up a separate flood damage insurance policy.
While Miami residents know how to take precautions when storms are approaching (e.g. installing storm shutters, boarding up windows, pruning trees, etc.), the following types of storm damage are still very common.
- Structural damage (compromised foundations and walls)
- Roof damage
- Damage to exterior fixtures like landscaping, sheds, and pools
- Moisture damage and mold infestation
- Damage to boats and cars
- Fire damage caused by downed electricity poles and wires
- Personal property losses (including appliances, furniture, etc.)
- Damage from windblown projectiles (tree branches, traffic signs, garbage cans, etc.)
- Damage to doors on houses, garages, and other buildings
- Broken windows
The severity of the damage to your property after a heavy storm may result in a total loss if the insurance company fails to honor your claim. This is where our Miami storm damage lawyers come in. We know how to hold insurers accountable, and we will do our best to get you the full value of your storm damage claim.
Do I Need to File a Storm Damage Claim With My Insurance Company?
After a storm, you should file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. This will help you recoup the losses you have suffered as a result of a storm or a hurricane. The claim should include:
- An estimated valuation
- A list of the damaged property
- Other supporting documentation
Once the claim is filed, an insurance claims adjuster will assess and document the damage to your residence. The claims adjuster, being an employee of the insurance company, may fail to arrive at an accurate valuation of the damaged property. Their final estimate of losses may be less than the actual cost of replacements and repairs.
Because of this, it’s important to work with an independent claims adjuster to get an accurate estimation of the losses you sustained.
How Do I Prepare for My Storm Damage Claim?
Dealing with the aftermath of a storm can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when you’re faced with extensive property damage. If you or a loved one has been affected by a storm and suffered damage to your residential property, you may be wondering what to do next.
Below are some steps you can take to prepare for your storm damage claim.
Find a Temporary Residence if Your Home Is No Longer Habitable
You may be forced to relocate to a new house or find alternative accommodation (hotel or Airbnb) while your house is being fixed. This is only temporary, as it may be unsafe to live in a structurally damaged house.
Take Safety Measures
Open all doors and windows and switch off all utilities at the main valves and switches if you get permission from the authorities. This is to prevent any further damage from occurring due to flooding or electric faults.
Protect Your Property and Document Your Efforts
Your insurance company dictates that you should take steps to prevent additional damage to your property after a storm or hurricane. You should start documenting your efforts as soon as it is safe to do so.
Take Videos and Photos
Document all the damage, including structural damage to the house and personal belongings damaged or destroyed by flooding, rain, or strong winds. If possible, take a video during the storm or immediately after the storm dissipates so that you can prove that the damage happened during the storm.
Keep All Receipts
As you wait for your property damage claim to be approved by your insurance company, it’s important to keep all receipts for temporary housing costs, supplies purchased and repairs done because they will be useful when determining the amount of compensation you should get.
File Your Claim as Soon as Possible
Call your insurance company as soon as you can to file a claim for damages caused by a storm or hurricane. You should prepare all your proof of damage and loss before filing your claim.
Contact a Miami Storm Damage Lawyer
If a storm or hurricane has damaged your home, condo, or commercial property, you should speak to a Miami storm damage attorney to guide you through the claim process. At Klotzman Property Damage Law, we have highly-trained and experienced property damage attorneys who are ready to work on your case.
Is Storm Damage Covered Under a Homeowner’s Policy?
Every year, storms cause severe damage to properties in Miami, and many residents may be wondering what type of insurance coverage they should get to protect them in the event a storm or hurricane causes damage to their houses. Most people prefer to get a basic homeowner’s insurance policy, but this may not cover storm damage in certain circumstances.
It’s important to check your insurance policy to ensure that it covers storm damage. Check the wording of the policy contract for storm damage. You may also want to consider taking out other types of insurance, like comprehensive car insurance and flood insurance, which may cover damages not covered by your standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
It’s also crucial to note that new policies may not go into effect immediately. Some policies have a 30, 60, or 90-waiting period, so it’s important to do your due diligence.
Are There Deductibles and Limits for Storm Damage?
It’s also important to check whether there are any deductibles and limits for storm damage in your insurance policy. Some homeowners’ insurance policies for properties located in coastal areas sometimes have separate deductibles for named storms, windstorms, and hurricanes that could be higher than regular deductibles.
Furthermore, there is a widespread misconception that your insurance policy will also cover flood damage. The truth is that most policies do not cover flood damage, and you are required to get a separate flood damage insurance cover. If you are worried about paying hefty premiums, you can opt for ‘contents-only’ flood insurance to cover any personal property damage you suffer during flooding.
How Can a Storm Damage Lawyer Help With My Claim?
It’s often hard to know what to do immediately after being hit by a huge storm or hurricane. A professional lawyer can help you to understand your legal options and choose which course of action is most suitable for you.
A Miami storm damage attorney will ensure that your rights as a victim are protected and that you receive the compensation required to recover from the storm’s impact. Here are some of the ways your lawyer will assist.
- Referring you to a personal injury lawyer in cases where somebody may have been injured or killed due to construction negligence
- Interpreting your insurance policy to determine what types of storm damage are covered
- Helping you file an insurance claim for property damage caused by strong winds and flooding during heavy storms and hurricanes
- Representing you in settlement negotiations with your insurance company
- Offering sound advice regarding your legal options and the next steps to take
- Offering a free consultation
Working with a Miami storm damage attorney is one of the best decisions you can make when facing a difficult situation where an insurance company is trying to deny you your rightful compensation.
Contact Klotzman Property Damage Law for a Free Case Review!
If a storm has damaged your property, you may be eligible for compensation. Depending on the type and extent of damage you have sustained, you can file a claim against your insurance company, the state or the federal government, or a party at fault. However, you are required to file a claim within a specific period, depending on the type of claim you are making.
At Klotzman Property Damage Law, we have many years of experience working with clients in Miami and assisting them to get compensation after storm damage. We’ll strive to get you the settlement you deserve. Contact us today at 954-915-7405 to get a free consultation as well as more information on how to file your storm damage claim.