As Hurricane Dorian rapidly approaches, we hope that you and your families are actively preparing for the worst, no matter what eventual direction this hurricane takes. As South Floridians, we accept the trade-off for living in a year-round sunny paradise: hurricane season. From June through November, we constantly monitor the weather in the Atlantic Ocean and the dreaded cone of uncertainty that predicts where a storm is going to hit. From experience, we learn that it is better to be safe than sorry. especially when it comes to protecting our families and safeguarding our homes or businesses.
Unfortunately, during times of need the insurance company may deny, devalue. or delay your insurance claim. You do not have to deal with uncooperative insurance companies alone. The Injury Firm is here to help. Our Fort Lauderdale attorneys have extensive experience litigating against insurance companies. and have had much success in getting clients the maximum amount of compensation they deserve from their insurance carriers.
If you or a loved one has sustained property damage. it is important that you consult with a Fort Lauderdale Property Damage Claim Attorney immediately. The attorneys at The Injury Firm will review your homeowners insurance policy and assist you in navigating the insurance claim process. We will fight for your right to compensation so that you can repair or replace your property. Don’t fight your insurance company alone. Contact us at The Injury Firm today at (954) 951-0000 or through our online form to schedule your free initial consultation.
Safeguard Your Hurricane Claims
Whether you are heeding evacuation orders or gathering supplies to hunker down, we want to make sure you take the appropriate steps to preserve your insurance claim.
Review Your homeowners Policy Before the Hurricane
Before a hurricane ever strikes. it is important to carefully read your homeowners policy to understand exactly what type of damage is covered. A comprehensive insurance policy covers:
- Damage to or the loss of your home
- Damage to other buildings or structures on your property such as detached garages, decks, fencing, swimming pools and pool cages
- The contents of your home
- Loss of the use of your home if you are unable to live there
- Payments to third parties for liability or medical expenses
Am I covered for flood damage?
Standard homeowners and renters insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is provided by the federal government under a program run by the Federal Insurance Administration. Flood coverage, however, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program – NFIP (800-427-4661) and from a few private insurers. If you live in a flood-prone area it may be wise to purchase flood insurance. Contact your agent or company representative to get this insurance or call the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 1-800-621-3362 or visit its Web site at www.fema.gov.
While it is likely too late to get homeowners, renters or flood insurance now that will cover you in time for Hurricane Dorian, there are exceptions: Renters who have just moved into a new home and homeowners who closed a house purchase within the last 45 days may be able to buy coverage. Generally, major insurance companies like GEICO, State Farm and Allstate make your policy effective after 30 days or wait for the storm to pass to quote.
Steps to Protect Your Hurricane Damage Claim
Certain steps taken promptly can go a long way toward preserving your insurance claim:
- Mitigate the Risk of Further Losses: Policyholders have a legal duty to take steps to minimize the impact of the loss they experience in the aftermath of a hurricane or tropical storm. For example, property owners might use tarps and plastic to prevent further water penetration after damage to a roof (subject to safety considerations). The responsibilities of an insured will be detailed in the ” Duties After Losses” section of your policy. Our experienced Florida insurance claims lawyers can advise you regarding your pre-claim duties and help you access professionals who can assist you in minimizing any damage to your property.
- Review Insurance Policies: Review your policies and identify the designated procedures for reporting a loss. Insurance companies require policyholders to report a loss promptly, so the insurer can send an adjuster to investigate the loss to determine the cause and the amount of the claim. If you delay in providing notice and submitting a written proof of loss, the insurance company will rely on such non-compliance with the policy to justify denying your claim. Policyholders need to carefully review their entire policy to ascertain all available coverage potential grounds for exclusion and limitations on coverage. Because insurance policy language can be convoluted and ambiguous. you should talk to an experienced Fort Lauderdale property damages claims attorney regarding provisions or terms that you do not understand.
- Seek Legal Advice: Insurance companies maximize profits for shareholders by minimizing payouts on claims. To do this, they frequently engage in bad faith practices that include delaying, denying and lowballing claims. An experienced Fort Lauderdale insurance property damage lawyer can help you navigate past these potential pitfalls that could derail your claim.
Contact The Injury Firm at (954) 951-0000 for a Free Consultation