Florida Hurricane Insurance Attorney
Property owners in Florida know that it’s not always sunshine and beaches, as our state is also extremely vulnerable to hurricanes. As a coastal state, Florida often falls into the direct path of these powerful storms, which leave immense destruction in their wake. Homeowners and businesses in Florida know to anticipate and prepare for these storms, which is why many purchase insurance to cover the potential aftermath. Unfortunately, even those who take measures to insure their property don’t always receive what they are entitled to after filing their hurricane insurance claim. That is where we come in. At McIntyre & Bermudez, PLLC, our experienced Florida hurricane insurance attorneys make sure that our clients are not being neglected or taken advantage of during this difficult time.
What To Do After a Hurricane
Even those who take the necessary precautions to prepare for a hurricane cannot always avoid its path of destruction. (Take Hurricane Ian, for example.) Let’s face it, boarding up windows can only do so much in the event that a tree falls through your roof or roof tiles are blown off. In situations where a hurricane damages your home, there are a few specific steps you should take after in order to strengthen your hurricane insurance claim.
The first thing you should do (when it is safe to do so) is take photographs of any and all damage caused by the storm. This includes damage to the windows, roof, walls, yard, and interior of your home. When taking these photos, make sure to stay safe and do not climb on your roof, try to access areas that are flooded, or go to areas where powerlines are down. Any personal items that were damaged should also be photographed. Once you have photographs of the damage, you should make an effort to cover any exposed property and mitigate any ongoing damage, such as roof leaks. That way, you prevent further water intrusion and damage from the elements.
The next thing to do would be to make a written inventory of all of your damaged property to accompany your photographs. This will help you and your insurance adjuster review your claim much more quickly and can help you make sure items are not missed in the photographs. However, while photographing, taking inventory, and protecting your damaged property, be sure to look out for dangerous debris and high waters. It is also important that you never climb on your roof without proper equipment and training.
Finally, once you have collected all the evidence you can, you’ll want to file your insurance claim as soon as possible. Remember that your home won’t be the only one affected by the storm, so there will likely be plenty of other claims going through at the same time. The sooner you file, the less likely you are to fall into the growing backlog of claims.
Common Types of Hurricane Damage
Hurricanes bring incredibly strong winds and heavy rain. This extreme weather often leaves roofs damaged, power lines fallen, and trees completely uprooted. But while we are able to track these storms before they arrive and anticipate their strength, there is no way to accurately predict the damage they will leave behind.
Some of the more common types of storm damage claims that a hurricane may leave behind include:
- Roof damage, including lifting and destruction of shingles, tiles, gutters, and facia boards
- Leaks and water stains
- Flood damage
- Broken windows
- Moisture damage
- Cracked building foundation due to water damage
- Fire damage from fallen electrical wires
- Damage to vehicles and boats
- Damage to outdoor fixtures such as trees, landscaping, pools, and sheds
- Damage from projectiles
- Destruction of doors on homes and garages
- Damage to personal items, furniture, appliances, clothes, artwork, etc.
- Structural damages to walls, porches, and outer buildings
Watch Out for Bad Faith Insurance Tactics
There is essentially no limit to the extent of the damage that a hurricane may cause to a person’s property. As Florida residents ourselves, we have witnessed hurricanes bring vast destruction to our community. That is why it is so important to us that our fellow Floridians receive the representation that they need when working with large insurance companies.
Although most insurance claims are properly adjusted, it is all too common for insurance providers to pay out as little as possible for your hurricane insurance claim or even deny it outright. This is especially true when thousands of Florida residents are filing claims all at once after a catastrophic storm like a hurricane. These storms can rack up billions of dollars in damage throughout the state, and insurance companies do as much as they can to limit their exposure.
Some common tactics that insurance companies might use to minimize your payout include the following:
- Failing to properly investigate your claim
- Failing to respond to your claim in a timely manner
- Delaying claims due to a large volume of claims
- Citing pre-existing damage that is not attributable to the hurricane
- Underpaying the full value of the claim
- Denying payment for repairs deemed “unnecessary”
- Requiring you to submit endless rounds of unnecessary paperwork and documentation
- Claiming certain damages were not included in the policy
It is important that you know what to do if your insurance claim is denied or your payout is downplayed. The first and most critical step is to contact a hurricane insurance attorney as soon as possible. If you act quickly, you often have the ability to file an appeal if you believe your insurer acted out of bad faith. You may also be able to have your insurance company review new documentation, new photographs, and proposals that you obtain after you initially submit your claim. In the event that a lawsuit is needed to protect your property rights and to enforce your insurance policy, our legal team will be able to represent you and show the courts any evidence of the misrepresentation of facts, unreasonable delays, deceitful practices like fraud or incomplete investigations, and more.
Our Hurricane Claim Attorneys Will Protect Your Legal Rights and Financial Interests in the Wake of a Hurricane
We understand that in the wake of a hurricane, flood, or storm, you likely don’t have the time or energy to worry about dealing with your insurance company and to ensure they cover all of the losses you’ve incurred. That’s why our firm is here for you. While you’re quite literally picking up the pieces after a disaster, we are prepared to help you navigate the Florida property insurance claims process and to pursue your rights to the fullest extent possible, including filing a lawsuit. From finding evidence and taking photos to negotiating with all parties in order to get full compensation on your behalf, McIntyre & Bermudez, PLLC is on YOUR side.
Our lawyers will review your insurance policy to determine everything that your provider owes you after a natural disaster. We are also prepared to go head to head with your insurance company until you receive what you are legally entitled to. In addition, we’ll assist you in filing the appropriate paperwork to give you the best chance possible to receive everything needed to restore your home or business to its prior condition. If your home is uninhabitable post-storm, we are also able to help you navigate the hurricane insurance claim process, which sometimes provides you with the necessary funds to stay elsewhere while your home is repaired.
Reach Out To McIntyre & Bermudez, PLLC Today
At McIntyre & Bermudez, PLLC, we’re here to support you when a natural disaster strikes. Our lawyers are ready and willing to do the legwork involved with claims negotiations so you don’t have anything more on your plate during these troubling times. If you have experienced property damage or devaluation due to a tropical storm, hurricane, flooding, tornado, or another natural disaster, our team seeks out compensation with an eye toward restoring things back as close as possible to their prior condition. We also have years of experience negotiating with insurance companies and with litigating claims for hundreds of homeowners and business owners in Florida.