Dealing with your insurance company in the aftermath of a hurricane can be confusing and frustrating. To make matters worse, you may not know what to do when the insurance adjuster denies your claim or attempts to minimize your compensation for damages.
If you feel the insurance company has unfairly denied your claim, contact a hurricane property claims attorney in Coral Springs today. Our fantastic attorneys can help you protect your rights and seek the maximum recovery for your hurricane damages and financial losses. We offer legal services for victims of hurricane disasters throughout Broward County and south Florida.
Call us today for a free case review to learn more about our legal services.
Hurricane Damage You May Be Able to Claim
What damages you can claim in a hurricane depends on the nature and extent of the destruction and what your insurance policy covers. Most insurance companies provide protection for damages such as:
- Structural or foundational damage
- Damage to the roof
- Vehicle damage
- Windows and doors
- Vinyl siding
- Damage to structures around the yard (shed, fence, wood deck)
Remember that your standard homeowner’s policy does not cover damages caused by water (i.e., flooding). You will either need to add water damage coverage to your policy or take out a separate flood policy. If you have flood insurance, you can also claim damages caused by water.
Contact our law offices today if you have any questions about what your policy covers or what damages you can claim. We can review your policy and help you determine your damages and the value of your case.
A hurricane property claim lawyer in Coral Springs can also help you file your claim against the insurance company and determine the value of your losses.
Why the Insurance Company Turned Down Your Claim
When you receive a notice that your insurance claim has been denied or that the insurance company has offered a low settlement, you may wonder why. Insurance companies can come up with numerous reasons why they denied your property damage claim, including:
Your Damages Do Not Apply to Your Policy
The insurance adjuster may try to convince you that the damage your home sustained does not apply to your insurance policy. They may even claim that your home was damaged by water and not wind. This is because most homeowners’ policies only cover wind-related damage.
An insurance adjuster may ask you to show them photos of the damage to prove this point. However, if the damage looks like it could have been caused by wind, you should still be able to collect money from your insurance company.
Your Claim Does Not Match the Value of Your Damages
The insurance company may refute your claim by stating that the estimates for repairs do not reflect the value of your damages. Therefore, they adjusted the compensation based on their assessment.
They may argue that the estimate provided by the contractor is too high. In some cases, the insurance company may require you to pay for all the repair costs before compensating you.
You Did Not Follow Their Instructions
Insurance companies are required to give you instructions on how to handle your claim. The insurance company may deny your claim if you do not follow these instructions.
For example, if a property owner failed to submit a sworn proof of loss statement within 60 days after receiving their denial letter, the insurance company would likely deny their claim.
Insurance Companies Can Be Unfair
An insurance company may offer you a low settlement amount without providing you with information regarding the basis for their decision. The insurance company may want to avoid paying out more than necessary.
You must hire a Coral Springs hurricane property claim lawyer who will fight for fair compensation for your losses.
The Insurance Company Wants to Force a Settlement
If there is no real reason to deny your claim, the insurance company may try to force a low settlement so that they do not have to pay full compensation for your damages.
For example, if you filed a claim for $100,000 but the insurance company offers you $5,000, they might say they need to settle quickly so as not to lose money on the claim.
However, if you refuse to accept the low settlement, the insurance company will likely continue dragging the process out. You may be forced into accepting a lower settlement to return to living in your home.
Your Payment Is Delayed with No Explanation
You may not hear from the insurance company for weeks or months. No payment has arrived, and there is no explanation. You have tried numerous times to call the insurance company, but you keep getting voicemails.
It is important to contact your insurance company immediately when you receive notice of a delay. Otherwise, you risk losing your right to file a lawsuit against the insurance company.
Your Home Has Been Repaired Without Authorization
If you hire someone to work on your home, you may find that the person has repaired your home without authorization. This is especially true if you received a bill for the work performed.
In this case, you must immediately speak with an experienced Coral Springs hurricane property claim attorney. They will help you determine whether the work was authorized and whether you should pursue legal action against the contractor.
Your Home Wasn’t Properly Inspected Before Repair Work
If you hire a contractor to perform repair work on your home, you should ensure that they inspect the damage before beginning any repairs.
A good inspection ensures that the contractor only performs the necessary work to fix the problem. It also helps to prevent further damage.
The contractor should provide you with a written report detailing his findings. If you disagree with the report, you should ask them to explain why.
Standard Insurance Adjuster Delay Tactics
Dragging out a property damage claim may benefit your insurance firm. It could be a tactic to coerce a property owner into having to accept an unjustly reduced settlement. It also allows the insurance adjuster to generate interest and profits by investing in premiums.
Our lawyers have witnessed insurance companies employing delay tactics, including:
- Requesting unnecessary documentation or records
- Delaying responses to submitted claims
- Changing representatives or adjusters
- Unreasonably delaying the investigation and processing of a claim
- Requesting information in increments rather than all at once
Types of Hurricane Damage Insurance Claims that Represent
Our firm handles the full range of Florida hurricane property damage and claims, including:
- Flood damage: Flood damage occurs when water enters a building through a damaged roof or window. The most common types of flood damage are caused by hurricane rain, flooding from rivers, streams, the ocean, ponds, ditches, and other bodies of water.
- Windstorm damage: Hurricane-related windstorms occur when strong winds cause trees to fall onto homes and buildings. These storms can also cause roofs to blow off, windows to break, and walls to collapse.
- Storm surge damage: Storm surges occur when high tides combine with powerful storm winds. When these conditions occur, they can push large amounts of seawater inland.
- Tornado damage: Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air that move across the ground. They can destroy entire neighborhoods and even small towns.
- Tile damage: Tile damage often occurs during hurricanes because of the force of the wind. Roof tiles can be blown off of houses and businesses.
- Water damage: Water damage occurs when water leaks into a house or business. It can come from broken pipes, faulty plumbing, or overflowing toilets.
- Fire damage: Fire damage occurs when a fire breaks out inside a home or business. It can start from electrical problems, overheating appliances, or smoking cigarettes.
- Mold damage: Mold damage occurs when moisture seeps into a structure and grows mold. This damage usually happens after a leaky roof, burst pipe, or flooded basement.
- Roof damage: Roof damage occurs when a roof collapses due to heavy rains, tornados, or windstorms. Roofs can also be damaged if they are not properly installed or maintained.
- Building damage: Building damage occurs when a building’s foundation shifts or cracks. Buildings can also suffer damage from falling objects such as tree branches, power lines, or debris.
- Claim denial: If your insurance company denies your claim, you must contact us immediately. We will work hard to help you get the compensation you deserve.
- Coverage dispute: A coverage dispute occurs when there is a disagreement between an insured person and their insurer regarding whether or not a loss is covered under a policy. In this case, we represent the insured party.
- Property inspection: An inspection involves examining a property for damages and determining how much those damages cost. Our attorneys perform inspections on behalf of our clients.
How a Hurricane Property Claim Lawyer Can Help You
Getting desired compensation from an insurance company that will not work with you can be difficult. The insurance company does not always have the final say, so a hurricane property claim lawyer in Coral Springs can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your damages.
Our law firm can help you with your case by:
- Obtaining evidence of the hurricane damage: We can obtain photographs, videos, and other documents related to the storm damage.
- Hiring a contractor or third party to assess the hurricane damage: A qualified contractor can evaluate the extent of the damage and offer recommendations for how to proceed.
- Gathering all documents, including repair receipts, invoices, and bills: These documents are critical to proving your loss.
- Negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company: Our attorneys know how to negotiate with insurance companies and can help you reach a fair settlement.
- Contacting the insurance company directly: Insurance companies often try to avoid paying property insurance claims. However, our lawyers will communicate directly with them on your behalf.
- Managing your entire case while trying to get back into your home: Your home needs to be repaired before you can return to it. Our team works closely with contractors and inspectors to ensure everything goes smoothly.
- Negotiating a settlement with the insurance company on your behalf: When we represent clients who have suffered losses due to hurricanes, we can negotiate settlements with insurance companies that are fair and reasonable.
As your insurance claims lawyers, we can work hard to protect your rights and get you a fair settlement so that you can restore your home after the hurricane.
Do not take on the insurance company on your own. Get help from a hurricane property claim lawyer in Coral Springs.
Evidence You Can Submit as Proof of Damages
Before the insurance company accepts your claim and pays your compensation, the insurance adjuster will request documentation and evidence of your damages. Our law firm can help you collect, organize, and submit evidence, including:
- A copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy: This document shows the coverage limits and details about what types of claims are covered under your policy.
- Photographs or videos of the damaged area: Photographs and videos show the extent of the damage. They may also include pictures of the items that were lost or stolen during the storm.
- A complete list of everything that was damaged: This includes personal property stored at your house, for example, the contents of boxes, bags, electronics, clothing, and furniture.
- Estimates for repairs or a complete home replacement: An estimate is a written proposal for repairing or replacing your home. It should include materials needed, labor costs, and estimated completion date.
- Receipts or invoices of all out-of-pocket expenses: Receipts or invoiced statements showing the cost of services and supplies used to fix your home.
- Bills or estimates for professional inspections: These documents provide an independent assessment of the damage caused by the hurricane. They may include reports from engineers, architects, appraisers, and other professionals.
- Alternative living arrangement expenses you incurred: For example, if you need to move temporarily because your home has been destroyed, you may be able to recover money spent on temporary housing.
- Other documentation: Other documentation may include receipts, letters, emails, or phone records that support your claim.
Once we gather all the evidence, we can submit it to the insurance company along with the total value of your claim. We may have to file a bad faith lawsuit against the insurance company to receive a full payout.
Florida Hurricane Claim Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for filing a Florida hurricane property loss claim is three years. The time limit begins when the hurricane reaches land and causes damage to your property.
Sometimes, the time limit does not begin until the insurance company denies your claim. Contact our office immediately if you believe your claim was unfairly denied. We can investigate the denial and determine whether there is enough evidence to prove the insurance.
The Clock Is Ticking
Untreated wind or moisture damage can lead to more problems. It’s also critical to submit a claim within your insurance carrier’s statute of limitations and contract terms.
We recognize that filing reports, dealing with insurance agencies, and rehabbing your property can be overwhelming.
However, the faster you permit our firm to begin analyzing the facts of your case, the more likely we will be able to obtain financial restitution and mitigate your out-of-pocket expenditures.
Contact Us Today to Get Help with Your Insurance Claim
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine are dedicated to helping victims of hurricanes who lost their homes or sustained massive damage and financial losses. If the insurance company does not work with you, then we can.
To learn more about how a hurricane property claim lawyer in Coral Springs can help you with your case, contact us today for a free case review. We can answer your questions and get you started with your case before the statute of limitations runs out.
We Can Help.