Every June, Florida enters hurricane season. Hurricane risk peaks during the next few months, and finally, in November, the season passes just in time for fall. Hurricanes present a threat to the residents of Florida during this period. When they strike, they can cause catastrophic damage to infrastructure, businesses, and, most importantly, homes.
Florida hurricane claims offer residents a way to get back on their feet after a storm. Your homeowners insurance policies could cover the costs of repairing your home. However, securing compensation isn’t always easy. Insurers may refuse to offer you fair compensation. A property claims lawyer from our team can assist you should this occur.
The Services Provided By a Hurricane Claims Lawyer
Hurricanes can plunge the lives of countless residents into uncertainty. For example, recently, hurricane Ian displaced thousands of residents and left over 800,000 families without power. Amidst this chaos, homeowners were left with a challenging truth – returning to normalcy would require repairing their homes. To do that, they’d need to deal with insurers, which is where our team of lawyers comes in.
If you were impacted by a recent Florida hurricane, our team understands what you’re going through. We’re here to support you as you pursue a hurricane claim. These are the services we provide to our clients:
- Documenting and filing your homeowners claim
- Explaining the limits of your policy to you
- Communicating with insurers on your behalf
- Negotiating for fair compensation
- Defending your rights
- Identifying and protecting you from unfair insurance practices
Why Would I Hire a Hurricane Claims Lawyer?
There are several reasons you might consider hiring a hurricane claims lawyer, including:
- Your insurer isn’t offering you enough to cover your home repairs
- Your insurer is outright denying your claim
- You don’t understand the policy coverage you have
- You’re too busy to commit energy to your hurricane claims
For many, the primary concern with working with a lawyer is financial. Between temporary housing and home repairs, bouncing back from a hurricane isn’t cheap. Adding legal expenses to these costs can appear daunting.
Our law firm was founded in Florida, though, so we understand your struggles. We know how hurricanes impact our local communities and recognize your finances might be tight. To maintain the accessibility of our legal services, we work on a contingency fee-basis. This means that:
- We review your case for free
- We won’t charge you anything upfront
- We don’t get paid unless you receive a compensation offer
- We take our fees from your earnings, not your bank account
How Much Will I Receive for My Hurricane Claims?
It’s normal to wonder about the value of your hurricane claims. After all, these claims could prove crucial in piecing your home back together. The truth is, though, there’s no “average” amount that claimants (those pursuing a settlement) receive. However, there are a few factors that could impact how much you receive:
- The evidence you provide to insurers
- What you say or don’t say to insurers
- The outcome of insurance negotiations
- The amount of damage your home sustained
- The type of insurance coverage you carry
- If you do or do not qualify for federal aid
- Whether or not you choose to work with a lawyer
Knowing Your Insurance Policies Is Important
In most cases, there’s no single insurance policy that provides complete hurricane coverage. Typically, there are two types of policies that apply to hurricane claims:
- Hurricane insurance: Florida law requires that homeowners in hurricane areas carry hurricane insurance. To accomplish this goal, most standard homeowners policies come with hurricane insurance. This means if you have a homeowners insurance policy, you probably have hurricane insurance. Keep in mind, though, hurricane insurance only covers wind damage.
- Flood insurance: Flood insurance is the other type of policy that applies to hurricane claims. This type of policy covers damage caused by flooding and storm surges. It’s usually sold separately from hurricane insurance. For example, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) provides flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program(NFIP)
Understanding the coverage your policy or policies provide can be challenging. Insurance language is often dense and confusing. Our legal team can help you parse out the details of your hurricane policies.
Filing a Hurricane Claim Can Be Difficult
Thousands of homeowners claims go settled without payment. An insurance claim denial can occur for a variety of reasons. Remember that insurers are often more concerned about saving money than providing you with financial relief. In some situations, they may work to reduce the value of your claim by:
- Arguing that your home was damaged before the hurricane
- You were partially responsible for the damage your home sustained
- Providing you with a lower settlement than you deserve
- Using your recorded statements to poke holes in your claim
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we work on a variety of case types. Many of our practice areas entail dealing with insurers, meaning we’re familiar with the tactics insurance companies use. If you’re faced with denial or your insurer isn’t cooperating, we’re prepared to stand up for your rights.
Dealing With Insurers
Taking these measures could improve the chances of your case going well:
- Inform your insurer of your damaged home as soon as you can: It’s best to notify your insurer of your damaged home as soon as possible. This offers them more time to evaluate your claim. Similarly, some insurance claims are time-sensitive, meaning you only have a certain amount of time to act.
- Be aware of your social media presence: During an insurance claim, your social media posts are fair game. An insurer may review what you’ve posted to determine the validity of your claim. For this reason, don’t post anything that could jeopardize your hurricane claims.
- Approach recorded statements with caution: Your insurer may request that you provide them with a recorded statement. In many cases, it’s not required that you do so. If you have a lawyer, you can typically ask that your insurer speaks with them instead.
Claimants Have Protections Under Florida Law
Florida law protects claimants from bad-faith insurance tactics. The relevant statute provides a few examples of this behavior, which include:
- Not informing claimants why they’re being paid
- Not settling a claim within a reasonable amount of time
- Not attempting to settle claims in “good faith”
Other violations not listed here may apply to your case. If you believe your insurer is operating in bad faith, our team can evaluate your case. Florida law permits those impacted by-bad faith insurance practices to pursue legal action. Our team can file a lawsuit on your behalf if needed. We aren’t afraid to stand up to big insurance companies.
Connect With Our Florida Hurricane Claims Lawyer
We care deeply for those impacted by hurricanes in Florida. Our team is ready to represent those in need. Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for a free case evaluation today.