Fort Myers is home to beautiful beaches and hurricane danger in equal parts. This makes yacht ownership in the area simultaneously risky and desirable. During the recent Hurricane Ian, many yachts and boats were damaged by high winds and storm surges.
Yacht damage claims can offset the costs of repairing your vessel. Ideally, this claims process would go off without a hitch. However, in some cases, insurers don’t cooperate, either not offering enough compensation or outright disputing a claim. If you’re struggling with yacht damage in Fort Myers, a property claims lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help.
Working With a Fort Myers Yacht Damage Lawyer
Dealing with a damaged yacht can be time-consuming and frustrating. This process can be even more challenging if your vessel was damaged in a hurricane or storm. After finding a contractor and ensuring that your boat is secure, the last thing you likely want to do is haggle with insurers. This is especially true if your insurer isn’t cooperating.
That’s the benefit of working with our team. We can handle your yacht damage insurance claim from start to finish. These are the services that we provide to our clients:
- Investigating and documenting your claim
- Ensuring that you understand the limits of your policy
- Protecting your rights
- Working with experts to determine the extent of your losses
- Pursuing legal action, if needed
- Filing your claim
- Negotiating a fair compensation offer
The Cost of a Yacht Damage Lawyer
According to United Yacht Sales, yacht owners typically pay 10% of the original cost of their vessel a year in maintenance fees. So, if your yacht is $100,000, it’s safe to assume that upkeep would be around $10,000 a year. This estimate doesn’t include major repairs, which can add considerably to these expenses.
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we’re committed to not increasing your financial stress. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that our team charges no upfront fees, and we don’t get paid unless you win. This allows us to keep our legal services accessible, no matter how expensive your yacht repairs are. You have the right to legal representation during insurance claims.
Why Would I Hire a Yacht Damage Lawyer?
These are a few reasons that yacht owners choose to work with a lawyer during the claims process:
- Their insurer isn’t cooperating
- Their insurer is refusing to give them fair compensation
- Their claim is complex or hard to understand
- They don’t understand the coverage their policies provide
Essentially, when you hire a lawyer from our firm, you’re getting two things. First, you’re getting an individual who’s worked with insurers in the past and understands Florida law. Second, you’re getting a lawyer who can stand up for your best interests. Together, this combination encompasses legal advice and legal representation.
What if Someone Else Damaged My Yacht?
Yacht damage cases often involve seeking compensation from your own insurer. However, it’s possible your yacht was damaged by the negligence of another party. Maybe another boater crashed into your yacht, or a drydock didn’t properly care for your yacht. If this is the case, our team may still be able to represent you. We can review the details of your case during a free evaluation.
Compensation in Yacht Damage Claims
Insurance policies vary considerably. Some provide complete coverage, whereas others only apply during certain parts of the year. Certain boat insurance policies in Fort Myers don’t apply during hurricane season, for example. As your lawyers, we could determine which losses you can receive compensation for.
Generally, though, yacht insurers provide compensation for these types of losses:
- Water damage
- Storm damage
- Collision damage
- Emergency towing expenses
How Much Will I Receive?
After their yacht gets damaged, those pursuing a yacht damage claim often wonder how much they’ll receive. Every case is different, though. There’s no golden rule that can determine exactly how much your case is worth. However, there are a few consistent factors that typically impact the value of a case:
- The documentation that you provide to insurers
- Whether or not you choose to work with a legal team
- The outcome of insurance negotiations
- The amount of damage your yacht experienced
Our team can work towards assigning a valuation to your case. To do so, we can review relevant evidence, including:
- Receipts, invoices, and other documentation of your expenses
- Images and videos of your yacht damage
- Images and videos of your yacht prior to it being damaged
- Input from experts in the field
This assessment could provide you with insight into your case. This way, if an insurer offers you too little, you’ll know.
Our Fort Myers Yacht Damage Attorney Can Deal With the Insurers
As mentioned before, yacht damage insurers may not be cooperative. They might suggest that you were somehow responsible for the damage to your yacht or use recorded statements to poke holes in the validity of your claim. Remember, insurers aren’t always on your side. They may be more interested in saving money than providing you with compensation. These are some things to keep in mind when pursuing a yacht damage claim:
- Your social media may be reviewed: Your insurer might review your social media presence to look for evidence. For this reason, you should be aware of your social media presence. Consider making your account private or removing information that pertains to your yacht damage claim.
- Approach recorded statements with caution: Many insurers pay close attention to what you say during the claims process. The wrong statement or phrase could jeopardize your case – this is especially true during recorded statements. If you’d like to abstain from recorded statements, you can usually do so. A lawyer can speak with insurers on your behalf instead.
Your Rights Are Protected By Florida Law
Florida Statutes § 624.155 protects insurance claimants from bad-faith insurance practices, stating that bad faith occurs when an insurer is not “attempting in good faith to settle claims when, under all the circumstances, it could and should have done so, had it acted fairly and honestly toward its insured and with due regard for her or his interests.”
If you believe that your insurer is operating in bad faith, you can notify our team. You may be eligible for a lawsuit. Our team can file and prepare a lawsuit on your behalf if needed.
Work With a Fort Myers Yacht Damage Lawyer Today
We’re ready to protect your rights and pursue fair compensation on your behalf. Contact our offices to get in touch with a Fort Myers yacht damage lawyer today.
We Can Help.