After a storm, your homeowners insurance may cover many of your losses – but the process of filing a property claim can be complicated. Your insurance company may undervalue your items, contest the repair estimates, be difficult to reach by email or telephone, or offer you a settlement amount that is less than what you need to repair or replace your items. If these or other actions affect your claim, you have options.
If you have submitted a claim to your insurance company and are disappointed in their response, or they haven’t responded at all, a Gainesville storm loss property claim lawyer with the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine may be able to help.
Recoverable Losses Through Gainesville Homeowners Insurance
If you purchased homeowners insurance, you can likely seek compensation for many storm-related losses to your property. You could recover the costs of:
Repairs and Remediation
- Structural impacts to your home, such as impacts to walls, roof, windows, and more
- Impacts to ancillary buildings on your property, such as garages
- Impacts to landscaping
- Mold remediation
- And more
Other Out-of-Pocket Expenses Related to Storm Losses
- Removal of debris from your property
- Costs related to hotel stays and transportation if you cannot live in your home
- Temporary board-up costs
- Other personal property losses
Flooding may be covered under a separate policy, as homeowners insurance may not include flood protection. If you sustained flood-related impacts to your home, we can examine the language of your policy to determine what forms of coverage may be available.
Reasons to Work with the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine
You don’t have to be alone in your property loss claim. We can handle every detail of the process for you, documenting your losses and negotiating for a fair settlement on your behalf. If any challenges to your claim arise, we can handle the back and forth with the insurance company for you.
We go the extra mile for our clients. We will also:
- Provide you with your attorney’s phone number
- Get all of your questions answered promptly
- Ensure you feel supported and informed through every step
- Work for you based on contingency fees, meaning that you owe us nothing up front
Our Attorneys Can Help if Your Property Claim is Denied
If the insurance company denied your claim and you want to appeal the denial, or if they have seriously undervalued the losses you have suffered, a property claims attorney from our team can help. We will:
- Conduct an investigation into the losses your property has sustained
- Send an adjuster to your home to assess the losses and generate a report that may be helpful when negotiating a fair settlement amount
- Enter into negotiations with the insurance company and present any new evidence substantiating your claim
- Draft and file an appeal
- Help you file a lawsuit against your insurance company if the appeal is denied
Our Legal Team Understands Storm Loss Property Claims in Gainesville
Florida is no stranger to catastrophic storms, and neither is Central Florida. As the University of Florida (UF) notes, a yearly average of twelve massive storm systems in the Atlantic may affect Floridians, in addition to storms well beyond hurricane season.
When a storm hits, thousands of claims flood the insurance companies at the same time. Insurance companies may have to hire adjusters from out of the area that are unfamiliar with the cost of repairs or the replacement value of furnishings and other items lost during the storm.
Our legal team understands the way property claims work in Gainesville, and we have seen how storm losses affect property owners in our community. We will use our experience with Central Florida storm losses to seek the best possible settlement for you.
Understanding Storm Loss Property Claims in Florida
Recovering and rebuilding after a hurricane or serious storm can be a difficult task. It is painful to see your home and furnishings destroyed by rain, wind, and flooding. You may start your recovery by filling out your proof of loss statement, providing documentation as evidence of your items’ value and repair or replacement costs, and submitting it to your insurance company.
However, things do not always go as smoothly as you thought they would. When you work with our team, we will help you understand these complicated details – and handle the whole process for you.
Important Details to Note in Your Policy
Many people buy a homeowner’s insurance policy but neglect to really sit down and read what is in it. Some things to look for are:
- The language of the policy, which may be unfamiliar. Understanding terms such as “limits,” “deductibles,” “exclusions,” and “endorsements” as they are used in insurance policies is helpful to understanding the extent to which your property is protected.
- Requirements that are your responsibility, such as taking steps to prevent further impacts to your roof, windows, and doors. For instance, you may need to place a plastic tarp over a leak in your roof.
- Many insurance policies contain exclusions that can affect what is covered. For example, many policies exclude some types of water issues. Flooding is usually excluded because the federal government provides flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), according to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
- Limits and sub-limits are important terms to understand. Some policies have restrictions on coverage for personal property, such as expensive jewelry or rare art.
Insurance Company Deadlines and Response Times
The insurance company has time limits within which they must respond to your claim. They must respond to you after they have been notified of your claim, confirm that they have received your submitted proof of loss statement, and update you as to the status of their investigation into your claim.
In addition, they must also make sure that you receive a copy of the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights.
The Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights
Per Florida Statutes § 627.7142, the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights informs you about:
- The time limits the insurance company has to respond to you
- Your right to enter into mediation with the insurance company through the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Consumer Services, which is at no cost to you
- The assistance available to you through the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Consumer Services
We can tell you more about how the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights may apply to your situation.
The Proof of Loss Statement
The proof of loss statement is an important document which the insurance company needs to process your claim. It will generally ask you to total the losses you have, submit documentation to prove all your claims, ask you to submit the date and cause of the loss, and ask you to list anyone else who might have an interest in your property, such as a mortgage lender.
It is in your best interest to be honest and forthcoming with your responses to make sure that the insurance company doesn’t have a reason to deny or devalue your claim. The proof of loss is a sworn statement, so if you intentionally lie or misrepresent your losses, you may face charges for insurance fraud.
If you are unsure about how to fill out the statement, a storm loss property claim lawyer with our firm serving Gainesville can help.
What You Can do to Prepare for Your Property Claim in Florida
You can be ahead of the game by knowing exactly what your insurance policy covers (and doesn’t cover) before a serious storm or hurricane hits.
You can also prepare by:
- Taking photos of any impacts to your property immediately after the storm
- Collecting as much documentation as possible about home repairs, estimates, invoices, and receipts in case the insurance company needs more proof of your losses
- Speaking with someone from our team during a free case review
Call Our Team Today for a Free Review of Your Gainesville Claim
If you have suffered property losses after a storm and want to file a claim, or if your claim was denied or undervalued, contact our team for help.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 to learn more about what a storm loss property claim lawyer in Gainesville can do for you. We can assist you in seeking a fair settlement after a storm affects your property.