Yachts are prized possessions – a place to play, live, and relax for their owners. Many yachts are stored at seaside moorings, though, which can expose them to damage in the event of a hurricane or a tropical storm. To repair your yacht, you may need to file an insurance claim. This process has several pitfalls. Your insurer might dispute your claim or offer you less compensation than you deserve.
A Jacksonville yacht damage lawyer for our firm can support you through the duration of your claim. Our firm is here for the residents of Jacksonville, we can act as your advisor and legal representative.
Benefits of Hiring a Yacht Damage Lawyer
Dealing with a damaged yacht can be a headache. You may need to search for contractors to repair your yacht while juggling communications with relevant insurers. We’re here to take the stress out of this process. These are the services we can provide our clients:
- Explaining the types of coverage your insurance policy provides
- Negotiating a fair compensation offer
- Documenting the damage your yacht sustained
- Communicating with insurers on your behalf
- Working with experts to evaluate the damage to your yacht
- Defending your rights
- Identifying and protecting you from unfair insurance practices
When Should I Hire a Yacht Damage Lawyer?
In Jacksonville, you are entitled to legal representation throughout the yacht damage claims process. These are some situations that may warrant working with a lawyer:
- Your insurer is refusing to offer you compensation
- The amount of compensation your insurer offers you is too low
- You’re confused about the type of coverage your insurance policy provides
- You don’t have the time to deal with an insurance claim
Knowledge is power during yacht damage insurance claims. If you fully understand the limits of your insurance policy, you’ll know when an insurer isn’t providing you with fair compensation.
Cost of a Yacht Damage Lawyer
Yachts are expensive and even minor repairs can cost thousands of dollars. Repairs can put yacht owners in a financially difficult position, particularly if their insurers refuse to offer compensation. We can handle your case on a contingency fee basis, which means that:
- We won’t ask for any upfront fees
- We don’t require payment for the duration of your case
- We will only receive a payment if you receive compensation
How Much Will I Receive in a Yacht Claim?
Several factors can impact the value of a yacht claim, including:
- The amount of damage your boat has sustained
- How insurance negotiations pan out
- The type of evidence you provide to insurers
The reality is, no two yacht damage claims are the same which means that there’s no average amount that those pursuing a claim receive. One might receive a few thousand dollars, or closer to a hundred thousand dollars.
What’s more important is the fair value of your case. Ideally, your insurance will provide coverage for the totality of your losses. If they refuse to do so, we are prepared to go to bat on your behalf.
Challenges of Filing a Yacht Damage Claim
When you buy yacht insurance, the common assumption is that your insurer will cover all potential damage to your boat. However, insurers don’t always provide fair compensation. This is particularly true when insurers face a high volume of claims, which can occur after a hurricane.
Keep in mind that insurers are businesses, not charities. If they can find a way to pay you less, they’ll likely try to keep their costs low. These are some approaches an insurer might use to reduce the value of your claim:
- Outright dispute the validity of your claim
- Offer you less than you deserve
- Use your recorded statements to poke holes in your claim
- Review your social media to find evidence that supports their dispute
Let Us Deal with Insurers
Our law firm works on a wide variety of cases, from car accidents to property claims law. These cases, while different from one another, have one common thread – insurers. Securing compensation frequently entails working with an insurance company.
Since our firm’s founding, we’ve supported many clients as they navigated the insurance claims process. This means that we’re familiar with the tactics insurers use. We can tell you what you should or shouldn’t say to insurers. While you focus on restoring your boat, we’ll deal with the insurance companies. You can even request that insurers speak with us instead of you.
These are some tips for dealing with yacht damage insurers:
- Pay attention to your social media footprint: Social media posts are public, meaning they’re fair game for an insurer to use during the claims process. For this reason, be aware of what you post on your social media. It could be used to reduce the value of your claim. If possible, don’t post anything relevant to your damaged yacht.
- Be aware of recorded statements: It’s common for insurers to request recorded statements. Be wary of providing a statement, though. The wrong word or phrase can damage your case. Usually, it’s possible to request that your insurer speaks with your legal team instead.
Yacht Damage Claimants Have Rights
Those pursuing yacht damage claims have protections under Florida’s “bad faith” law. According to the Florida senate, the law “allows an insured person or someone who has been injured by an insured person to recover damages from an insurer for failing to settle a claim in good faith when the insurer could and should have done so.”
This is important legal protection. In some cases, it allows those wronged by their insurer to pursue legal action. Our team can evaluate your case to determine if your insurer was operating in bad faith. If legal action is required, we’re not afraid to file a lawsuit.
Types of Yacht Damage
Yachts can sustain damage in several ways, including:
- Corrosion: Exposure to seawater speeds up the corrosion process in metal. This can cause rusting, leading to holes and other types of structural damage.
- Collision: Yacht collisions can cause serious damage. In a worst-case scenario, this damage can lead to a boat sinking. Yachts can collide with a range of objects, including underwater detritus, docks, and other boats.
- Storm damage: Hurricanes and tropical storms can rip yachts from their moorings, strewing them across the coastline. After hurricane Ian, countless water vessels were tossed amidst the storm surge before coming to rest on beaches far away from their moorings.
Ideally, you’ll fully understand the type of damage your yacht has sustained. Certain types of yacht insurance only cover specific damages.
Contact a Yacht Damage Lawyer Today
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can stand up to insurers on your behalf. Our firm has an office located in Jacksonville and as members of this community, we are committed to serving its residents. Let us deal with the insurance companies for you so that you can focus on restoring your boat.
Do not hesitate to contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
We Can Help.