Pensacola is home to palm trees, tropical weather, sunny beaches, and hurricane risk. When a hurricane makes landfall, it can cause catastrophic damage, particularly to local residences. In the aftermath of a hurricane, homeowners often deal with wind and flooding damage. Their personal belongings, like vehicles, may be damaged, too.
Pensacola hurricane claims can offset these losses. By contacting your homeowner insurance provider, you could receive compensation. However, this process is often difficult. Your insurer may outright refuse to offer your compensation. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we’re committed to supporting the residents of Pensacola as they navigate the claims process. A Pensacola property claims lawyer from our firm can pursue a homeowners’ claim on your behalf.
The Benefits of Hiring a Hurricane Claims Lawyer
If you’ve experienced a hurricane, you know how difficult the recovery process can be. Victims often struggle with:
- Finding temporary housing
- Paying for home repairs
- Dealing with injuries related to the hurricane
Adding an insurance claim to this chaos can only make things more stressful, particularly because victims often need insurance to pay for their home or car repairs. That’s where our lawyers come in. We can handle your case from start to finish. These are the services we can provide to our clients:
- Helping you understand the coverage provided by your insurance
- Communicating and negotiating with insurers
- Defending your rights
- Pursuing a fair insurance settlement
- Filing a claim on your behalf
- Gathering evidence related to your claim
These services are designed to give you breathing room. While you get your life back on track, we’ll pursue a fair insurance settlement. You don’t have to face insurers alone.
Why Would I Consider Hiring a Hurricane Claims Lawyer?
Florida law does not require you to hire a lawyer to assist you with the claims process. However, there are several situations where working with a Pensacola personal injury lawyer could benefit your case, including:
- You’re too busy to handle your hurricane claims – the claims process can be time-consuming and stressful, and you’re already dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster.
- You’re having trouble proving that your losses were caused by a hurricane.
- You don’t understand the limits of your insurance coverage.
- Your insurer is refusing to offer you a fair settlement.
- Your case is large or complex.
If you are having trouble with your claim or your claim was denied, our team can help.
Can I Afford a Hurricane Claims Lawyer?
Hurricanes are expensive – on average, they cause over $20 billion in damage per event, according to the Office for Coastal Management (NOAA). Amidst juggling their hurricane expenses, victims sometimes doubt that they can add the cost of a lawyer to their ledger.
We understand your financial woes. Our goal is to reduce these stresses, not worsen them. For this reason, our offices work on a contingency-fee basis. This means that:
- We’ll review your case for free
- We charge nothing upfront
- We only get paid if we win your case
How Much Will I Receive for My Hurricane Claim?
Every hurricane case is unique. Some completely lose their homes, whereas others get off relatively easy with a few missing roof tiles. Some may have to total their car, whereas others may only be dealing with surface-level issues. This variability extends to insurance claims. These are the factors that could impact the value of your case:
- The type and amount of insurance coverage you have
- The outcome of insurance negotiations
- The number of losses you’ve suffered
- The amount of evidence you provide to insurers
Your hurricane claim settlement value has another complicated factor, too. Most insurers don’t provide a single hurricane insurance policy. Instead, there are two types of homeowners policies that apply to hurricanes: hurricane insurance and flood insurance. If you carry one policy and not the other, you may receive less in your settlement.
Keep in mind that this section only provides general insurance information. Our lawyers can review your insurance policies if you’re unsure of the coverage they provide.
Florida law requires all home and property owners to purchase hurricane coverage in the form of windstorm insurance. This means that if you have a mortgage and homeowners insurance, you probably already have hurricane insurance.
In some cases, to access hurricane insurance, you may need to pay the Florida hurricane deductible. A deductible is a fee you pay before your insurance policy kicks in. This kind of insurance only covers windstorm losses and damage resulting from:
- High winds
Therefore, this type of policy usually provides compensation for roofing damage and other similar losses. It will not cover losses related to flooding.
Flood insurance is typically sold separately from homeowner’s insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages a network of flood insurers called the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). According to FEMA, the policies in this network cover these types of home damage provided they were caused by flooding:
- Electrical and plumbing systems
- Furnaces and water heaters
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances like dishwashers
- Permanently installed carpeting
- Permanently installed cabinets, paneling, and bookcases
- Window blinds
- Foundation walls, anchorage systems, and staircases.
- Detached garages
- Fuel tanks, well water tanks and pumps, and solar energy equipment
Comprehensive Car Insurance
Unlike your home, your car does not have automatic coverage for the effects of a hurricane. If you wish to be compensated for water damage or other hurricane-related damages to your vehicle, you may need to purchase comprehensive coverage.
This type of insurance usually covers “acts of God” damages that your collision insurance will not.
What Should I Do After a Hurricane in Pensacola?
There are a few steps that you should take after experiencing a hurricane in Pensacola:
- Prevent further damage: Just because the hurricane has passed doesn’t mean that windy conditions and flooding are over. Investigate your property for weak points and secure it where you can. This could prevent further damage if another windstorm passes through.
- Document the damage to your property: Hurricane claims necessitate evidence. After a hurricane, it’s best to document your property losses. Thoroughly investigate your property for leaks, wind damage, and flood damage. Take photos of the damaged areas and keep track of your expenses.
- Notify your insurer: To initiate your claim, you’ll need to notify your insurer that your home was damaged. Make sure to review your policy before beginning the claims process. Keep in mind that you may need to file insurance claims with different insurers.
- Consider working with a lawyer: Finally, review your legal options. If you plan to hire a lawyer, make sure that you seek a firm that supports Pensacola. A firm with previous hurricane claims experience may better understand your struggles. During a case evaluation, you can determine if the firm would be a good fit.
Contact a Pensacola Hurricane Claims Lawyer Today
We’re here for those who’ve lost their homes and personal property in Pensacola. If you believe that your insurer is unfairly refusing to offer you a settlement, contact our offices today. We’re prepared to fight for your rights every step of the way. No one should be left without support after a hurricane.
We Can Help.