Clearwater, Florida, has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. These same breathtaking coastal areas can become a nightmare when hurricanes strike. We saw this with storms Michael and Irma in which Floridians suffered many losses. A hurricane can irreparably damage or destroy your home or business in a few hours.
You would expect that your property insurance company to quickly process your claim so you can start to repair or rebuild, but some insurance companies do not stand by you after a hurricane. They may use questionable tactics to delay, deny, or downplay your claim. You have the legal right to ask a hurricane property claim lawyer in Clearwater for help. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine work on a contingency basis, meaning no recovery, no fee. To request a free consultation, please call 1-800-747-3733.
What Most Florida Property Insurance Policies Will Cover
It is usually when a hurricane or other disaster strikes that property owners learn what their policy does and does not cover.
They also may not realize that their policy is a legal contract between the insured and the insurance carrier. Florida law requires residential property insurance to cover hurricane windstorm damage. Most policies define “hurricane” and “windstorm” as related but separate events:
- Windstorm coverage refers to wind, wind gusts, cyclones, tornadoes, hail, or rain that is caused by or from a hurricane that damages or destroys property.
- Hurricane coverage is for loss or damage caused by a windstorm during a hurricane, including interior damage caused by the direct force of the hurricane or windstorm.
Your basic property insurance does not include flood damage from surging tides or overflowing lakes or rivers. We recommend that you talk to an insurance agent about separate flood insurance policies.
Typically Covered Hurricane Windstorm Expenses
Your hurricane windstorm coverage may be used for repair or replacement for damage such as:
- Damaged, torn, or missing roof shingles or tiles;
- Holes in the roof;
- Damaged or lost siding and gutters;
- Broken windows;
- Removing fallen trees from structure; or
- Interior damage to drywall or masonry where wind created an opening in the exterior.
If you have questions about your hurricane property claim, please call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733.
We Can Help You File a Hurricane Property Claim and With Disputed Claims
If your home or business was severely damaged, it can take some time to gather the necessary paperwork. Sometimes an insurance company will deny or delay paying a claim because of a missing document or inadequate proof of damages. A hurricane property claim lawyer in Clearwater can lead you through this process to increase your chance of a successful claim the first time.
In our experience, a hurricane property claim should include:
- Photos and/or videos of damaged property (preferably with a time and date stamp);
- A written inventory of damaged or lost items with as much information as possible (including model and serial numbers); and
- Copies of receipts as proof that you have protected your property from further damage (such as a tarp for your roof).
We will protect your rights for a new or existing claim. We understand that assessing the damage to your home or business after a hurricane is shocking. The last thing you need is to deal with an insurance company who is making it difficult for you to get paid. A member of our legal team in Clearwater is here to help.
Do Not Wait to File a Hurricane Property Claim
Depending on the terms and conditions of your property insurance, you may a limited time to file a hurricane property claim. You should also know that hurricane windstorm protection is only valid for damages that occur during and immediately after a hurricane. Specifically, claims must be for damage that happens from the time that the National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane watch or warning to 72 hours after the watch or warning expires.
In addition to making sure that a hurricane windstorm claim applies to damage from an official hurricane or tropical storm, you have other responsibilities as a policyholder, including that you:
- Take reasonable measures to prevent further damage after the storm has passed;
- Pay the required deductible for hurricane windstorm protection;
- Meet the requirements of getting estimates from legitimate and licensed contractors; and
- Be a policyholder in good standing.
If you have fulfilled your responsibilities as a policyholder, your insurance company should do the same. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you recover the compensation that you might be entitled to receive. To request a free consultation, please call anytime at 1-800-747-3733.
How Some Insurance Companies Make Things Difficult for Policyholders
Insurance companies make money by collecting premiums; they lose money by paying claims. That is why a few insurance carriers try to make it difficult for policyholders with legitimate claims.
Here are a few of the tactics that they use:
- Refuse to pay you under one type of coverage or try to force you to settle for another policy coverage with fewer benefits.
- Try to get you to accept a lowball payment.
- Ask you to sign a written release of any supplemental claim for you to collect a settlement or payment.
- Take an unreasonable amount of time to process your claim.
A hurricane property claim lawyer in Clearwater will protect and preserve your rights. Your insurance policy is a legal contract and a lawyer can find evidence if you are unjustly denied payment on a legitimate claim.
Please call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine if you are getting ready to file a hurricane property claim or have been turned down by your insurance company on an existing claim. To request a free consultation, please call 1-800-747-3733.