You typically have three years from the date a storm first makes landfall to file a claim after a hurricane in Florida. If you wait too long to file a claim with your insurance company, you may miss out on the opportunity to do so.
Damage Caused by Hurricanes
Generally, damage to your property caused by the effects of a hurricane stems from wind, wind-driven rain, and floodwaters that enter your home through the roof, windows, doors, cracks in the walls or foundation, and sewer back-up.
Many insurance companies treat hurricane damage differently than other damages your home may be faced with. For some insurance policies, a higher deductible may apply to damages caused by a hurricane. To ensure adequate coverage in case of hurricane damage, you may wish to purchase separate windstorm coverage and flood insurance.
Preparing Your Claim
If you have experienced significant hurricane damage and submitted a claim to your insurance company, it is important to keep accurate records of all your expenses. Save your receipts and bills from repairs that you make. Having photographic or video evidence of the damage is also helpful, especially if you have before-and-after images. If you have large, permanent repairs to make to your property, you may want to wait until the insurance adjuster has seen your property.
Keep a separate inventory of the damaged items, including a description of the item, its serial number, the purchase date, the name of the manufacturer, and where you bought the item. If your home is unsafe to occupy due to the extent of the damage, notify your insurance company about finding another place to live while repairs are being made. Some policies have additional coverage for living expenses (ALE) during this time.
What to Expect from Your Insurance Agency
If you are a policyholder in good standing with your insurance company, you have the right to repair or rebuild your home and receive compensation for the damage or destruction of your property inside and outside your home.
You also have certain rights under the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights regarding the insurance company’s written response to your claim. These are:
- The right to receive notice that they received your claim within 14 days;
- The right to receive notice that your claim is being partially or totally paid; has been denied; or is being investigated within 30 days; and
- The right to receive notice that they finished reviewing your claim and are sending you partial or full payment or denying your claim within 90 days.
Any claim that is filed will include a maximum amount payable and a deductible that will be subtracted from the total amount of compensation paid to you.
Our Team May Be Able to Help
When you file a claim after a hurricane in Florida, you expect a positive outcome.
If you are dissatisfied with the conclusion your insurance company has delivered you, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 for a no-cost case consultation. We will work with the insurance company on your behalf, negotiate for the fairest settlement possible, and, if necessary, represent you at trial. Together, we can help you get your life back on track.