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.
The exact date the time limit expires for your claim can vary depending on a number of factors.
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 backup.
Many insurance companies treat hurricane damage differently than other damages your home may face. 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.
If you are unsure what your policy covers, our team can help. Talk to a Fort Lauderdale hurricane lawyer from our firm about your insurance policy, your rights, and your legal options in the worst case scenario. Some insurance companies leave a lot of room for interpretation in their documents so they could deny a future claim or pay less than what you deserve. A conversation with a lawyer and some advice will serve your interests in the long run.
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.
Take Photos and Videos
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 List of Damaged Items
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.
Be Sure to Tell Your Insurer If You Are Evacuating the Premises
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
As 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 rights include:
- The right to receive notice that it 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 it finished reviewing your claim and is 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.
Statute of Limitations for Bad Faith Lawsuits in Florida
As discussed above, you have three years to file a claim for hurricane damage. Unfortunately, even if you file your claim within this time limit, the insurance company may make things difficult for you. It may delay your claim, deny it for invalid reasons, or engage in other tactics to save money.
You may have the right to sue the insurer for bad faith in this case. Our team can determine if you have a valid bad faith case and file the necessary paperwork to take legal action. Per Waldemar Baranowski v. GEICO General Insurance Company, you have five years to file a bad faith lawsuit.
If you have questions or concerns regarding when the statute of limitations will expire for your case, be sure to contact your attorney.
What Compensation Can You Recover in Your Florida Hurricane Damage Claim?
When filing your claim with the insurance company, the amount of compensation you recover will directly correlate with your damage and the amount of homeowners insurance and other hurricane insurance you may have purchased.
The insurance company may issue payment for any of the following types of damages:
- Water damage
- Wind damage
- Additional Living Expenses (ALEs)
- Roof damage
- Vehicle damage
- Damage to any outbuildings such as a garage or shed
If you have a separate flood insurance policy, you can recover compensation for flooding and storm surge damage.
Our Team Will Fight to Get You the Compensation You Deserve After a Hurricane
When you file a claim after a hurricane in Florida, you expect a positive outcome. You shouldn’t be traumatized twice dealing with a difficult insurance claims process. You can take action and hold the insurance company accountable for the compensation you’re entitled to when you contact a Florida hurricane claim attorney for help.
Our team will handle every aspect of your claim to get you the compensation you need for your losses.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Today for a Free Consultation
We will work with the insurance company on your behalf, negotiate for the fairest settlement possible, and, if necessary, represent you at trial. We can help you get your life back on track.
We Can Help.