Your car insurance might cover hurricane damage to your vehicle in Florida. The outcome will depend on several factors, like the specific cause of the damage to your car and the terms in your insurance policy.
Your Insurance Policy
Your insurance policy will state what it does cover and what it excludes from coverage. There is no uniform or standard insurance policy. Every auto insurance company writes its own policies, and each company decides what it will and will not cover.
Some companies offer a variety of policies, ranging from “bare bones” to more comprehensive “white glove” coverage. There is a significant difference in the costs between these types of insurance policies. You will have to read your policy to find out what it will cover and what it excludes. We can take a look at your policy and explain its terms to you.
The Cause of the Damage Makes a Difference
The specific event that damaged your car will control which insurance policy, if any, will pay for your losses. For example:
- Hail or other flying objects damaged your car. In this situation, your automobile policy might pay for your losses.
- Flooding damaged your car. Many insurance policies do not protect you in the event of flood damage. You would have to buy separate flood insurance, and not everyone qualifies for this coverage.
- The storm destroyed your garage, which collapsed on and damaged your car. Your homeowner’s insurance might protect you in this circumstance. The determination of coverage will depend on the specific facts and your policy.
- On the other hand, if your car was in an uncovered parking area when it sustained storm damage from something like a tree falling on it, you will probably have to look to your automobile insurance policy for coverage.
- Some policies exclude coverage when a policyholder drives through a water-covered street. The water depth can be hard to assess, and a car can get swept away in the current, causing severe damage to the vehicle and possibly resulting in injury or of loss of life. If that is how your car was damaged, and your policy invalidates your claim for driving on a flooded roadway, you might not get any compensation for your loss.
We understand that insurance questions can be complicated and frustrating. Many times, people purchase insurance and assume that the thing they own, like a car, has protection if it ever gets damaged. Unfortunately, policies contain many exclusions that can give the insurance company a reason not to pay your claim.
An Act of God
Some insurance policies exclude coverage for damage sustained from an “act of God.” Your insurance policy might define this event a little differently, but here is one of the standard definitions that the insurance industry uses for an act of God:
“An accident or event resulting from natural causes, without human
intervention or agency, and one that could not have been prevented
by reasonable foresight or care—for example, floods, lightning,
earthquake, or storms.”
Some people argue that the act of God exclusions in insurance policies defeat the very purpose for the coverage. At the end of the day, the language of your policy will govern the outcome.
How a Lawyer Can Help with Your Storm Damage Insurance Questions
We can explain what your policy covers and whether your situation falls within your coverage.
Sometimes claims adjusters make mistakes about your coverage and benefits. We can verify whether your insurer is treating you fairly. If your insurance carrier is dragging its feet, devaluing your claim, or refusing to pay the covered loss, we can contact your insurer and demand payment of the benefits that your policy provides.
Our firm can negotiate with the adjuster and advocate for you. Unfortunately, some insurers will not take your claim seriously until you get a lawyer involved. A lot of people eventually give up and begrudgingly accept less payout than they deserve, but you do not have to do that when you have an attorney on your side.
Suing the Insurer for Bad Faith
Florida law allows us to file a bad faith lawsuit if the insurance company acts in bad faith when processing your damages claim. The Florida statute says that we can take this action if the insurer fails to act fairly and honestly toward you when it could and should have settled your damages claim. If we win this lawsuit, the law can force the insurance carrier to pay our reasonable legal fees and the court costs as well as your damages.
Getting Legal Help
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we help people get their lives back on track after significant losses. We pride ourselves on consistently delivering responsive legal services. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 to get help with your insurance dispute.