Storm damage is sometimes covered by car insurance 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 will Determine Your Covered Losses
Your insurance policy will state what it covers 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 many 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.
We understand that insurance questions can be complicated and frustrating. People often 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.
Sometimes, the Way the Damage Occurred Can Disqualify You from Coverage
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.
Such an event could even result in injury or loss of life. This could be how your car was damaged. If so, your policy could invalidate your claim for driving on a flooded roadway, you might not get any compensation for your loss.
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. The language of your policy will govern the outcome.
How a Lawyer at Our Firm 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. Your insurance carrier might drag its feet, devalue your claim, or refuse to pay the covered loss. We can verify whether your insurer treats you fairly. If they do not, we could contact your insurer and demand payment for your policy’s benefits.
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. Many 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. We can also:
- Take your case to court to seek a judgment
- Analyze the language of your policies
- Answer your questions
- Keep you up-to-date throughout the case
- Help you gather evidence of the damage
- Help you find new temporary living arrangements
- And more
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. Florida Statutes § 624.155(1) 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.
Tackling Your Storm Loss Case by Yourself Might Not be the Best Move
Do not let the popular belief that lawyers are expensive and intimidating stop you from securing legal help in a situation you are unfamiliar with. You might not be able to understand your insurance policy. We have taken cases like yours before and can guide you through the process.
There is always a chance you become confused at some point in your case and file paperwork incorrectly or ask for too little compensation to cover your losses. We will have your back and prevent situations like this.
How Our Firm Structures Our Payment Plan for Storm Damage Clients
We know you have a lot going on right now. You should not have to deal with securing payment for your lawyer at the same time as recovering from this incident. So, we have our clients pay us our fee through a contingency-fee arrangement. You will not have to pay us before we begin working for you.
Your lawyer will take their fee out of the award they win for you.
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. Our Florida legal team can inform you if your vehicle’s storm damage is covered by car insurance.