If your homeowner’s insurance company is trying to pay you less than you feel that you deserve, has wrongly denied your claim, or is taking too long to resolve your storm loss claim, a storm loss property claim lawyer in Fort Pierce, Florida, can help you navigate the claims process and advocate on your behalf with the insurer.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can work directly with your insurance company so that you do not have to do so. Call 1 (800) 747-3733 to get started.
Causes of Storm Loss Property Claims in Fort Pierce, FL
Even though we enjoy having millions of tourists visiting our beautiful state every year, severe weather also comes calling, often causing damage to homes and other buildings. We can experience storm losses from:
- Tropical depressions. The National Weather Service defines tropical depressions as tropical cyclones that have maximum sustained surface winds of up to 38 mph (34 knots).
- Tropical storms have maximum sustained surface winds between 39 and 74 mph (34 to 63 knots), according to the NHS.
- Hurricanes have maximum sustained surface winds of more than 74 mph (64 knots), says the NHS.
- Tornadoes. Hurricanes and other storms can create tornadoes, which can do a great deal of damage due to their power and unpredictability.
- Lightning. Because Florida sits between two massive bodies of water, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, it gets more lightning strikes than any other U.S. state, earning it the designation as the “lightning capital” of the United States.
- Damaging wind. Even when there is not a named storm, our tropical weather can involve strong winds that can take off a roof, send objects airborne, or shatter windows.
- Hail. Many types of storms in Florida generate hail that can damage property.
- Storm surge from a hurricane or another type of storm can cause significant water damage to buildings.
Be aware that a standard homeowner’s policy usually doesn’t cover flooding. You typically have to buy separate flood insurance for protection from this type of loss.
Things to Do After Property Damage from a Storm
Insurance companies can be sticklers for following the correct procedure, so you need to make sure that you do everything you are supposed to under your policy after you sustain property damage from a storm. The exact steps you should take will depend on the details of your situation. However, here are some of the common things people can do to protect their property damage claim after a storm loss:
- Notify your insurance company. Insurers need to make arrangements for appraisers, claims adjusters, and initial repairs right away, particularly after a significant storm in which many of their policyholders sustained damage. You should notify your insurance company the same day, if possible, that you get damage from a storm.
- Talk with a lawyer right away. Getting a lawyer on board at once can help you avoid problems that can hurt the settlement value of your claim. Also, the insurer will likely route your claim along a different path once you get a lawyer.
- Collect evidence of the damage to your property. When it is safe to do so, take photographs of the interior and exterior storm damage.
- Keep proof of your other losses. This category can include things like temporary lodging and replacing items that you needed immediately, like clothing.
- Take steps to prevent more damage. Put tarps over holes or board up broken windows to minimize the likelihood of additional harm to the property.
You might need to take additional measures, depending on your circumstances.
Pitfalls of Storm Loss Property Damage Claims
Your lawyer can help you avoid situations that can decrease the amount that the insurer pays on your claim. For example, if you miss a deadline, the insurance company might deny your claim entirely. If you use the wrong claim form, the insurer might refuse to allow your submitted form as proof of your loss.
The insurer might deny your claim on the grounds that your policy does not cover your loss. For example, the insurance company might say that the damage was from an uncovered cause like flooding, when the harm actually came from a covered loss, like a storm surge.
How a Storm Loss Property Claim Lawyer in Fort Pierce, FL Can Help You
Although the law allows you to try to handle your storm loss property claim on your own, it can be to your advantage to work with a lawyer. We will read your policy, explain your coverage, and answer your questions. It can be hard to decipher what an insurance policy means and what it covers.
We can gather evidence and build your case. The insurance company might have denied your claim because it wanted more proof of your loss. We know what insurers usually want and can provide the necessary items to get your claim resolved.
We can negotiate directly with the insurer so that you do not have to. When you have a lawyer representing you, the insurer is not allowed to harass you. If the adjuster calls, tell him to talk to your lawyer.
If the insurer refuses to pay a fair amount for your claim after we provide the proof of your loss, or violates your rights under the Florida Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights, we can file a lawsuit to pursue the compensation you deserve for your claim. The insurer might also have to pay our reasonable legal fees for a failure to pay a claim in bad faith. In some situations, outrageous conduct by the insurance company can result in the judge assessing punitive damages against the insurer.
Getting Help for Your Fort Pierce, Florida Storm Loss Property Claim
The lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can fight for you to get the compensation you deserve for your storm loss property claim. When you are trying to rebuild your life and repair your home or commercial property, you should not have to be battling with your insurance company. We can take that task off of your shoulders so that you can take care of your other business.
We pride ourselves on delivering personal, attentive legal services to our clients. We will advocate aggressively to help get your claim resolved. Call a storm loss property claim lawyer in Fort Pierce today at 1 (800) 747-3733 for a free consultation.