Tropical storms and tornadoes are part of life in Florida. According to the Insurance Information Institute, more than half of the costliest hurricanes in the United States traveled at some point through the state of Florida. If you have wind damage sustained by a hurricane or other event and are considering a property claim in Jacksonville, Florida, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 for a free case evaluation. We can help you understand your rights under your insurance policy and pursue the compensation owed to you.
Wind Damage Law in Florida
Hurricanes, tornadoes, tropical storms, and heavy thunderstorms can all cause immense damage to property. While water intrusion damage is commonly known, you should know your rights regarding any wind damage sustained by your home or property after a heavy storm or hurricane. There are two insurance deductible categories under which you may file a wind damage claim.
Unless the damage was caused by a hurricane, you may file an insurance claim for wind damage due to a storm in Florida under your insurance policy’s windstorm deductible. If you have suffered any type of wind damage to your roof or structure of your property, this is the part of your insurance policy that will determine your right to compensation. Most property insurance policies in Florida will have some provision regarding wind damage due to the effects of a tropical storm, tornado, or thunderstorm.
Hurricanes are much more forceful and violent events, and are typically covered by different portions of your policy than other windstorms. Florida legislation requires insurance companies to cover any damage to property in Florida caused by wind associated with a hurricane. The National Hurricane Center makes the official determination if a storm rises to the level of a hurricane. According to Florida Statute 627.0629(6), a Florida insurance policy must cover any hurricane damage from the time of the official start of the hurricane watch or warning through the next 72 hours.
Statute of Limitations
Florida has strict deadlines regarding when you may bring a claim for wind damage to the courts. These deadlines, called “statute of limitations,” govern the timeline to file your claim. Florida Statute 627.70132 specifically states that if your insurance company does not pay a valid wind damage claim, you have to file a lawsuit in the state of Florida.
These are serious deadlines and strictly enforced by the Florida courts. To ensure that your claim is not dismissed due to missed deadlines, call a wind damage property claim lawyer in Jacksonville at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733. We can work with you to help you understand these statutes of limitations deadlines, the details of your policy, and your right to seek compensation.
Wind Damage Property Claims
We recommend that the following steps are taken after your property is damaged by wind. A wind damage property claim lawyer can tell you more about the importance of these steps and guide you through the process.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Your safety is the priority. After you attend to any physical or medical issues sustained from a hurricane or storm, you must contact your insurance company to alert them that you have suffered wind damage to your home or property. Contacting your insurance agent allows them to begin your insurance claim in their system.
You have the right to request a certified copy of your insurance policy that covers hurricanes, tropical storms, thunderstorms, and wind damage. Having a certified copy will establish your rights not only with your insurance company but with a court of law in the case that your insurance company does not properly pay your valid wind damage claim.
Carefully read your insurance policy sections regarding hurricanes, tropical storms, and thunderstorms, which determine how much compensation owed to you for wind damage. If you are unsure about whether your damage is covered, contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1 (800) 747-3733. Our team can help you understand your specific insurance policy and explain your rights as they pertain to seeking compensation.
Document Your Damage
It is important to document everything you can after your property suffers wind damage. This can help provide the evidence a wind damage property claim lawyer in Jacksonville will need to build a strong case against the insurance company if they fail to compensate you for your losses.
As soon as it is safe, take photographs and videos from various angles of the wind damage sustained by your home or property. Typically, the roof bears the brunt of the damage, and it is important to take as many pictures as possible. Also, take photographs of any shingles or debris ripped from your roof. Before-and-after photos can also prove damage.
After photographing the damage, place a water-resistant cover, such as a tarp, over your roof or exposed areas of your property. This will not only protect your belongings inside from further water damage but also remove any arguments from the insurance company that the damage sustained occurred at a different time than the hurricane or storm in question.
You can wait to do any type of restoration to your property until insurance adjusters have examined the property and made their determinations. However, if you decide to fix any part of your property, in any way, you must document the entire process, through photographs, receipts, and a written log of what you altered. If you have a professional repair company or general contractor repair any damage, take photographs and keep receipts, estimates, and any inspection reports they provide.
- Insurance Company
Insurance companies have teams of people dedicated to ensuring that their side minimizes any costs owed to the policy owners. Document all conversations with insurance companies that relate to your wind damage claim. Make sure to request any analyses, reports, inspections, or other documents that were used by your insurance company to make a determination with respect to your wind damage claim.
- Roof Damage
Wind damage claims typically involve necessary repairs to the roof of the home or property. Even in thunderstorms, winds can be strong enough to cause substantial damage to your roof. A roof can need partial repairs or a complete and full replacement. Again, it is important to cover any areas of your roof with a water-resistant covering, as even some loose shingles can allow water to seep into your home and cause substantial damage.
It can be helpful to have a wind damage property claim lawyer on your side throughout this process. Our team can help you understand your rights and hold the insurance company accountable for providing the compensation you are owed.
Contact a Wind Damage Property Claim Lawyer in Jacksonville to Learn More
Insurance companies do not always have your best interests at heart. A wind damage property claim lawyer can help you understand how to build your case with documentation to obtain appropriate compensation for your wind damage claim. Our legal team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine will review the insurance adjuster’s reports, help you to file wind damage claims, and assist you if your insurance company denies your claim.
You are not alone. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation.