If your insurance company has denied your claim for home or property damage caused by a hurricane, you may wonder if you have any other options for recovering the costs of repair and replacement.
The official hurricane Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to November, but if you are still waiting to receive compensation for any hurricane damage, you probably feel as though the season never ends.
The Types of Damage That May Be Covered by Insurance
When a hurricane comes barreling through, it can cause catastrophic damage to your home or property, even if it doesn’t make landfall exactly where you live. Hurricane and windstorm insurance may cover damage such as:
- Roof damage, such as lost tiles or shingles.
- Structural water damage from heavy rain coming in through broken windows or doors.
- Flooding or storm surge for those living in coastal areas or near canals.
- Personal property damage or loss caused by flying debris, structural damage or water
- Debris clean-up such as removing downed trees or destroyed structures.
- Temporary relocation expenses if your home is inhabitable after the storm.
- Securing the property to prevent further loss or theft while you’re away.
Unfortunately, some insurance carriers will refuse to cover your losses after a major disaster event like a hurricane. After you have suffered through a catastrophic storm, the comforting belief you were covered by insurance can quickly turn to anger and frustration if your insurance company is unwilling to come to your aid. A hurricane property claim lawyer in Miami Gardens may be able to help recover your loss and secure reimbursement.
Why Insurance Companies Deny Claims
Even though you have been dutifully paying your insurance premiums each year, an insurance company may attempt to deny your claims of loss as a result of a catastrophic storm or hurricane. Insurance companies may try numerous tactics to lower your payout, including:
- Denying that your existing policy covers your specific losses.
- Unnecessarily delaying your claim.
- Providing no reasonable explanation for denying your claim outright.
- Offering you a ridiculously low settlement.
- Alleging your coverage has lapsed.
- Failing to investigate your claim altogether.
Other Resources That May Be Available
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may offer assistance to those who are victims of major national disasters. On October 5, 2018, President Trump signed the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 into law. The Act contains more than 50 provisions designed to simplify FEMA and build the nation’s capacity to deal with catastrophic events.
Presidentially-declared disasters were named in Florida for Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Irma. For more information about whether you might be eligible for disaster relief, contact the Region IV FEMA office which serves Florida.
What You Should Do to Protect Yourself After a Hurricane Hits
In the aftermath of a hurricane, there are a few things you can do to help protect your right to compensation from your insurance company:
Prevent Further Damage
As soon as possible, do what you can to prevent further damage when it is safe to do so. Use tarp or boards to cover up holes or windows to protect against outer rain bands as the remnants of the storm passes.
Let Your Insurance Company Know
Contact your insurance company as soon as you can after the storm. While you do not have to file a complete claim immediately, it is a good idea to tell your company you will be filing. If the damage was widespread, your company will be dealing with a large number of claims, and there may be delays as a result.
Do Not Lose Your Receipts
Keep a folder of all your receipts for expenses such as gas, hotel rooms, meals, or even clothing you had to purchase as a result of the evacuation, or because you could not stay in your home after the storm.
Make Note of Your Losses
The more information you have about your losses, the better. Make notes of everything you have lost. Take pictures or walk-through videos of your home and be sure to document everything before you start clean-up.
What a Hurricane Property Claim Lawyer Can Do
If you are facing significant out-of-pocket expenses for hurricane damage that your insurance company is refusing to cover, you may be able to get help from a hurricane property claim lawyer in Miami Gardens.
Legal counsel can help protect your rights and:
- Reduce your stress and workload by talking to the insurance company on your behalf
- Help you get your life back on track by securing upfront costs for your immediate needs.
- Negotiate a settlement with your insurance company.
- Litigate your case at trial, if it becomes necessary.
Contact a Hurricane Property Claim Lawyer in Miami Gardens
If you have suffered losses from a hurricane and are currently in dispute with your insurance company over your claim, you may be feeling overwhelmed. Hiring a lawyer to represent you may seem like yet another insurmountable task, but the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help.
During a complimentary case evaluation, we will listen to your concerns about your particular situation and answer questions about your rights and your next steps.
We have the resources and personnel to handle all aspects of your case, from gathering the necessary documentation to communicating with all relevant parties to litigation, if it should come to that.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733 for your free case evaluation, and learn how you can recover costs for hurricane damage when your insurance company is refusing to pay.