After a hurricane hits, some homeowners insurance companies get overwhelmed by the number of claims. They sometimes take on new claims estimators and adjusters who are inexperienced and wrongfully deny hurricane damage claims or take too long to process valid claims.
If your homeowner’s insurance company is not paying the full amount that you feel you deserve within a reasonable time, a hurricane property claim lawyer can help with your claim in Naples, Florida.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 to get started.
How Hurricanes Cause Damage to Your Property
Common causes of hurricane damage include:
- Storm surge
- Flooding from heavy rainfall
One of the ways that homeowners insurance companies try to deny claims is to say that the damage to your home and property came from a type of storm effect that your policy does not cover, like flooding. We can review your policy to determine what your insurer should pay.
Problems People Experience When Filing Property Claims
Clearsurance reports that three of the top five consumer complaints about homeowners insurance are:
- Claims disputes. Consumers give homeowners insurance companies a low rating of 2.38 on a scale of one to five for how the firms resolve claims disputes and treat customers during the claims process. Consumers frequently file complaints against their insurers for denying claims or paying less than the customer thinks is fair.
- Communication issues. Consumers often complain that their homeowners’ insurance agent or company does not return phone calls, tells the customer the wrong information, or fails to notify the homeowner about important information. A common theme is that the insurance agent will tell a homeowner that the policy will cover something, but then the company denies the claim.
- Insufficient coverage. Many people find out after a hurricane that their homeowner’s policy excludes coverage for much of the storm damage, even though the consumers thought they had sufficient coverage. The insurance industry report says that agents and insurers need to do a better job of making sure that customers understand exactly what their policies cover and what they exclude.
A hurricane property claim lawyer can help sort out these problems and others with the insurance company. We can negotiate for a fair settlement of your claim and advocate for you. If necessary, we can file a lawsuit for bad faith refusal to pay a claim.
What Not to Do After a Hurricane Damages Your House
As with any urgent situation, the steps you take can have a lasting impact on your financial recovery. Also, making mistakes can worsen the circumstances and increase the chances that the insurance company will deny or reduce your hurricane property damage claim. Try to avoid these missteps after sustaining hurricane damage:
Delaying Notifying Your Insurer
You need to let your homeowner’s insurance company know about the damage right away. Most policies have a deadline for providing notice of claims.
Filling Out the Wrong Form/Making Mistakes on the Form
Insurers sometimes deny claims even with prompt notification because the homeowner used a different form than the one the insurance company provided. Make sure that you use the form your insurer requires.
Read the directions carefully and make sure that you give the firm all the information it requests. Attach copies of receipts, photographs, invoices, appraisals, any other relevant evidence that documents your loss claim.
Make lists of the damaged items and take photographs. Try to locate “before” photos.
Failing to Prevent Loss
Sometimes a storm system will dump rain over an area long after the hurricane dissipates or moves to another location. If you can do so safely, board up windows and put a tarp over holes in the roof or walls. If you do not secure the building, your insurer might refuse to pay for damage that happens after the initial storm.
Looters tend to canvas places after storms hit, looking for easy opportunities to steal valuables. A house that is locked and secured is a less likely target than one the thieves can walk right into.
Failing to Protect Your Proof
You should not send your only copy of anything to the insurance company. Make copies of all documents and photos for your records and keep the copies in a safe place. If you sent your only copies to the insurer who claims that they did not receive the items, you might have no way to prove your claim.
How to Get Help with your Naples, Florida Hurricane Property Claim
If you are dealing with significant losses and property damage from a hurricane, you should not have to tackle your insurance company while trying to rebuild your life. A hurricane property damage lawyer in Naples, Florida can help get you the compensation that you deserve. Let us handle your legal issues so that you can focus on taking care of yourself and your family.