Most Floridians know that it is not a matter of if, but when, a hurricane, tornado, windstorm, or tropical storm will hit and damage homes and property. Six of the 10 costliest hurricanes in the history of the United States went through Florida. Wind damage insurance claims can be challenging and complex. If you have wind damage sustained by a hurricane or other event and are considering a property claim in Naples, Florida, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 for a free case evaluation. We can help you understand your legal rights.
Wind Damage Law
Wind damage is a common occurrence after a damaging storm. Wind damage property claims fall under the following two deductible categories:
Florida legislation requires that insurance companies cover any damage caused by the wind to a property due to the effects of a storm determined by the National Hurricane Center to be a hurricane. According to Florida Statute 627.0629(6), your insurance policy must cover any damage that occurs due to a hurricane from the time an official issuance of a hurricane watch or warning (for any part of Florida) through the next 72 hours after the watch or warning ends.
Windstorm or Wind/Hail Deductibles
This type of deductible applies to any wind damage sustained. Wind damage can occur with any thunderstorm, tropical storm, or other storms that cause strong enough winds to damage homes or properties. Your insurance policy may also cover wind damage in the event of a sudden windstorm or other types of storms as well. Most property insurance policies will cover any damage due to a tornado, tropical storm, or even a strong thunderstorm.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations law refers to the deadline that you have to file a claim in court. Florida Statute 627.70132 states that if you file a valid claim with your insurance company for wind damage and they do not compensate you according to your insurance policy, you have the right to file a lawsuit.
These are court-imposed deadlines, and if you attempt to file a wind damage claim after the statute of limitations has passed, the Florida courts may automatically dismiss your lawsuit. Call a wind damage property claim lawyer in Naples at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733, so we can work with you to help you understand these statutes of limitations deadlines and your rights.
Wind Damage Property Claim Action Plan
We recommend following these steps if your home suffers wind damage. Your property claim lawyer can help you put the plan into action and protect your right to pursue the compensation to which you are entitled.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
After a hurricane or windstorm that causes wind damage, your first step is to contact your insurance company and file a damage report. Contacting your insurance company immediately after an event begins the claims process and ensures that you are filing a timely claim for wind damage.
Requesting a certified copy of your specific insurance policy will establish that your policy covers wind damage. Additionally, this certified copy of your insurance policy will be evidence for a court of law in case your insurance company does not compensate you properly and you decide to file a lawsuit.
Inspect your insurance policy regarding wind damage carefully and determine if your policy covers your wind damage in your specific circumstance. A wind damage property claim lawyer in Naples can help you understand your coverage under your insurance policy if you are unsure.
You and your lawyer will want to collect as much documentation as possible to provide evidence of your claim. Examples include:
- Personal Documentation
As soon as the storm or hurricane is over, make sure to immediately take photographs and videos of the damage caused by wind. As soon as it is safe, document the damage to the roof and other property structures. Finding previous photographs to illustrate the current damage is important for your claim for recently damaged property due to wind.
You may also wish to place a tarp or other water-resistant material over any opening to prevent further damage to your property or belongings inside your property. Some insurance policies provide reduced coverage if this step is skipped.
If you decide to restore any part of your property damaged by wind, document the entire process. Additionally, retain any receipts and estimates received from professional repair companies.
- Insurance Company Documentation
Insurance companies have insurance adjusters working hard on their side and will attempt to mitigate any compensation owed to you. Request copies of all inspections, analyses, and decisions that your insurance company has in your file regarding your wind damage property claim.
- Roof Damage
Roof damage is the most common type of hurricane and windstorm insurance claim. High winds can cause substantial damage to roofs, requiring either partial or complete replacement. Even a few loose shingles can cause more water damage from subsequent storms inside your home, so it is imperative your roof repair occurs as soon as possible.
Florida Building Code Section 708.11 states that if your roof has 25% damage or more, then the entire roof requires replacement. These determinations can be quite subjective, and having a wind damage property claim lawyer in Naples on your side can help you understand your rights.
How to Deal with the Denial of Your Wind Damage Property Claim
Insurance companies may refuse payment for wind damage, either due to a technicality in your insurance policy or an attempt to argue that the damage was not sustained from the wind of a hurricane or storm. Your wind damage property claim lawyer in Naples can help you review your policy and collect the evidence you need to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Call Today for a Free Consultation
Wind damage property claims are challenging, and insurance companies have experts working on their side. Contacting a wind damage property claim lawyer can assist you with the important aspects of documenting and building your wind damage case. The legal team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you review the insurance adjuster’s reports and decisions, help file wind damage claims on your behalf, and assist you if you receive a claim denial by your insurance company. Contact us today at 1 (800) 747-3733 for a free case review.