Frequently Asked Questions About Hurricane Insurance Claims

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
Founder of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.

We have been fortunate to not have a hurricane make landfall in Miami since 2005.  Despite this period of good fortune, we cannot expect that we will be hurricane free indefinitely.  Many of you lived through the pummeling Florida took between 2004 and 2006 with 8 hurricanes and four tropical storms.  Expertes believe that we are overdue for a hurricane or bad tropical storm.  If you are a homeowner, it is important that you understand what to expect if a hurricane damages your residence.  Below are answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about hurricane damage claims in Florida.

Do you need to involve your insurance company and pay the deductible rather than asking FEMA for assistance?

FEMA will not provide financial assistance for losses covered by insurance because this would constitute a duplication of benefits.  However, you may experience property damage or loss not covered by your homeowner insurance policy.  FEMA may provide financial help with those types of losses.

How do you initiate a claim with your insurance company after a hurricane?

By calling your insurance company and insurance agent.  You need to notify your insurance company promptly after the loss, obtain a claim number, and confirm your communications with them in writing.

What if you cannot live in your home after the storm because of the extent of the damage?

Your homeowner's policy will include a type of coverage referred to as Loss of Use or Additional Living Expenses.  This form of coverage applies to additional living expenses that you incur because your home is not habitable after damage from a covered peril.  Examples of expenses that might be covered include relocation costs, storage expenses, furniture rental and the cost to install utilities at a temporary location.  This form of coverage will also apply to amounts you pay for housing, food and transportation above what you would have paid if the damage had not occurred.

Because Florida insurance law may not require insurance companies to advance payments for this type of coverage, it is important to maintain records and receipts regarding these types of expenditures.  

Will FEMA pay your deductible since it may pay for hurricane losses not covered by insurance?

No.

How do you handle debris on your property following a hurricane?

Your standard homeowner's insurance policy should provide coverage for debris removal.  Sometimes, the municipality or county will offer a coordinated debris removal program after a hurricane.

What should you do if you do not promptly hear back from your insurance company after notifying the company of your claim?

Although hurricanes can cripple businesses, insurance companies have emergency disaster plans, so you should not have to endure long delays when communicating with your insurance company.  If this happens, contact an experienced hurricane insurance claims lawyer.

You can reach Miami Hurricane Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].

 

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