If your property is damaged in a hurricane in Florida, the potential financial loss can be devastating. While your homeowners insurance coverage can provide valuable security against such a loss, many insurance companies drag their feet during the claims process and deny legitimate claims in the hope that policyholders will abandon their claim. Although this strategy might seem unfair to an insured, this approach has played a key role in the insurance industry becoming one of the most profitable segments of the U.S. economy. As a former claims adjuster and Miami based insurance claims attorney, my office has provided critical assistance to many policyholders who struggled to get their insurance company to pay their claim in a timely manner. I have provided some key information for policyholders who have their home damaged in a hurricane.
What steps should I follow if my property is damaged in a hurricane?
If your home suffers damage in a Florida hurricane, you should take the following steps to preserve your rights and maximize the compensation received for your property damage claim:
- Notify your insurance company as soon as possible that you have experienced a loss
- Undertake interim repairs to mitigate further damage prior to the insurance company investigating the loss
- Take lots of pictures following the hurricane from similar angles to pictures of your home taken prior to the hurricane
- Gather and save any receipts or other documents that provides evidence of costs incurred because of damage caused by the hurricane
- Meticulously document all communications with your insurer
- Create an inventory of damage to your residence and personal property inside your home
These simple steps can improve the chances that you receive the full value of your loss. This approach anticipates defenses like failure to provide timely notice while equipping you with the records to back up your claim and confirm inappropriate actions by your insurance company.
Common excuses asserted by Florida homeowners insurance companies to justify not paying the full value of your claim?
“Although we will pay to restore your house to its condition immediately prior to the hurricane, we will not cover the cost of compliance with changed building codes.”
“The loss is due to water damage caused by flooding which is not covered under your homeowners policy.”
“Mold on your walls or ceiling can simply be washed off, so there is no reason to destroy the drywall.”
When insurance companies shirk their contractual obligations to rebuild or repair after accepting a homeowners premiums, my law firm holds insurance companies accountable to policyholders. We obtain an independent estimate of your loss. We dispatch an investigator to evaluate the damage and value of your claim. Our investigation also includes reviewing your insurance company’s pattern regarding coverage disputes in the past.
If your insurance company fails to properly adjust and pay your claim, an experienced Miami-Dade County insurance coverage attorney can help you protect your rights. My law firm represents policyholders in insurance claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida, so we can guide you through the process. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.