Common Questions About Windstorm Damage Claims in Florida

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

Tropical storms, hurricanes, and other adverse weather that involves severe wind constitute one of the most important perils necessitating homeowner’s coverage in Florida.  

Do you need to use a separate flood insurance policy to cover water damage caused by a wind storm?

While standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage, there are other types of water damage that are covered by a standard homeowners policy.  When water penetration occurs because of damage to the premises caused by wind, this form of water damage is covered.  For example, wind might rip shingles from the roof, allowing rain to penetrate the structure and damage personal property in the home.

Are you required to comply if your insurance company wants information and documents?

While an insured will typically have a contractual obligation to provide information and documents relevant to a claim and loss to his or her insurance carrier, this can be a double-edged sword.  The information you provide also might be used by the insurer to justify denying your claim or minimizing the value of the claim.  If you are pursuing a claim for damage to your home, it is advisable to seek legal advice before providing information or documents to your insurer.  However, you have an obligation to respond in a timely manner, so time is of the essence in seeking legal advice.

How should you proceed if your home is damaged by strong winds or a hurricane?

If your residence is damaged, you should promptly notify your insurance company of your claim.  If your insurance company does not receive timely notice of your claim, the failure to comply with this requirement under your policy can result in denial of your claim.

Homeowners should also take photos to document any damage to the structure or personal property inside the home.  Along with taking pictures, you should take temporary measures to mitigate further damage.  However, permanent repairs and clearing of debris should be postponed until an adjuster sent by your insurance company inspects the property.  It is generally advisable to have your own contractor inspect the property so that you have a basis for gauging the fairness of the insurance company’s estimate of the value of your claim.

Are there time limits that dictate how long your insurance company has to process your claim?

The insurance company should send an adjuster within a short time after you notify the insurer of your claim.  The insurance company then has a reasonable time to adjust your claim.  Under Florida law, your homeowners insurance company has 90 days to deny or pay your claim.

You can reach Miami 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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