Lightning Damage Homeowner's Insurance Claims

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

Since there are many types of events that can damage your home, such as hurricanes and fires, the threat of lightning might not be a peril about which you are particularly concerned.  This might not even be an issue people think about when they purchase a homeowner's insurance policy.  The fact is that lightning can be the direct cause of substantial loss and can contribute to additional types of loss.   

For example, fire or electrical damage can be a secondary result of lightning striking to your home.  When lightning strikes your residence, the temperature generated can rise to as high as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.  This level of extreme heat creates a high risk of fire.  Further, electrical surges can cause permanent damage to electrical appliances in your home.

Most homeowner's policies cover lightning damage including fire and electrical damage. After a lightning strike, your home should be investigated to determine whether it is safe for you to re-enter your home.  When it has been determined that it is safe for you to re-enter your home, you might want to bring an expert who can examine and test your electrical switches, outlets, and appliances.  If you bring an electrical expert with you, he or she will know what to look for so that any damage can be accurately identified.

If you have evaluated your loss and identified damage, you can submit a claim with your insurance company that specifies the inventory and value of your losses.  Once you have taken these steps, you will be in a better position to deal with the insurance adjuster.  The expert who you retain to inspect your property should be asked to provide an estimate of the costs of repair or replacement.  This information can be used to scrutinize the estimate provided by the insurance adjuster.

When you obtain independent estimates and you document all communications with the insurance company, you will be in the best position to fight a denial of your claim.  Even if your policy, like most homeowner's policies covers lightning, insurance companies often look for exclusions, conditions or provisions that might justify underpaying or refusing to pay a claim.

Many insurance companies violate their duty of good faith and fair dealing when refusing to pay a claim or unreasonably delaying payment of a claim.  Sometimes you can resolve these issues by talking to supervisors.  If escalating your complaint within the company does not yield results, you can contact the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.  A complaint with state regulators can sometimes motivate insurers to resolve a claim. 

When these measures are unsuccessful, you might want to contact an experienced insurance claims attorney.  

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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