Hurricane Irma Property Storm Damage Insurance Claims

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

Did Hurricane Irma damage your home, business, boat, or vehicle?

If so, I am are here to help you.  I personally know the stress and disruption that storms cause. I lived through Hurricanes Andrew and Wilma.  I get what you are going through right now.

Displacement from your home.

Property damage that looks overwhelming.  

Uninhabitable home.

Limited resources to move ahead.

Debris all over your property.

Your personal possessions destroyed.

Maybe you can't even get to your job.

What is the first step in moving forward?  If you are like the rest of us, it starts with filing a claim with your insurance company.  After years of paying premiums, you now need the insurance company to live up to the promises they like making in all of those TV commercials.

As a former insurance company claims adjuster, I also know how insurance companies handle claims.  Lowball offers.  Delays.  Denials of coverage.

I can help you.  But first I will need you to help yourself.  Here is how you do it:

  1. Secure your insurance policy.
  2. Mitigate your damages.  This means that you do what you can, without putting your life at risk, to prevent your damages from getting worse.  An example would be to have a roofer place a tarp on your roof if the roof is leaking.
  3. Don't throw anything out until after the insurance company inspects it and you have photographed it or taken video of it.
  4. Document all of your damages.  Take photos and video of all damage that you can observe.
  5. File your claim with the insurance company even if your damages look minor.  Just because to your untrained eye the damages look minor does not mean that they are minor.  Call your insurance company and get a claim number.  If you wait to file your claim and later discover that you have significant damages your insurance company will say that you filed your claim too late and they will deny your insurance claim.
  6. Keep all of your expense receipts.  After a storm, some workers will only accept cash.  Get a receipt and their business card and contact information.
  7. Get the names and numbers of everyone that you deal with on any issue related to the storm damage.  You may need these witnesses later to prove your damages.
  8. Create an inventory describing all of your personal possessions and contents that have been damaged or lost.
  9. If you are displaced from your home, keep an accurate record of all additional living expenses that you have incurred as a result of not being able to live in your home. 
  10. If you hire someone to remove debris from your property, get a receipt and business card and contact information for that person or company.
  11. Be very careful in hiring contractors after the storm.  Are they licensed?  Are they insured?  Google them. And don't pay them in cash, if possible.
  12. With water damage often comes mold.  Be on the lookout for mold.  If you see signs of mold, report it to your insurance company and take more photos and video.
  13. Keep a journal of all of your communications with the insurance company including dates and times of discussions, who you spoke to, and what they said.
  14. Do not hire unlicensed public adjusters.  Demand to see a Florida public adjuster license. Public adjuster fees are capped at 10% when there is an emergency order issued by the Governor of the State of Florida.  
  15. Stay away from unscrupulous out of town contractors who claim to want to help you with repairs or your claim.

Keep in mind that there are strict deadlines for flood claims that are outside the scope of this page.  There are also deadlines related to proofs of loss that are goverened by the specifics of your insurance policy.

Should you need help with any of the above or your insurance company has lowballed your damages, is engaging in delay tactics, or has denied any part of your claim, I am just a phone call away.

You can reach Miami Hurricane Irma Property Storm Damage 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].