Hurricanes in Florida are one of the worst natural disasters Floridians have experienced. The state’s most recent devastation of Hurricane Irma caused a lot of destruction and damage to property.
Despite all the efforts, the state still faces numerous hurricanes annually. Extensive damage and tremendous losses to property and other assets mean massive insurance claims.
If a hurricane in Florida caused damage to your property and you need to file an insurance claim, then YES, you can hire a hurricane attorney to help you get your settlement.
Getting the best lawyer to handle the claim on your behalf is best. Experienced lawyers can go up against insurance adjusters to help policyholders get the money they are owed.
Why Hire a Lawyer?
The following are some reasons why one would seek an attorney’s help:
- In the aftermath of a hurricane, many people have no idea what their rights are, how much damage they’ve incurred, or even if their insurance company would cover it.
- Many people who lose their homes or businesses in natural disasters like Hurricane Michael or Sally either don’t realize they need an attorney or don’t get one out of fear they can’t afford one.
- Claims must be completely foolproof, as insurance firms will take advantage of any loopholes or missing details. A lawyer specializing in storm damage claims will ensure you provide all relevant documentation, such as receipts, repair estimates, and photographs or videos documenting the destruction.
- Lawyers will not request you to pay a lien should they fail to strike a settlement with insurance companies. From a financial standpoint, this goes a long way in preventing more losses on your behalf.
- Homeowners and businesses end up saving a lot of time in legal battles. An attorney working on your behalf means you have more time to focus on recovery and rebuilding.
- Attorneys have a broad network of adjusters, contractors, and other specialists to precisely estimate your losses. The team also helps you document, itemize, and analyze complex weather data to show what natural forces damaged your property.
How Long Do You Have to Wait Before Filing a Claim?
You have three years to file a storm insurance claim in Florida, per statute 627.70132. The timeline may seem long, but numerous variables can prolong it. Make immediate contact with your insurance provider.
There are 1-800 numbers for contacting insurers in Florida. However, note that you might be put on hold for a while due to a large volume of calls. Certain insurers allow the submission of a report via a dedicated website or mobile app.
Insurance companies may deny your storm or flood damage claim in bad faith. When this happens, you need a Florida hurricane insurance claims attorney.
How Homeowners and Businesses can Prepare for Insurance Adjusters
It’s also typical to wait a bit for an insurance adjuster to see your property after extremely powerful or destructive storms. Here are six methods to get organized, learn your rights, and assist the insurance adjuster:
- Check your insurance policy. Review your current policy, hurricane coverage, and responsibilities as you prepare to make a claim and speak with an insurance adjuster.
- Check your garages, sheds, and other buildings for damage. Check for structural deterioration. Keep a note of all the areas you want the insurance adjuster to visit.
- List damaged things. Your insurance company’s Proof of Loss form might help you record hurricane losses.
- Take photos and videos. If feasible, take images and videos of the damage to structures and personal possessions. If temporary repairs are required, take photographs of the damage before and after the work is completed.
- Use licensed contractors. You can begin soliciting quotes and estimates from licensed companies to perform the necessary repair and replacement work. Get it in writing, and provide as many specifics as you can.
- Examine your legal options. In widespread disasters, policyholders frequently misunderstand their rights or believe sizeable national insurance companies are misleading them. Before you proceed, determine whether you are being appropriately handled and receiving what you are entitled to from your storm insurance claim.
You can hire a lawyer to help with your Florida hurricane insurance claim. A lawyer can help you settle your claim faster and with more money. Florida hurricane insurance claims can be complicated, and a lawyer can help you get the settlement you deserve.