Florida Hurricane Damage Insurance Claim Attorney
Although Florida enjoys beautiful weather most of the year, the hurricane season can be brutal. A hurricane often leaves a wide path of destruction in its wake. For a property owner, the aftermath of a hurricane is a time spent trying to put the pieces back together and repair or rebuild.
Trying to move on after a hurricane is stressful enough when your insurance company cooperates and pays your claim in full and on time. If your insurance company underpays, delays, or denies your claim, an already difficult situation can become unbearable. Knowing the steps you need to take and who to turn to for help following a Florida hurricane is the key to ensuring that you are fully and fairly compensated for all your losses.
Florida Hurricane Season
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1st of each year and runs through November 30th. In recent years, both the number and severity of storms during the hurricane season have increased, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
In fact, 2020 was the fifth consecutive year with an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. The 2020 hurricane season produced 30 named storms, which include storms with top winds of 39 mph or greater. Of those named storms, 13 became hurricanes with top winds of 74 mph or greater, and six of those qualified as a major hurricane, meaning they had top winds of 111 mph or greater. The 2020 hurricane season produced the most storms ever recorded and the second-highest number of hurricanes on record.
What Should I Do After a Hurricane?
A Florida hurricane produces strong winds and heavy rainfall which can result in extensive damage to your property and personal belongings. If you have recently experienced hurricane damage, take the following steps to help mitigate your losses and ensure that you are properly compensated:
- Abide by local evacuation and return protocols. Whether you were ordered to evacuate or chose to do so voluntarily, do not return to your home until local authorities indicate that conditions are safe to do so.
- Assess the damage and check for danger. Downed power lines and high floodwaters are among the most serious dangers a homeowner faces in the aftermath of a hurricane. Before you do anything else, assess the damage to your property and make sure there are no ongoing hazardous conditions that could injury you or your family.
- Document your losses. Take photos of all damage to your property and belongings. Start making a list of damages and losses. If possible, begin compiling receipts or other documentation that indicates the value of the damaged or destroyed property.
- Contact your insurance company. Call your insurance company to initiate the claims process as soon as you have conducted a preliminary assessment of the damage caused by the hurricane.
- Record expenses and obtain independent estimates. If you are required to spend any money out of pocket (such as for a hotel room if the property is uninhabitable) be sure to keep detailed records. In addition, seek independent estimates for repairs or replacements as your insurance adjuster may undervalue those costs.
Do I Need a Florida Hurricane Damage Attorney?
As a Florida property owner, you have probably paid a separate premium for hurricane insurance for the life of your insurance policy. You paid that premium so that your home and belongings would be covered in the event of damage caused by a hurricane. Unfortunately, even though you’ve paid your premiums, your insurance company can undervalue, delay, or outright deny your hurricane damage claim.
If you recently suffered losses caused by a hurricane and your insurance claim has been unreasonably delayed, denied in full, or the insurance company is offering you less than what your claim is worth, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Florida hurricane damage claims attorney. An attorney can evaluate the terms of your policy before negotiating with the insurance company to obtain a fair and full settlement for you. When an out-of-court settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will litigate the claim at trial.
Will I Need to File a Lawsuit?
In most cases, your hurricane damage claim will be resolved without needing to file a lawsuit; however, if a full and fair out-of-court settlement is not forthcoming, your attorney will pursue litigation to ensure that your rights are protected. If that lawsuit proceeds to trial, your attorney will aggressively pursue your interests and advocate on your behalf at trial.
How Much Will a Florida Hurricane Damage Claim Attorney Cost?
Do not let the fear of additional out-of-pocket expenses stop you from pursuing your rights. A Florida hurricane damage claims attorney will not charge you anything upfront. Instead, your attorney will only receive a fee if a satisfactory settlement is reached or if you are awarded compensation at trial.
Where Can I Get Help with My Florida Hurricane Damage Claim?
If your property was damaged by a Florida hurricane and your insurance company has undervalued, denied, or delayed your claim, call us at 407-500-1000 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Florida hurricane damage claim dispute attorneys will explain your rights to you and discuss your legal options at no cost.