Florida Roof Damage Insurance Claim Lawyer
If you are a Florida homeowner, you likely brace for the Atlantic hurricane season each year. Hurricanes clearly pose a serious threat to the integrity of your roof; however, even a less powerful tropical storm can also cause major destruction, including dangerous and costly damage to your roof.
As a Florida homeowner who has experienced roof damage, you need to know what steps to take next and where to turn for help. With that in mind, the following information may be helpful.
What Should I Do When I Discover Roof Damage?
Although property owners living anywhere can experience roof damage, Florida residents are particularly susceptible given the powerful storms that threaten the state during hurricane season. With wind gusts that can exceed 100 m.p.h., and torrential rain that can lead to floodwaters, Florida storms pose a very real and present danger to homeowners. Add to that the fact that the Atlantic hurricane season is getting both longer and more powerful and the threat of roof damage becomes a constant concern for homeowners. If you are a Florida homeowner whose roof has suffered damage, it is important to take the following steps:
- Do not re-enter your home until it is safe to do so. Whether your roof was damaged by wind, rain, or downed trees or power lines, damage to your roof can pose a serious risk to the structure of the home itself. A damaged roof can also allow water to enter your home which can exacerbate the damage and danger. Remain outside your home until the proper authorities have inspected the damage and deemed it safe to re-enter.
- Contact utility companies. Because roof damage can lead to electrical and/or water hazards, contact your electrical provider and your local water utility to inform them of the damage. They may send someone out to inspect the property and/or shut off the power or water at its source.
- Mitigate damages. Once you are given the go-ahead to re-enter your home, do what you can to mitigate the damages. If the electricity and water were not shut off by the utility companies outside the property, you should do so yourself inside the home while you assess the damage. You may also need to arrange for a tarp or plywood to be installed on a temporary basis if the roof damage created an open hole in the roof.
- Assess the damage. Do a preliminary inventory of the damage to your property. Be sure to check for damage inside your home as well because a damaged roof often causes secondary water damage inside the building.
- Document the damage. As soon as it is safe to do so, take photographs of the damage inside and outside your home. You should get at least two estimates from roofing contractors and gather receipts or other documentation of the value of items destroyed or the damage to your property.
- Contact your insurance company. Contact your homeowner’s insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim for the roof damage.
Do I Need a Florida Roof Damage Insurance Claim Attorney?
If you experienced roof damage to your home or property, and you have been paying your insurance premiums for some time, you expect to be paid in full and in a timely manner if you file a claim with your insurance company. Keep in mind, however, that your insurance company only stays in business if it shows a profit. Unfortunately, this often leads to unreasonable delays, undervaluing, or denying a claim. If you have submitted a claim for roof damage and are experiencing problems getting the claim paid in full, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Florida roof damage 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. If a full and fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will litigate the claim in court.
Will I Need to File a Lawsuit?
In most cases, your insurance claim disputes do result in a lawsuit. If a lawsuit does become necessary, however, having an attorney on your side ensures that your interests are protected by filing the lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. It also means you already have someone on your side to advocate on your behalf in the judicial system.
How Much Will a Florida Roof Damage Attorney Cost?
When an insurance claim is delayed, underpaid, or denied people often hesitate to contact an attorney because they believe they cannot afford to hire an attorney. It is important to know that a roof damage attorney will not cost you anything upfront. Your attorney only receives a fee if you receive payment for your claim from the insurance company.
Where Can I Get Help with My Florida Roof Damage Insurance Claim?
If your property suffered roof damage and your insurance company has denied your claim, underpaid your claim, or there has been an unreasonable delay in paying your claim, call us at 407-500-1000 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced roof damage insurance claims attorneys will explain your rights to you and discuss your legal options at no cost.