Florida Hurricane Damage Lawyer
Hurricane season is an unavoidable part of living in Florida. If you live in Florida – especially on the coast – it is important to understand your rights as a home or property owner after suffering hurricane-related property damage. Insurance companies often try to underpay claimants for their property damage related to hurricanes. You may require assistance from a lawyer to file a hurricane damage insurance claim and fight for fair compensation.
At Williams Law, P.A., we have been representing clients in insurance disputes throughout Florida since 1995. We can help you with the insurance process from beginning to end if you have suffered any type of hurricane damage. Request a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.
Why Choose Our Florida Hurricane Damage Lawyers
- Our attorneys have a long history of achieving successful case results. We have recovered more than $100 million for our clients using aggressive negotiation strategies.
- We put our clients first. We will communicate with you often as our client to make sure that you have everything you need throughout the legal process.
- We can represent you on a contingency fee basis during any type of insurance dispute. This means you won’t pay attorney’s fees unless we achieve financial compensation for your claim.
Do You Need to Hire a Hurricane Damage Insurance Attorney?
A hurricane damage insurance attorney will work for you, not for an insurance company. This is an important distinction, as it means that your attorney will protect your best interests rather than try to take advantage of you for his or her own profit. During a hurricane damage insurance dispute, your attorney can explain and defend your legal rights.
Your attorney can also go up against an insurance corporation on your behalf at trial, if necessary. An attorney will share your goals for your case and will use proven negotiation tactics to optimize your case’s outcome. Most importantly, hiring a lawyer can allow you to rest and relax while an experienced professional handles the legwork of your claim.
Common Types of Hurricane Damage
Every year, Florida sustains billions of dollars in hurricane damage. Statistics from the Insurance Information Institute states that 2020 was a record-breaking hurricane season, with 30 named storms. 2021 also reported above-average hurricane activity, including Hurricane Elsa and Tropical Storm Fred, which both made landfall in Florida. A hurricane – or even a tropical storm or tropical depression – can cause a wide variety of property damage for victims, such as:
- Water damage
- Flood damage
- Mold and mildew
- Wind damage
- Roof damage
- Siding damage
- Broken windows
- Shed and garage damage
- Fence damage
- Destroyed belongings
- Storm debris on the property
- Downed trees and limbs
If your property suffered any type of damage in a Florida hurricane, you may be eligible for financial compensation from your property insurance carrier. Note, however, that your policy may include coverage for water damage, but not if it comes from a storm surge or flood. Hurricane water damage in Florida often requires an additional flood insurance policy. It may take some negotiating to recover fair benefits from an insurance company. The insurance company may use many different tactics to reduce your payout or avoid paying you altogether.
Examples of Insurance Company Bad Faith
Insurance bad faith means that an insurance company is breaching its legal and ethical obligation to handle your claim properly and in a good-faith attempt to resolve the legal issue. There are state and federal laws that control how an insurance company must treat its claimants. Unfortunately, insurance companies and their claims adjusters often break these rules and breach their warranties. Insurance bad faith during your hurricane damage claim may take the form of:
- Ignoring your claim.
- Wrongfully rejecting your claim.
- Waiting an unreasonable amount of time before investigating.
- Unfairly delaying the processing of your claim.
- Demanding an excessive amount of proof of losses.
- Arguing that your property damage was pre-existing.
- Undervaluing your claim’s value.
- Failing to offer benefits up to your policy’s limits.
- Using threats or intimidation tactics.
If you believe that you are experiencing insurance bad faith during your hurricane damage claim in Florida, contact an attorney for assistance. Williams Law, P.A. can help you go up against an insurance company using a bad-faith claim. This type of lawsuit could result in financial compensation to penalize the insurance company in addition to compensation for your underlying hurricane damage claim.
What to Do After a Hurricane in Florida for an Insurance Claim
In the aftermath of a hurricane, once it is safe to return to your home, take photographs to document your property damage. It is important to create proof of your losses to send to the insurance company. Make temporary repairs to prevent any additional damage. If there is a hole in your roof, for example, patch it to prevent further water damage while you wait for your claim to process. Failing to mitigate your damage could give the insurance company a reason to reject or reduce benefits.
If you are forced to relocate while your home is being repaired, keep all of your travel and hotel receipts. You can include these as part of your hurricane damage insurance claim. Contact your homeowners and flood insurance companies to file claims. Then, prepare for an insurance claims adjuster to visit your property for an in-person damage evaluation. Once the insurance company finishes processing your case, it will either accept the claim and offer a settlement or reject the claim and give its reason for doing so.
If you receive an insurance claim rejection or believe that your case is worth more than the insurer is offering, consult with a lawyer for assistance before giving up. There may still be a chance of receiving fair compensation. You have three years from the date that a hurricane first makes landfall in Florida to file a related claim. If you wait too long to contact your insurance company, you may lose the opportunity to recover financial compensation. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to preserve your right to file.
Schedule a Consultation With a Florida Hurricane Damage Attorney
If you recently suffered property damage from a hurricane or tropical storm in Florida, don’t hesitate to contact Williams Law, P.A. to request a free consultation with one of our experienced insurance claims attorneys. We can help you fight for the financial compensation that you deserve. Start with a free initial consultation at our Tampa, Florida law office. Call (800) 451-6786 or contact us online today to request your case review.