Florida Hurricane Insurance Claim Lawyers

 

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Hurricane season is an unavoidable part of living in Florida. After a hurricane, the damage to your home or business property can be devastating. Adding insult to injury, policyholders often find insurance companies delay, deny or make unacceptably low offers to legitimate policy claims. Williams Law, P.A. has the experience of helping victims of natural disasters recover the maximum compensation allowed under their homeowner or business owner’s insurance policy.

Hurricane Ian has left major damage across many areas of Florida near the Gulf of Mexico. Homeowners who have sustained property damage may be struggling to get the compensation they deserve from their insurance policy. For many, Hurricane Ian will mark the start of a long and painful battle with insurance companies and adjusters. The fight to rebuild can take years, and the funds are not easy to obtain – even when insurance policies cover it. 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 Hire a Florida Hurricane Damage Lawyer?

Do You Need to Hire a Hurricane Ian Damage Insurance Lawyer?

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

If your property suffered any type of damage in Florida due to Hurricane Ian, 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. 

Williams Law, P.A.’s Practice Areas for Our Clients

Our attorneys have extensive experience handling hurricane damage insurance claims in Tampa and throughout Florida. Our managing partner, Attorney K.C. Williams, has spent his entire career representing individuals and businesses with Florida-based insurance claims. He has established himself as one of the most active insurance claim lawyers in the state, with a reputation for achieving unparalleled results for his clients. Mr. Williams and his associates can aggressively pursue the following types of claims:

It is important to find a lawyer with experience with your specific type of case. This is the only way to know that your lawyer has the knowledge and real-world experience to properly handle your claim and recover maximum benefits. K.C. Williams has been litigating Florida hurricane damage claims for over 20 years. We know exactly how to handle hurricane claims and related insurance matters for all types of properties.

Reopening a Closed Hurricane Claim in Florida

At Williams Law, P.A., we also handle cases where our clients need to reopen a closed hurricane damage claim. For the most part, once a settlement is accepted, the insurance company sees the claim as closed and will not allow it to be reopened. However, under the law, insurance claims are open-ended. If your property sustains further damage after the initial event, such as wood rot from a leaky roof, you have the right to bring an additional claim. As you may expect, insurance companies do their best not to allow these claims to move forward.

If you wish to reopen your hurricane claim in Florida, you may need our lawyers to help you negotiate with the insurance carrier. We can help you pursue new damages under an old claim to pay for newly discovered or caused property damage connected to the storm. If the insurance company argues that your original settlement should cover your new damage, for instance, our lawyers can help you prove that the settlement is inadequate. We can bring in experts, if necessary, to establish your new damages. Mr. Williams has secured additional compensation in a number of closed hurricane damage claims.

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:

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 Are Your Options if Your Hurricane Ian Insurance Claim Is Underpaid?

When an insurance company gives you a low settlement offer, it will generally come with a release of liability waiver for you to sign. Do not sign this form or anything sent to you by the insurance company until you’ve discussed your case with an attorney you trust. Signing a liability waiver typically closes your case. It can be difficult to reopen a case and negotiate for higher compensation for the same losses. This is why it is important to take steps to ensure that your claim is paid in full the very first time.

If you believe that your homeowners or commercial insurance company has not offered enough to cover the full extent of your hurricane-related losses, you have the right to submit a counteroffer. This is an official document that explains why the settlement is too low, requests a higher amount and lists the losses included in your claim. If the insurance company gave a reason for undervaluing your claim, such as insufficient proof of your losses, your counteroffer may also require additional evidence submitted to the insurer to support the claim.

If your hurricane damage insurance claim is still being underpaid despite settlement negotiations, contact an attorney for assistance. Some insurance companies do not take clients seriously until they are represented by lawyers. You may need a lawyer to push an insurance company into offering fair compensation. If settlement negotiations fail to achieve the desired result, your lawyer can represent you during a hurricane damage lawsuit, instead. A lawsuit may provide a better outcome than an insurance settlement.

What to Do After Hurricane?

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 may need to go up against the insurance company directly by filing a bad-faith claim. This type of lawsuit can hold an insurer accountable for mishandling your claim or treating you unfairly. An attorney from Williams Law, P.A. can help you pursue a bad-faith claim in addition to your hurricane claim.

What Is the Deadline to File a Hurricane Damage Claim?

Like most legal processes, there is a deadline on the ability to file a hurricane damage lawsuit in Florida. While the language on your specific insurance policy will tell you the deadline for filing an insurance claim – typically, as soon as possible – state law gives you no more than three years from the date that a hurricane first makes landfall in Florida to file a related lawsuit. 

If you are filing a specific type of lawsuit connected to hurricane damage, such as a flood or wind damage claim, you may have a shorter deadline. Flood damage lawsuits depend on the language of the policy, but claimants typically have one year from the date of the insurance settlement offer or denial letter to file flood lawsuits. Wind damage lawsuits must be brought within two years. Sometimes, Florida will give extensions for certain hurricanes. 

It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you suffer property damage in a Florida hurricane. Insurance companies and the courts are strict with filing deadlines. 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 Lawyer

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.