If you are dealing with new damage related to a hurricane, you may worry that your insurance company won’t consider the issue because a prior claim has been paid. Although the company may view the case as closed, insurance claims are actually open-ended according to the law. Later damage that can be attributed to the same underlying cause can result in additional claims although an insurer might object.
Because an insurer may be uncooperative in reopening a claim, legal support may be helpful for addressing your damages. In the initial stages of dealing with this matter, you may have obtained coverage for a significant area of damage. However, underlying issues may not have been observed. Roof damage is a common example for Florida homeowners affected by hurricanes. A roof repair may solve the obvious problem, but additional parts of the roofing system could be compromised without being immediately identifiable. In such a case, an insurance provider might attempt to dismiss newly discovered damage as having been covered in a prior claim.
Expert information identifying the cause of the newly discovered damage may be helpful in such a situation. Additionally, familiarity with insurance law may be critical in pursuing action from a reluctant provider. While hurricanes create some of the most serious circumstances requiring later insurance claims after an initial settlement, flooding, hail, and lightning strikes can raise similar concerns. Problems with the interior systems of the home could also lead to a need for legal support in reopening claims.
If you are facing frustrations in dealing with your insurance company based on a prior closed claim, you may want to enlist assistance and support from a lawyer to determine whether your claim is completely closed or whether you have the option of reopening the it. Our catastrophic damage page has more information about these issues.
Source: Williams Law Association, P.A. , “Reopening A Hurricane Claim For New Losses Under Prior Property Damage Claims“, December 08, 2014
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