Did your house suffer significant damage from a hurricane? Learn about what to do when determining hurricane insurance, then call our lawyers.
1) Select the Correct Attorney
The best way to find a lawyer to hire for a hurricane claim in Florida is to find a lawyer with experience in handling these types of matters. This was a property claim, it’s not an injury claim per se. You need lawyers that are board certified to handle these matters because insurance companies, many times, force insurers into litigations. Clearly, the best way to look at a lawyer or a law firm is to check their experience in handling these claims and their ratings, which are now published online.
2) Mistakes After a Hurricane Insurance Claim
As a result of a hurricane claim, we have seen people make various types of mistakes. Number one is they don’t realize how much damage has been done to their home. For instance, primarily with tile roofs, a lot of people look at their roofs and they see the tiles are all in place and they think there’s no damage when in fact there could be substantial damage due to what’s known as lift where the seal has been broken between the tile and the roofing structure itself.
The other mistake we see people make occasionally is they do not document the claim properly or keep track of their time spending on putting their claim together and preserving their property under your policy of duty to preserve any property from further damage and you’re entitled to be compensated for the time that you do that. It needs to be documented.
The last mistake we see occasionally is that people don’t document their claim as far as with photography or video. It’s very important to document everything that’s been damaged as a result of the storm and to hang on to it. Do not discard it because insurance company wants the opportunity to look at it also and evaluate your loss and also sometimes insurance company wants to pay you for it and want to take possession of the salvage. Please make sure that you document your claim before you throw anything away.
3) Hurricane Insurance Claim Denied
If the insurance company denies your claim, we can help you in several different ways. One, we can make sure that the claim was properly presented, and a proof of loss is timely submitted to help document your claim and start the clock ticking for the insurance company’s legal requirement to pay you. Number two, we can hire and usually we hire engineers to inspect the home to determine whether or not the loss was actually caused by the hurricane or some other loss. Three, we use public adjustors, people that have access to estimate writing programs that can go through your home and actually document and scope out the loss to present the proper amount of the loss that’s supportable in the event we end up in litigation with your insurance company.
4) Bad Faith Insurance
Bad faith in insurance hurricane claims refers to the fact that the insurance company repeated and has made it a practice not to pay claims in a fair and equitable amount in a timely manner. An insurance company does this because they want to save money or they don’t have the resources presently available to pay claims, they decide to take a path to delay claims unnecessarily. An insurance company can be guilty of what’s known as bad faith because under your policy, the insurance company has an implied duty of good faith to handle your claim timely and fairly. If they breach that duty, then if that breach causes you to suffer additional damage because you’re out of your home for an extended period of time, for instance, then the insurance company can be responsible for any additional damage you suffer that are not covered by the policy directly but are caused by the insurance company’s delay. This is known as a bad faith claim.
If your house or your business has had significant damage from the hurricane and have questions about what to do when determining hurricane insurance, contact our experienced Southwest Florida hurricane insurance claim lawyers today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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