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Hurricane Damage Attorney in Florida

Hurricane Damage Attorney in Florida

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Hurricanes can severely affect Florida owners’ lives, resulting in wind, water, and other damage to their homes and businesses. Hurricane Ian, one of the most significant storms to ever hit Florida, caused $63 billion in damage in 2022.

Thousands of people seek compensation for property damage after a severe hurricane by filing hurricane damage claims with their property insurance companies. However, insurers can delay or deny claims, slowing financial recovery.

The hurricane damage attorneys at Nessler & Associates can assist you and your family if a hurricane damages your home in Florida. We can help you understand your insurance coverage, prove the value of your damages, and submit the claim on your behalf. We can also help you fight a claim denial from your insurance company.

What Does Hurricane Insurance Cover in Florida?

As a Florida resident, it’s essential to understand whether you have adequate hurricane insurance coverage before you file a claim. Your hurricane damage lawyer will explain the coverages in your insurance policy and help you determine your deductible.

Coverage for Types of Damage From a Hurricane

Hurricane damage deductibles apply to all Florida homeowners who suffer losses due to a hurricane declared by the National Hurricane Center. Losses include damage to:

  • Structural interior damage
  • Sleet, hail, and storm damage from storm surges
  • Wind damage that causes rain, sand, and dust to damage your property

These damages must occur within 72 hours of the end of the last hurricane watch and at any time when hurricane conditions exist for you to pay your deductible.

The Deductible Amount Varies Depending On the Risk to Your Property

In hurricane season, the deductible varies depending on the degree of risk to your property. Insurers in Florida must offer deductible amounts of $500, 2%, 5%, or 10% of the dwelling limits of the policy unless the deductible is less than $500. In the event of a claim, the insurance company will only pay when you meet the deductible.

Deadline to File an Insurance Claim After a Hurricane in Florida

Homeowners have up to three years to file claims for hurricane property damage under Florida law. However, most insurers require submitting claims within one year of the date of the disaster.

Your hurricane damage lawyer can help you organize your claim to meet the deadline. They can advise you on how to document the damages, save your repair receipts, and file a claim as soon as possible.

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How an Attorney Can Help You File a Hurricane Insurance Claim

It is critical to file an insurance claim for hurricane damage in Florida as soon as possible. An experienced property damage lawyer from Nessler & Associates can guide you through the steps you need to take to maximize your chances of securing a fair payout.

Assemble Evidence of the Damages

Documenting the extent of your losses and capturing proof of the storm’s impact is crucial. Proof of damages can improve the chances of getting a fair offer from your insurance company and expedite the process. Your lawyer can help you assess the full extent of the damages to maximize your claim.

For instance, don’t limit your photos after a storm surge to just water damage. Instead, your lawyer may suggest taking pictures of the surrounding walls, the home’s exterior, and nearby equipment. This equipment includes damaged power lines and water systems that impacted your home.

Compile a List of Damaged Items

Submitting your hurricane damage insurance claim to the insurer will document all damage to your home and property. Your lawyer will help you list the damaged items on your property to accompany your photos and estimate their value.

Prepare a Detailed Expense Report for Repairs

Some home repairs are unavoidable to prevent further damage to your home, such as severe roof damage that can increase the risk of further water damage. A lawyer will suggest you maintain a detailed account of the repairs to your home. Photos of the damage before and after your fixes can highlight the immediate need to restore your home to an adequate living condition.

Review Your Need to Live in an Alternate Accommodation

A living expense policy in your insurance may cover your expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a hurricane. Covered living expenses may include hotel stays, laundry facilities, food, and storage. Your lawyer can check with your insurance adjuster to confirm that your insurance policy covers these expenses after a storm.

Find Out if Your Insurance is Acting in Bad Faith

You can work with your lawyer to understand how insurance adjusters operate as the insurance company investigates your claim. Your lawyer can recognize bad faith tactics like the following when an insurer is not acting in your best interests:

  • Unresponsiveness to your phone calls, emails, and letters
  • Delaying your settlement after processing your claim
  • Excessive documentation requests, stalling the claim process
  • Lowball settlement offer that doesn’t cover all your damages
  • Misrepresentation of your policy to deny or undervalue your settlement
  • Updating your policy to assert your claim is uncoverable under the new policy terms

If your lawyer believes your insurer unfairly denied your claim or acted in bad faith regarding your claim, they can assess your case and help you explore your options for pursuing a settlement:

  • Willingness to negotiate with the insurance company. An experienced lawyer can demonstrate your desire to work with the insurer by complying with all requests for information and evidence of your losses.
  • File a Complaint With Florida’s Department of Consumer Services. The Department of Consumer Services allows you to file a complaint regarding your insurance policy. You may need to go through a mediation process through the department to resolve your insurance complaint.

File a Lawsuit to Seek Adequate Compensation

If the insurance company refuses to negotiate your settlement, you may need to move forward with a lawsuit. This lawsuit can force the insurance company to investigate the claim process and give you the best chance of receiving the total value of your claim.

Your lawyer can also represent you in court and get the settlement offer you need to repair your home.

Contact a Florida Hurricane Damage Attorney at Nessler & Associates

If you suffered property damage losses after a hurricane, the law firm of Nessler & Associates can help you with your claim. Our property damage lawyers’ experience and determination can help you with your hurricane damage claims and any insurance disputes.

Call us at (800) 727-8010 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers. Our firm operates on a contingency fee arrangement, and with our no fee guarantee, there is no risk to you for getting the legal representation you need to help get the money you are owed to repair your home or business.

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