Florida Hurricane Damage Attorney
Living in Florida means living with hurricanes and the damage they can cause to your home, cars, business and other property. Although many homeowners have insurance policies to insure their home and property against damage in general, what most people don’t realize is that these policies do not cover hurricane related damage. Instead, many Florida insurance companies require home owners to purchase separate coverage to insure their property against damage caused by a hurricane.
But even with your general policy plus the extra hurricane protection, your insurance company could still try to deny your claim.
How Do You Know?
The details – and the dispute – can be found in the fine print.
For example, it is very common for a hurricane insurance policy to cover damage caused by hurricane winds, but to exclude any damage related to the flooding that always comes with a hurricane. In other words, if your home was damaged by hurricane-related flooding, the insurance company could claim that this is flood damage – not hurricane damage – and that the policy only covers hurricane damage.
Another example is mold damage caused by hurricane flooding. Here insurance companies could try to deny that the mold was caused by the hurricane and thus deny your claim. Finally, if your home was destroyed and must rebuilt, an insurance company might try to claim that they will only cover the costs of rebuilding your home exactly the way it was. This would be great, but often times a home was built decades ago and, since then, building and environmental codes have been changed, meaning it is impossible – if not illegal – for your home to be rebuilt ‘as it was’.
How do you know if your property damage should be covered by your insurance policy? Again, you have to look at the fine print. Granted, if the policy clearly excludes hurricane damage, then there’s little to dispute. However, all too often these policies are vague – at best. In these cases, an insurance company will often try to deny coverage by disputing the meaning of vague or misleading wording within a policy.
When you find yourself in this situation, it’s time to pick up the phone and call an experienced Florida hurricane damage attorney.
Hurricane Damage? Here’s What to Do – and Not to Do
Whether you are a home owner whose house was damaged by hurricane winds, a business owner whose offices have been flooded following a hurricane or a car owner whose vehicle was damaged while trying to evacuate – the natural response once the storm has cleared is to cleanup, repair and move on.
However, if you intend to seek compensation for the hurricane damage from an insurance carrier, the attorneys at the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. caution against being too ambitious about the cleanup. This is because many insurance companies mandate that an assessor come to the property to evaluate the hurricane damage and report their findings to the insurance carrier. If you start cleaning up and repairing the damage before the assessor does his or her report, then certain expenses that should be covered by your policy will be denied and your insurance company will not reimburse you.
Instead of immediately starting the cleanup process, after a hurricane you should start by always doing three things:
- Contact the insurance company and report the damage
- Record the damage by taking pictures and estimating the cost of the damage – and always save receipts!
- Contact a Florida hurricane damage attorney
Your Florida Hurricane Damage Attorney
Attorney James O. Cunningham has spent years helping people recover the compensation they deserve for hurricane related damage to their home or property. If your insurance company is trying to deny your claim, call the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, who can start by reviewing your insurance policy and advising you on what should and shouldn’t be covered.
If you have experienced hurricane-related damage and your insurance company is trying to mislead you, deny part or all of your claim, unreasonably delay payment or has only submitted partial payment, call the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. today. Scheduling your free initial consultation is the first step to rebuilding your life after a Florida hurricane.