Hurricane and Tropical Storm Damage Insurance Lawsuits
Major storms, including hurricanes, can strike with little warning in Florida, causing devastation to your home and life. In the aftermath of a hurricane, once you have secured you and your family’s safety one of the next steps is filing a claim for damages with your insurance company.
Getting an insurer to pay a claim is not always easy. However, having a hurricane and tropical storm coverage attorney from Farah & Farah on your side can ensure that the insurance company does not manipulate or take advantage of your situation. If you are having difficulty with your insurance company after a natural disaster, call us at 877-245-6707.
Dealing with Insurance Companies For a Hurricane or Tropical Storm
Insurance companies are for-profit companies. They are not in business to pay claims. They will try to delay, underpay, or even outright deny claims knowing that the claimants desperately need the money to make repairs. A successful claim often means playing offense. By taking charge of your claim, you can take to make sure the insurance company operates in good faith.
You should be the first to do everything from visiting the scene and taking video and photographs, to hiring experts and getting estimates of the damage. If you’ve done the work to cooperate with your insurance company and they still fail to adjust the claim in a proper and timely manner you have additional remedies. Here are some pre- and post-disaster tips if your damage sustains damages.
Before a Storm
- Locate and copy all insurance policies. Keep this information save and available.
- Start a Storm Journal, documenting all purchases, expenses, leases, and rentals, as well as all communications with your insurance company.
- Photograph and/or video your home and its contents in case you suffer a loss.
- Stay safe. You are your family come first.
After a Storm
- Continue to keep safety in mind. Just because the winds and rain have stopped doesn’t mean all dangers are gone. Do not enter unsafe buildings and avoid standing water until an electrician can inspect.
- Inspect your home. Has water entered the home? Are the walls bulging or torn? Are there openings around windows? Photograph and/or video the post-storm condition of the home. This is important to ensuring coverage.
- As soon as you find damages contact the insurance company and file a claim.
- Inform your insurance company if you need to make temporary repairs and then do so. If your home is damaged further after a storm passes, your insurance company may try to blame you.
- Demand an inspection and cooperate with the insurance company in accessing your property.
- Continue your Storm Journal:
- Save copies of checks, estimates, invoices, and receipts of all pre-and post-disaster purchases, expenses, leases, and rentals.
- Keep a record of contact information and conversations with insurance representatives, adjusters, and experts.
- Be aware of important documents such as the “Proof of Loss.” Your insurance company may require a Proof of Loss. This is a sworn statement of your loss. Strict deadlines may apply.
- For a business, discuss loss of income with an accountant and calculate any losses. Take steps to get the business running to mitigate damages.
Top 5 Things to Know About Dealing with your Insurance Company in a Hurricane Claim:
- Your Insurance company has 90 days from the date you make your claim to pay you or deny your claim. File your claim as soon as possible.
- If your insurance company tells you you’re only owed the “actual cash value” of your claim, check your policy. You may be able to claim the full replacement cost.
- Just because you receive a denial or partial denial doesn’t mean your claim has to be done. You can appeal any denial.
- Insurance companies often do substandard inspections and quickly declare your damages to be “wear and tear.” Don’t let the insurance company cheat you out of the coverage you pay for.
- Insurance companies frequently undervalue damages or try to force you to make cheap replacements. Be careful to not be taken advantage of.
If your insurance company is giving you difficulty with any timing, inspection, or payment issue, reach out to Farah & Farah. Our attorney may be able to help.
Business Claims After a Hurricane
Just like residential properties, businesses also experience devastating damage from hurricanes and other major storms. Not only do businesses face the difficulties of dealing with physical damage claims, but they also have to consider the loss of income resulting from the storm. These claims are complex and require extensive experience navigating the hurricane insurance claims process.
Collecting payment for a business’s lost income can be extremely difficult. A review of profit and losses for current and prior years may need to be conducted by a forensic accountant. This review takes time. Other factors also add to calculating loss such as if it is a low or busy season for the business or can the business make up the lost income. In addition to calculating the loss, your policy can include a number of exclusions and endorsements changing your coverage beyond the main policy. If a business did not experience damage directly from the storm but another component, such as flooding from the storm, getting the loss of income paid can require a difficult reading of your coverage.
Farah & Farah can evaluate these calculations accurately and hold the insurers accountable that they provide a fair offer. If your business has been damaged because of physical damage, power outages, or loss of business, we want to help you navigate your insurance coverage.
Hurricane and Tropical Storm Coverage Attorneys Helping You Recover after a Hurricane
Losing your home and your possessions during a hurricane is devastating and the steps you take after such a tragedy significantly impact how you will rebuild your life. Insurance companies are a necessary factor in recovering after a major storm and a hurricane and tropical storm attorney at Farah & Farah may be able to help you get the payments you’re counting on. To learn more about your rights and options, contact us at 877-245-6707 for a consultation today.