WIND, STORM, AND HAIL DAMAGE IN FLORIDA
At Pazos Law Group, we understand how frustrating it can be to deal with insurance companies and jump through hoops to get your storm damage claim filed. Let us help! We can help you file your claim or represent you if your insurance claim was denied or underpaid by your insurance company.
Living in Florida means dealing with the threat of severe storms quite often, some of which come with the potential for damage to your home or business. In order to keep their own losses low, sometimes insurance companies will purposely undervalue your damage or deny your claim unfairly. These bad faith actions can leave you without the help you need to repair the damages or recover your losses.
Storms can range from an everyday thunderstorm that creates lightning damage or a hurricane that destroys your home or business. Because of the damage that the 2005 hurricane season of 2005 did across the state, insurance companies began to approach storm damage claims differently.
For most home and business owners, these changes meant more complicated claims processes and frequent denials by insurance companies. Storms can cause damage in a number of ways, most of which are covered by your insurance–no matter what your insurance company says.
WIND and HAIL DAMAGE CLAIMS
Two of the most common causes of damage to homes and businesses during storms are wind and hail. Wind, obviously, can do damage by unearthing trees which fall on your property, causing projectile damage to windows and structures, and damaging the roof by loosening shingles or pulling them off entirely.
Hail, though more rare than severe winds, can also cause damage to the structure of your home or business. Window breaks and especially damage to the roofing granules or shingles and siding of your structure are common. Window and roof links can happen as a result, leading to interior damage. Unfortunately, many insurance companies will deny hail damage insurance claims right away, and especially refuse to pay for interior damage as a result of hail damage.
Have you had a storm, wind, or hail insurance claim denied or underpaid?
We can help! You won’t pay ANY attorney’s fees or costs unless we are able to get you the money you deserve. If we do get your claim paid, the insurance company often pays our fees and costs.
Schedule a free consultation with one of our insurance attorneys today by calling (954) 719-5557 or filling out the contact form below.
ROOF DAMAGE AFTER THE STORM
One of the most common problems after a storm of any kind is roof damage. Roof damage can lead to a host of other problems, including damage to the interior of your home. When a roof is damaged by, for example, damaging shingles or tiles, water has a way to leak into the house. Depending on how severe the leak is, that water can cause damage to everything from the sheathing underneath the shingles to drywall, cabinetry, electrical system, flooring, appliances, countertops and personal items.
All of the above damages, and likely more, are most likely covered by your insurance policy. In fact, if the damaged roof shingles or tiles have been discontinued or can’t be matched, your insurance company may have to replace your entire roof.
WILL MY INSURANCE COVER STORM DAMAGE?
The short answer to this question is yes, your homeowners insurance policy covers damage to your home or business that is caused by all types of storms. The insurance claim lawyers at Pazos Law Group have represented home and business owners, successfully helping them get full compensation from their insurance company.
The long answer to this question is that you need to know what your specific policy includes and excludes. Some types of damage may be covered, but others may be excluded–and you need to know that before you file a claim. In almost every case, if the storm that caused the damage was a named storm (i.e. a tropical storm or a hurricane), your policy will likely have a specific higher deductible that you’ll have to pay before you get any money from your insurance company.
It’s important to note that many policies do not include flood coverage, even if the flood occurred as a result of some other damage that is covered, like a roof leak. Read your coverage carefully, because your policy may also cover other expenses for a named storm, like those related to an evacuation (hotel, transportation, food, etc.). If your policy allows for these costs, make sure to save your receipts and submit them to your claims adjuster.
Whether or not the storm that caused your damage was a named storm or not, every insurance policy has a standard deductible that you’ll need to pay before the insurance company begins to pay. More than likely, because of the widespread damage caused by tropical storms and hurricanes, the deductible for those types of storms is much higher and is likely a percentage of your home or business’s value rather than a flat amount that might apply to other situations.
WHAT TACTICS DO INSURANCE COMPANIES USE TO DENY A STORM DAMAGE CLAIM?
If you’ve filed a storm damage claim, you’ve probably encountered several of the methods that insurance companies use to underpay or deny your claim. They may try to delay or deny your claim out right, or suggest that you have done something wrong that results in the denial.
Insurers may use any number of reasons to pay your claim, including but not limited to:
- Finding that pre-existing damage caused the problem
- Suggesting that bad construction or maintenance contributed to the loss
- Arguing that the damage is the result of manufacturing defects
- Disputing the value of the loss or damage to your property
- Insisting that the damage needs only minor repairs rather than full replacement
- Denying payment for repairs, debris removal, or living expenses
If you’ve heard any of these arguments from your insurance company, you may need an insurance attorney who can help you stand up to your insurer and get you the money you deserve for your storm damage claim. We have experience navigating the Florida insurance system and can get you the compensation that your insurance policy says you are entitled to.