Whether or not your homeowner’s insurance will cover hurricane damage claims depends on the policy you purchased. Homeowner’s insurance covers some hurricane damage claims in Florida.
Basic homeowner’s coverage will help you in the case of wind damage caused by hurricanes. However, it might not cover other hurricane damage such as flooding. Our property damage lawyers can help you file a claim with your insurer after a hurricane damages your home.
What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?
In Florida, you can choose from a range of different homeowner’s insurance policies. Most standard policies will cover damage from hurricanes such as:
- Windstorm damage
- Falling trees
- Other damages caused by hurricane winds
According to Florida Statutes § 627.712, insurers that provide homeowner’s insurance must provide windstorm coverage. This coverage would only be excluded if you decided to opt out of it in writing.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Typically, homeowner’s policies cover water damage caused by pipe bursts and leaking roofs. They usually don’t cover flood damage, which is the primary type of water damage caused by hurricanes. Therefore, if you only have a standard homeowner’s policy, you probably won’t be covered for flood damage.
Securing Flood Damage Coverage
Flood insurance policies are separate from homeowner’s insurance policies. These types of policies protect your home from flood damage caused by hurricanes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides a network of flood insurers through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
How Do I Know What Homeowner’s Insurance Covers?
The only way to know exactly what your policies cover is to review your insurance plans. If you’re struggling with the claims process, or believe that your claim was unfairly denied, consider contacting our law firm. We can explain the specifics of your policy and help you deal with claim rejections.
My Homeowner’s Insurance Claim Was Rejected. What Do I Do?
Homeowner’s insurance and flood insurance claims can be rejected for a variety of reasons, including:
- You don’t have the right type of insurance
- Your home didn’t meet the damage threshold
- You failed to submit important documentation
- Your insurer couldn’t get in touch with you
Luckily, if your claim was rejected, you have options for getting the financial help you need. There are several ways you can dispute a rejected claim or request a higher insurance payment, including:
- Working with an appraiser: During the appraisal process, you contact a third-party appraiser who reviews your claim. Then, they work with your insurance company to alter the value of your claim. Hiring an appraiser does not guarantee you’ll receive an improved claim settlement.
- Filing a lawsuit: If you believe your claim was rejected unfairly, you have the right to file a lawsuit with your insurer. Working with our lawyer during this process could help you ensure your lawsuit is filed correctly and on time.
- Requesting an appeal: If your claim involved an NFIP insurer, you can file an appeal directly with FEMA. During an appeal, you need to provide evidence that supports your hurricane claim.
- Contacting and negotiating with an insurer: You may also contact your insurer directly and negotiate the terms of your claim. This approach typically applies to situations where you believe that your insurer made a mistake in their claim.
Do I Need To Hire a Lawyer if My Claim Was Rejected?
You’re not required by law to hire a lawyer if your homeowner’s insurance claim was rejected. However, insurance matters are often complicated. It may be difficult to prove that your insurer made a mistake if you aren’t familiar with the details of your policy. Our lawyer could assist you in several ways, including:
- Reviewing the details of your insurance policy
- Negotiating with your insurer
- Giving you breathing room while you get your life back on track
- Gathering evidence related to your case
- Filing a lawsuit if needed
- Protecting your rights
You Have Rights as an Insurance Consumer
As outlined in Florida Statutes § 627.7142, you have several protections as an insurance consumer, including:
- The right to your insurer acknowledging your claim within 14 days
- The right to your insurer informing you of your coverage within 30 days
- The right to full payment of the undisputed portion of your claim within 90 days
Similarly, Florida Statutes § 624.155 protects you against “bad faith” insurance practices. This type of behavior can include failing to resolve a case within a reasonable time frame or not acting honestly toward the insured. Conducting “bad faith” insurance practices can be grounds for legal action.
Consult With Our Hurricane Claims Lawyer Today
If your homeowner’s claim was denied, or you believe you deserve more than you were offered, we can help. At GED Lawyers, we can provide legal representation when you need to deal with your insurance company. Contact our offices for a free initial consultation today. During this meeting, we can discuss the specifics of your case.