Hurricane damage can range from mild wind damage to significant flooding and complete devastation of your property. Hurricane Ian left thousands of families facing property damage and destruction. If you lost your home or had damage from the storm, your biggest concern may be how to recover.
Generally, you will contact your insurance carrier to start a claim. However, insurance companies can be difficult to deal with on your own. Our Florida Ian Hurricane lawyers can help you file your claim. We know how to document your damage to recover the compensation you need. Additionally, our attorneys will help you with any legal issues that arise along the way while providing support throughout the claim process.
We Will Fight for The Compensation You and Your Family Deserve
Your insurance claim could be straightforward and uncontested with minor hurricane property damage. However, it is essential to remember that insurance providers are for-profit companies, so the money they pay out in claims takes away from that profit. Therefore, in some cases, an insurance company may attempt to undervalue a claim to protect its best interests.
Keep in mind that the initial settlement offer from an insurance company is not the final say. You can reject an offer and renegotiate for a better outcome. We can help with that. From the moment you hire us, we begin working on your case and fight to protect your best interests by providing the following services:
- Explaining what is (or is not) covered by your insurance policy
- Assessing all sources of coverage, such as home or auto insurance policies
- Managing case administration and ensuring paperwork is filed on time
- Offering guidance when dealing with insurance adjusters
- Documenting your damage and the effect it had on your family
- Fighting for your benefits in the event of claim denial
- Communicating with your insurer
- Shielding you from accepting lowball offers from insurers
- Answering your questions promptly
- Guiding you through every stage of the legal process
Our commitment to maintaining high levels of client satisfaction provides peace of mind that we are always working hard to serve your best interests. For example, when our hurricane damage attorneys manage communications with insurance companies, your rights are protected, and your case is fairly represented. This helps prevent mistakes resulting in delayed, undervalued, or denied claims.
What Can I Recover After Hurricane Ian?
Leaving tens of billions of dollars of damage in its wake, recovering from a hurricane’s financial and emotional effects can take a heavy toll on homeowners and businesses. In serving the people of Florida, we have witnessed the devastation caused by hurricanes and understand our clients’ frustrations when seeking compensation from insurers due to undervalued or unfairly denied claims. As such, we represent clients in the following circumstances:
Residential Claims with Your Home or Auto Insurance
Typically, homeowner’s insurance will cover property damage from hurricanes based on the number of actual damages suffered. However, not all insurance policies cover all types of damage caused by hurricanes. For example, many policies will cover wind damage but may not cover flooding. Our Hurricane Ian property damage claims lawyers can help you understand what your policy will cover.
In addition to your homeowner’s policy, you may have hurricane coverage included in your auto policy. Standard car insurance coverage will likely not cover damage done by a hurricane. However, if you purchased additional auto insurance, you could be able to file a hurricane claim for damage done to your car.
The first step in filing a claim under your homeowner’s insurance policy is to collect as much information as possible, including:
- Photos and videos documenting the damage
- Statements from neighbors or other witnesses
- Estimates for repairs from reputable repair providers
Maintaining a notebook or file of all information about the hurricane and subsequent damage to your property is a solid recommendation. Include notes about any conversations you have with your insurance carrier. When you speak with anyone, record as much information as possible about the call, including:
- Names of any insurance personnel you talk with
- Phone numbers with applicable extensions
- Letters or emails you receive from the insurance company
- General notes about the conversations
Keeping all your information about your claim in one location and maintaining accurate notes about conversations can bolster your claim in case of a denial from the insurance company.
Commercial Building Hurricane Damage Claims
Policy terms in commercial insurance coverage can be ambiguous, making it challenging to understand what you are entitled to recover or even if your claim is being dealt with fairly. As such, it is vital to understand your policy coverage, as almost every commercial building insurance policy comes with exclusions. For example, standard policies only typically cover hurricane or flood damage if you purchase extra protection. We also check for coverage related to:
- Specialized or expensive equipment
- Your coverage if you run a business from home
- Your coverage if you rent business premises or as a property owner
- Whether your business property is insured at its replacement value or actual cash value
- Any additional coverage you have under insurance riders, such as business interruption insurance or flood protection
Whatever the size of your business, our commercial building hurricane damage attorneys will protect your legal rights and cut through the jargon to get you the compensation needed to reopen your doors as quickly as possible. We understand how hard you have worked to create success, so we work equally as hard to protect your business and ensure you are appropriately compensated.
If you believe your property damage claim was underpaid, it can be difficult to know what to do. If you have received an offer and have yet to accept it, reviewing your options in a free consultation with our team may be beneficial to see where you stand legally. Insurance companies rarely open with their best offer, so there could be room to renegotiate for a more favorable outcome.
However, there is still hope if you have already accepted a settlement offer. Fortunately, Florida law enables you to reopen property damage insurance claims to contest a settlement, but the process can be complex and has a five-year deadline. We can help you stay organized and investigate your claim to determine if the insurance company missed or undervalued anything, negatively affecting your settlement.
Unfairly Denied Claims
Occasionally, an insurance provider acts in “bad faith” and denies claim payments regardless of contractual obligations. An insurance policy is considered a legal contract. As such, you are protected under the law as a policyholder if your insurer fails to settle a valid claim, provided you uphold your side by making premium payments. Additionally, you could recover damages above your policy limits sometimes.
To give you an idea of bad-faith insurance practices, here are a few common examples:
- Your claim was denied without a valid explanation
- Your insurer failed or refused to investigate your case promptly
- The terms of your insurance coverage are intentionally misleading
- Your insurer unreasonably delayed your claim or knowingly offered less than your policy covers
Florida bad faith insurance laws are outlined in Florida Statutes § 624.155(1). Contact our team for clarification and advice if you believe your insurer has denied your claim for unfair reasons. We will fight to get you the insurance coverage and damage recovery you paid for.
Additional Tips for Hurricane Claims
It is essential to protect your property from additional damage. If your roof leaks, seal it from further damage by placing a tarp or other temporary protection. Move as much undamaged property into a safe location as soon as you can enter your property after the storm.
File your claim following a major weather event such as Hurricane Ian as soon as possible. Check your policy for rules on filing deadlines. Florida Statutes § 627.70132 dictates that property claims be filed within two or three years of the damage, depending on the policy type, but your policy may dictate otherwise. Our team can help you get your claim filed on time.
What Kind of Damage did Hurricane Ian Cause?
Hurricane Ian left a wide path of destruction across Florida. Depending on where in the state you reside, you may have suffered minor damage or complete property destruction. Some of the typical damage reported following Hurricane Ian include:
- Roof damage, including gutters and siding
- Broken windows
- Flooding and water damage
- Fire damage
- Moisture damage
- Collapsed structures
- Debris deposited on the property
- Property damage to interior spaces, fixtures, and furnishings
- Landscaping damage
- Damage to outside structures such as pools, garages, or sheds
- Structural damage to doors, walls, porches, and conservatories
- Damage to other personal property, such as cars, boats, and other vehicles
Whatever damage you have, regardless of the severity, you deserve to have your claim paid promptly. Our disaster recovery team will work for you to get the recovery you deserve.
What Our Previous Clients Say About Our Hurricane Damage Attorneys:
Over the years, we have helped many homeowners and businesses to recover the money they deserve in hurricane property damage claims. To give you an idea of what we can do for you, our previous clients share their experiences with our legal services below.
- “Hurricane Michael caused significant damage to our home. When the insurance company only wanted to pay out a fraction of what was needed to repair our home, we contacted GED Lawyers. Scott and Beliana took great care of us throughout the process of making our case against the insurance company. In the end, we recovered our policy limits through negotiation but I’m confident we would have won our case in court if we had not settled.” – C. Williams.
- “Very Professional and caring group. Michelle Kitchen was very kind and helpful through all the processes of my case. She even kept me up to date on current goings even after a Hurricane destroyed Panama City, where the offices were located. Thanks again, Michelle.” – Josh Pfeiffer
Contact Us for A Free Consultation to Learn More About Your Legal Options
If you sustained property damage from Hurricane Ian, contact GED Lawyers to fight for you. Our Hurricane Ian response team will work with you on an initial claim or file an appeal of a denied or undervalued claim. Our experience in Florida spans many years and numerous significant storms. We fight hard to get you compensation to repair your property while providing the support you need along the way.
Begin today by calling our office for a free case evaluation.