Hurricane Ian struck Florida on September 28, 2022, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. If Hurricane Ian damaged or destroyed your home, you are likely facing several challenges, just one of which is trying to repair or rebuild your home. You need money to do that, and you should be able to get that money from your insurance company. However, that’s often much easier said than done.
At GED Lawyers, our Panama City personal injury lawyers understand you are going through a difficult time as you try to rebuild your home and your life. If your insurance company has denied or delayed your claim, a Panama City Hurricane Ian lawyer from our firm is here to make the process easier.
Working With a Panama City Hurricane Ian Lawyer
A Panama City disaster recovery lawyer from our firm can help you:
- Dispute insurance claim denials
- Ensure you understand the specifics of your claim
- Negotiate with insurers
- Manage communications with insurance companies
- Keep you updated on your case’s status
- Explain complicated legal terminology
If you let us handle the specifics of your claim, you can spend your time where it really counts. We’ll deal with your insurer while you focus on getting your life back on track.
Why Would I Hire a Panama City Hurricane Ian Lawyer?
Hiring a Panama City Hurricane Ian attorney could be helpful in a few situations, such as if:
- You’re unsure about the specifics of your insurance policies
- You believe your claim has been unfairly denied
- You’re busy and don’t have the energy to dedicate to your insurance claim
Understanding Panama City Hurricane Claims
After a hurricane, receiving compensation for damaged property is a priority. To receive compensation, you’ll need to review your applicable insurance policies and file a claim. Generally, there are two types of insurance to account for.
Homeowner’s insurance in Panama City is complicated. For complete hurricane coverage, you’ll need two types of insurance policies:
- Standard homeowners’ insurance, which covers wind damage
- Flood insurance, which covers water damage
Per Florida Statutes § 627.712, homeowners’ insurance policies must provide coverage for wind damage. So, if you have a homeowners’ policy, you most likely have wind damage coverage. However, this type of policy does not cover flood damage, which frequently occurs after a hurricane.
Flood insurance is sold separately from homeowners’ insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides a range of flood insurance policies through its network of insurers.
Hurricane Ian may have also damaged or destroyed your car. The amount of insurance coverage you’ll receive depends on your car insurance policy. These are the two most common types of car insurance:
- Liability insurance: Liability insurance is designed to protect you from legal action. To do so, it provides compensation to those you may have injured in an accident. It does not offer damage coverage for your own car in most cases.
- Comprehensive insurance: Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car from hail, projectiles, and fallen trees. This type of insurance is ideal in hurricane-prone areas and could provide full coverage, depending on the type of policy you carry.
Helping You Understand Your Coverage
We get it—insurance language is complicated. Just because you purchased an insurance policy doesn’t mean you understand its specifics. At GED Lawyers, we’re familiar with the ins and outs of Panama City insurance plans. If you join us as a client, we can review your policies, so you understand the limits of your coverage. This way, you’ll know if your insurer isn’t providing you with a fair claim.
How Do I File a Hurricane Ian Insurance Claim?
If you’re planning to file a Hurricane Ian insurance claim, you need to focus on gathering evidence, such as:
- Photos and videos of the damage to your property
- Statements from your neighbors
- Documentation of your expenses, like invoices and receipts
Then, it’s best to file your claim as soon as possible. Be persistent with insurers, and don’t back down. Our Panama City hurricane lawyers can be in your corner if you feel overwhelmed by the claims process.
Similarly, it’s important to keep detailed records of your communications with insurers, including:
- Phone numbers
- Contact information
- Names of those involved in your claim
- Email exchanges
This information is invaluable. It tells you exactly whom you’re communicating with and provides a record of what they’ve said about your case. If an insurer disputes what they’ve said about your claim, you’ll have the evidence to prove them wrong, provided you keep detailed records.
Your Claim May Be Denied
Hurricane Ian was one of the most devastating hurricanes in the history of Florida. According to CBS News, the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation reports that estimated insurer losses have reached $4.5 billion.
This isn’t great news for those seeking relief. The more claims insurers need to deal with, the more likely they may be to lowball your claim. Remember, insurance companies aren’t charities; they’re businesses. Their goal is to save money, not provide you with appropriate relief.
If your insurance company denied your claim, you have options:
- Negotiate with your insurer to find a positive resolution
- Seek an appraisal
- File a lawsuit
At GED Lawyers, our goal is to ensure that you receive fair compensation. We’re prepared to fight every step of the way, even if that means taking your case to court. If you’re planning on appealing a denied claim, we can discuss the specifics of your case during a free evaluation.
Your Rights as a Homeowner in Panama City
As a homeowner in Panama City, you’re entitled to the rights outlined in Florida’s Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights (Florida Statutes § 627.7142). Here are a few highlights from this law:
- Your insurance company must acknowledge your claim within 14 days of its submission.
- You should receive payment for the undisputed portion of your claim within 90 days. (If your insurer disputes your claim, this timeline may become more complicated.)
- You can receive free mediation from the Florida Department of Financial Services in the case of a dispute.
Similarly, as an insurance consumer in Panama City, you’re protected from “bad faith” insurance practices. Examples of “bad faith” insurance practices include:
- Your insurer failing to settle your claim promptly
- Your insurer failing to settle your claim in “good faith”
- Your insurer providing claims payments without proper financial statements
At GED Lawyers, we’re familiar with Panama City insurance law. We’ll know if your insurer is operating in “bad faith.” Failing to operate in “good faith” could be grounds for a lawsuit. Our Panama City Hurricane Ian attorneys are here to ensure you know your rights.
Hire a Panama City Hurricane Ian Lawyer Today
Are you confused about the hurricane claims process? Do you believe your claim is being unfairly disputed? Let a Panama City Hurricane Ian lawyer from our team handle your case. We can provide you with legal advice and representation. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.