The strong, high-velocity winds we experience in Florida during the summer and early fall can damage both the exterior and interior of our homes. Strong tropical winds can blow off roofs, knock down trees and large branches, ruin fences, and turn common items left outside into dangerous projectiles.
If your property has suffered wind damage, your homeowners insurance policy should cover repair or replacement costs. However, there could be loopholes or ambiguities in your policy that the insurance company will leverage to avoid paying you what you need to repair the damage satisfactorily.
At Malik Law, our experienced insurance claim attorneys have helped many homeowners with their wind damage claims. We know the loopholes and tactics insurance companies use to deny, delay, or underpay legitimate claims and understand your legal rights as a Florida homeowners insurance policyholder. If your property has been damaged by the wind, we can help you at any stage of the insurance claim process and will work diligently to help you collect what is rightfully yours.
Advice on Filing a Wind Damage Insurance Claim
If your property has been damaged by wind, you need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible and file a wind damage insurance claim. We recommend that you take notes on and photograph all of the damage before moving or trying to salvage anything. It would also be helpful to have photos of your home and damaged items prior to the storm available for comparison, as well as any documentation you can find of costs and date of purchase of damaged items.
Your insurance company will send a representative to your property to assess the damage, so you shouldn’t try to fix anything beyond what is necessary to ensure your family’s safety. If you make temporary repairs with tarps, for example, be sure to take pictures of the damage first and save receipts for anything you purchased. You can use your own photos and documentation of the damage as a basis of comparison when you get the insurance company’s assessment and evaluation of the damage.
Getting Help with Your Wind Damage Claim
After you notify them of the damage to your property, your insurance company will send a representative to assess the damage. We suggest you also get a second opinion from a licensed contractor or public adjuster you trust at the beginning of claim process. In this way, you’ll have an estimate of repair costs to compare with your insurance company’s evaluation.
If you are satisfied with your insurance company’s payment and comfortable negotiating with them, then you most likely do not need an insurance claim attorney’s help. However, if you disagree with or don’t understand your insurance company’s decision on your wind damage claim, an experienced insurance claim attorney can definitely help. We’ve helped clients obtain fair payment for damages through negotiations or litigation in cases including:
- Denied claims. Your insurance company might deny your wind damage claim for a variety of reasons. Some could be legitimate reasons, but many are not. If your claim has been denied and you don’t understand why or don’t agree with the rationale for denial, an attorney can help you understand the denial and fight for the payment you deserve.
- Disagreements over what your policy covers. In many cases, insurance companies try to justify paying for only some of the damage. For example, if the wind rips off part of your roof, your insurance company might say they will pay for repairs, not replacement, even though you think the whole roof needs to be replaced. In other cases, they offer a percentage of the replacement cost, given the age of the roof, and not the actual cost. In cases such as these, having an experienced wind damage claim attorney review your claim can be very advantageous.
- Disagreements about the extent of damage. In other instances, insurance companies limit the amount of payment because they say the damage is less than you think it is. They may only see the surface damage, or they may think some of the damage occurred earlier.
- You don’t agree about the damage. You believe your home was damaged by recent high winds, but your insurance company claims it’s old damage. You believe high winds caused deeper damage to your siding, but your insurance company’s inspection only took surface damage into account. There are a lot of viewpoints regarding damage during negotiations about a wind insurance claim, and even minor disagreements about the type or extent of damage can make a huge difference in the outcome.
- An insurance company acts in “bad faith” when handling your claim. An insurance company acts in “bad faith” when it unfairly denies, delays, or underpays a claim or otherwise doesn’t “play by the rules.” In these cases, an attorney can help you understand your rights, build a case against the insurance company, and file a lawsuit, if necessary.
Ultimately, don’t accept a settlement you are unhappy with until you have investigated your rights with an experienced legal professional. If your property has severe damage, or if your insurance coverage is complex, you might also benefit from speaking with an attorney even before you submit a claim. This can be especially helpful for claims involving farms, commercial buildings, condos, and other properties that often carry many layers of coverage.
Get Help with Difficult Wind Insurance Claims
Insurance company representatives sometimes tell policyholders that hiring an attorney will slow down their claims or eat up their settlements, but the truth is that an attorney can help you fight for the fair outcome you deserve. In many cases, attorneys offer a free case review to talk about the problems you’re having, even if you later decide that hiring an attorney isn’t the right solution.
If you think you might need help with a wind insurance claim, learn more about how to find the best attorney for your insurance claims case, or you can contact Malik Law today at 407-500-1000 for immediate answers to your questions.
Choose Malik Law for Help with Your Florida Insurance Claims
Malik Law, PA is one of Florida’s leading insurance litigation law firms. We provide personalized, high quality legal representation for homeowners and injury victims seeking justice. We have helped our clients recover millions of dollars from insurance companies and want to help you obtain the payment you deserve.
For expert advice and personalized service, call us, chat online with us, or submit the Free Case Evaluation form on our website.