Florida’s residents enjoy warm temperatures and endless sunshine the vast majority of the time. When a storm blows through the Sunshine State, however, its destructive force can be something to behold. All you can do is batten down the hatches and ride it out — and hope Mother Nature doesn’t take out her wrath on your home. If you are not so fortunate as to be passed up by the storm, you are undoubtedly counting on your homeowner’s insurance company to take care of your losses. Sometimes, however, storm damage claims are not handled as quickly nor as adequately as they should be.
Given the geography of the State of Florida, major storms are not an uncommon occurrence. Whether it is a tropical storm blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico or a hurricane traveling up the Atlantic Coast, Florida storms can produce high winds, lightning, and heavy rain. Those potentially destructive forces can cause extensive damage to your home and property. The last thing you need to worry about after suffering storm damage is whether your insurance company will reimburse you for your losses in a timely manner.
At Malik Law, we understand what it is like to be faced with the aftermath of a Florida storm. If your home and/or property was recently damaged in a storm, the experienced storm damage claims attorneys at Malik Law can help. Let us put our extensive experience to work for you to ensure that your insurance claim is approved in a timely manner.
Storm Damage Claims
Although most Florida homes are built strong, the force of a Florida storm can still cause extensive damage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, a typical year produces 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes in Florida. The 2019 hurricane season, however, yielded 18 named storms. Six of those named storms became hurricanes, including three major ones, defined as a Category 3 or higher, with maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph. These storms can cause a variety of damage, including:
- Water damage — even a relatively minor storm can cause water damage if the rain comes down hard and sticks around for several hours. In addition, strong storms can result in storm surge along the coastline which, in turn, can lead to flooding.
- Wind damage — a storm doesn’t need to reach hurricane force winds to cause major damage to your home or property. Even 30-50 m.p.h. winds are more than capable of causing tree branches to break or power lines to fall, both of which can damage your home.
- Fire damage — a strong storm often results in downed power lines that can lead to fires. The loss of electricity can also result in the loss of food inside your home as well as contribute to the growth of mold if you also experienced flooding.
- Flying debris damage — when a strong storm blows over, almost anything that isn’t secured in place (and even some things that are) is subject to taking flight. That flying debris can break windows, tear off roof shingles, and cause a variety of other damage to your home.
Filing a Storm Damage Claim
If you suffered damage to your home and/or property as a result of a recent storm, you should contact your homeowner’s insurance company as soon as possible after the fact. Before you do so, however, take the time to look over your policy to ensure that you are clear on what it should cover. For example, if a storm reached hurricane force winds, your policy will likely treat your claim differently than it would a claim for simple storm damage. By the same token, your policy may not cover flood damage at all because most homeowner’s policies require you to purchase flood insurance separately. That doesn’t mean, however, that your claim will necessarily be denied though. If flooding contributed to mold, for example, you may still have a valid claim.
What to Do If Your Claim Is Delayed, Underpaid, or Denied
From the date you submit a water damage claim to your insurance provider they have 15 days to act on that claim and either accept or reject it. For approved claims, the insurance company must issue payment within five business days. In the event your claim is denied, you are entitled to an explanation in writing that sets forth the reason(s) for the denial. If you have submitted a claim that has not been paid in a timely manner, has not been approved for the full amount, or has yet to be accepted or rejected, it is time to consult with an experienced Miami storm damage attorney.
Get Help from an Experienced Miami Storm Damage Attorney
The Miami storm damage attorneys at Malik Law P.A. have extensive experience assisting homeowners to navigate the often difficult insurance claims process. We already know which tactics an insurance company is likely to use in order to justify denying a claim. If you have suffered losses as a result of a storm, we will aggressively advocate on your behalf to ensure that you are fully compensated for that loss.
Call us at 407-500-1000 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Miami storm damage attorneys will explain your rights to you and discuss your legal options at no cost.