Hurricane Season begins in a few short weeks, and the good news is that researchers are predicting fewer major storms than last year. The bad news is that they are still predicting a greater number of storms than average, including 13 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes of category 3 or higher.
Whether or not these strong storms will hit Central Florida and Orlando is unknown. However, even unnamed tropical storms can damage our homes and other property, and the odds that at least one major storm will cause havoc and damage in our area are pretty high. Therefore, it’s a good idea to know what to do if your property is damaged during a tropical storm.
If any of your property is damaged by a storm, you need to do everything possible to protect it from further damage, such as flooding or mold. Getting repairs done quickly is vital, so you should contact your insurance company right away and file a claim for damages.
Thorough documentation of all the damage to your property is very helpful when filing a claim. Pictures of the damage, as well as an accompanying written record of what has been destroyed and what is missing can help speed up settling your claim. A list of dates of purchase and purchase prices for damaged items and receipts for big ticket items can also be very useful.
Usually, your insurance company will have an adjuster assess the damage to your property. Your pictures and other documentation of the damage will be useful, but the adjuster’s estimates for repairs and replacement may be lower than actual costs, or your insurance company could deny your claim altogether.
After filing a claim for storm damage, many property owners expect their insurance companies to respond promptly and pay to have the damage repaired. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Insurance companies can delay payment, deny a claim altogether, or try to settle for much less than the repair or replacement will cost.
If your storm damage claim is delayed, denied, or underpaid, you should get in touch with an attorney who specializes in insurance claims. Homeowners are always entitled to appeal an insurance company’s action, but insurance companies are generally unwilling to speed up their process or overturn a decision unless an experienced insurance claims attorney is putting pressure on them.
A knowledgeable insurance claims attorney can also determine if an insurance company should face legal penalties for its actions. For instance, if a claim is denied because of a provision that is not clearly expressed in the policy or If the company failed to warn a policy holder that common storm risks are not covered under the standard homeowner’s insurance policy, the company could be found guilty of intentionally misleading its clients.
At Malik Law, help people throughout Central Florida get compensated fairly for storm damage to their homes and other property. We want to help you understand your rights as a policyholder, handle your disputes over claims, and appeal and fight denied claims. We’re prepared to take your case all the way to trial if that is what it takes to get rightful compensation for your damages.
Call us at 417.500.1000 or submit our free case evaluation form online to talk with an experienced insurance claims attorney today.
Belles, J. (20 April 2018). Near-average 2018 Atlantic hurricane season expected, according to The Weather Company outlook. https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2018-04-19-2018-hurricane-season-forecast-the-weather-company-ibm-april
Colorado State University External Relations Staff. (5 April 2018). Slightly above-average 2018 Atlantic hurricane season predicted by SCU team. https://source.colostate.edu/slightly-above-average-2018-atlantic-hurricane-season-predicted-by-csu-team/