Even if you’ve prepared for Hurricane Dorian, the storm and its aftermath can cause major damage to your Central Florida property. Tropical-storm-force winds can damage trees, roofs, windows, siding, lanais, patios, and items left outside. Heavy rain and storm surge can damage home interiors, furniture and other items inside your home.
Knowing what kind of damage typically occurs from hurricanes and what to do immediately following a storm can make a big difference in how quickly and fully you recover from the storm.
While weather predictions often focus on the strength and speed of the wind, water is usually a much greater threat during and after a storm. Heavy rainfall throughout Central Florida can readily cause our inland waterways and sewers to flood, damaging homes and other property and making living conditions unsafe.
During tropical storms, water can invade our homes through holes or leaks in roofs, pour in through broken or otherwise damaged windows or doors, or seep in from the ground. After the storm, water can continue wreaking havoc on our property as it leaks and/or seeps into buildings.
In addition to the initial damage, mold damage from lingering water and dampness in a home is not uncommon following a storm. Mold can affect drywall, floorboards, wood, flooring, and ceilings in your home, causing structural damage as well as affecting your family’s health.
Following a storm, experts suggest making emergency repairs, such as covering broken windows or tarping a damaged roof, but not trying to fix or move anything before you have taken pictures of the damage and contacted your insurance company. Try to prevent further damage and avoid potential dangers, but do not have repair work done before an insurance company representative has had a chance to assess the full extent of the damage.
Hurricane winds and the tornadoes that often accompany tropical storms can also completely destroy homes and commercial property. Tornadoes are especially tricky because they pop up and gather strength so quickly that we sometimes only have a few minutes to seek shelter.
Unfortunately, the damage these storms leave can be devastating. Entire roofs or sections of a roof can be blown off, exposing your home and its contents to the destructive power of the wind and rain. Trees or tree limbs can come crashing into buildings, leaving gaping holes, while anything left outside, such as outdoor furniture, planters, fencing, and construction materials, can become dangerous flying missiles.
Most Florida property owners think their wind or water damage is covered by their insurance policies; they expect their property to be repaired or replaced satisfactorily. Unfortunately, this is often not the case.
Many Florida policyholders have found that collecting payment for water damage following a hurricane is challenging. Damage from water that has been on the ground is not covered by their policies because it is considered flooding, and you need flood insurance to cover that kind of damage. In addition, damage from water that has been inside your home for more than two weeks can also be excluded from coverage.
Insurance companies may also try to underpay you for wind damage or deny your wind damage claim altogether. Florida homeowners have reported being denied coverage because their insurance company claimed they had neglected making necessary repairs to their roofs or windows. Others have been offered small sums for major repairs because their insurance companies claim their older roofs, windows, and/or damaged interior items are only worth a certain amount.
In cases such as these, it’s important to remember that you do not have to settle for your insurance company’s denial or offer. You can appeal their decision and get help from experienced hurricane damage attorneys. The skilled insurance claim attorneys of Malik Law can help you appeal your insurance company’s denial and fight for the repair and replacement payment you deserve.
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 collect the payment you need to satisfactorily repair or replace your damaged property.
For expert advice and personalized service, call us, chat with us online, or submit the Free Case Evaluation form on our website.