Although tourists flock to Orlando in part because of the beautiful year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, homeowners are all too familiar with the fierce tropical storms that also threaten Orlando each year. A tropical storm or hurricane can cause extensive damage to your home or property, including roof damage.
When your roof is damaged in a storm, trying to handle the emotional stress that inevitably follows is difficult enough without also needing to argue and negotiate with your insurance company to ensure that your claim is paid in full and without delay. Knowing what steps to take after your roof has been damaged in an Orlando storm can dramatically impact your chances of getting your insurance claim paid quickly and in full.
What Should I Do After an Orlando Storm?
Although Orlando is situated in the middle of the state, this does not protect homeowners from the destruction caused by tropical storms and hurricanes. Instead, Orlando often feels the impact of storms that blow in from both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
Roof damage is one of the most common types of damage Orlando homeowners suffer in a storm. If your roof was damaged in a storm, the following steps can help protect your family and your home as well as ensure that you are reimbursed in full by your insurance company.
Move your family to safety. Your roof is an integral part of your home from both a structural and safety perspective. Storm damage to your roof could mean something as simple as high winds causing the loss of a few shingles or as serious as a fallen tree creating a huge hole in your roof. Because a damaged roof can pose a safety threat to you and your family, the first step should be to evacuate to a place of safety if you did not do so prior to the storm.
Assess the damage. Once you are certain that your loved ones are safe, make a preliminary assessment of the damage to your roof and your home. If the damage appears to be more than the loss of a few shingles, do not enter the home until authorities give you the go-ahead to do so. When you do check for damage, remember to also look for water damage inside the home. Roof damage frequently allows rain to enter your home, causing water damage to your personal property.
Contact your insurance company and make a claim. You should contact your homeowner’s insurance company as soon after the damage occurred as possible to initiate the claims process.
Document the damage. When the storm has passed, and it is safe to do so, begin the process of documenting the roof damage. Take pictures inside and outside your home. If a tree or other debris contributed to the damage, make sure to take pictures of that as well. In addition, compile documentary evidence that supports the value of your losses. For example, if you recently replaced the roof, locate the contract for that work. If personal belongings were damaged or destroyed, attempt to locate receipts for the items to support the cost of replacing them.
Get at least two independent estimates. Your insurance company will likely send out an adjuster to evaluate your losses. That should not prevent you, however, from obtaining your own estimates. Contact at least two local roofing companies and obtain written estimates for repairing or replacing your roof in case your insurance company undervalues your losses.
What Problems Might I Have Getting My Roof Damage Claim Approved?
When you purchased your homeowner’s insurance you undoubtedly did so with the expectation that losses caused by damage to your roof would be covered and that a claim for those losses would be paid in full and in a timely manner. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Your claim for roof damage could be denied or delayed for several reasons, including:
Problems with the application process. Your insurance company may request a seemingly never-ending list of documents before approving your claim. Failure to provide a requested document or follow some other procedure can act as the justification needed to deny your claim.
Uncovered losses. In Orlando, this often applies to roof damage caused by a hurricane if the homeowner did not select additional hurricane coverage when purchasing the policy.
Your policy does not provide for replacement costs. Some insurance policies only reimburse the policyholder for the repair value of a loss which can be problematic if the damage to your roof was so extensive that it needs to be replaced.
Third-party liability. Your insurance provider may try and bring in a third party, such as the manufacturer or installer, to mitigate their liability. Doing so can muddy the waters and cause unnecessary delays.
Do I Need an Orlando Roof Damage Attorney?
If you recently experienced roof damage caused by an Orlando tropical storm or hurricane, and your homeowner’s insurance company has undervalued, delayed, or denied your claim, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Orlando roof damage claims attorney.
An attorney will look over the terms of your policy and explain your rights. Your attorney will also negotiate with the insurance company to obtain a fair and full settlement for you whenever possible. If an out-of-court settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will protect your rights by litigating on your behalf in court.
Where Can I Get Help with My Orlando Roof Damage Claim?
If your roof was damaged by an Orlando storm or hurricane and your insurance company has undervalued, denied, or delayed your claim, call us at 407-500-1000 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Orlando roof damage claims attorneys will explain your rights and discuss your legal options at no cost.
Malik Law, PA is one of Florida’s leading insurance litigation law firms. We provide personalized, top quality legal representation for property owners seeking justice. We have helped clients recover millions of dollars from insurance companies and want to help you obtain the payment you deserve.
Imran Malik, rated AV® Preeminent, by Martindale-Hubbell, is the founding member of Malik Law P.A. An AV® Rating signifies that a lawyer has reached the heights of professional excellence. He has practiced law for a number of years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity by fellow attorneys in his area of practice. Martindale-Hubbell is the oldest and most trusted lawyer information service in America.