After a violent storm, homeowners can find themselves in a precarious position when their insurance company denies their claim. As homeowners assess damage and pick up debris caused by the storm, they may find that even though they paid their premiums, their claims are denied, undervalued, or delayed. If you are a homeowner or individual who believes your insurer is treating you unfairly and is denying, undervaluing or delaying your claim, Burnetti, P.A. Florida storm lawyers may be able to help you fight for your rights.
What Do I Do If My House Was Damaged By a Storm?
If your home sustained damage due to a storm, here are ten things you can do to help protect your rights and your claim:
- Read Your Policy Carefully – You should know what your policy covers
- Immediately Get a Claim Started – Call your insurance company and get a claim number. Even if you do not see any damage, an insurance inspector should inspect your home in case the damage is not visible
- Keep a Record of Repairs – Make sure to keep a record with dates, times, and notes of any clean-up work, tarps on roofs, temporary repairs, debris removal or anything that you had to purchase or do after damage from a storm
- Keep Everything in Writing – Keep emails and records of all bills and correspondence with your insurance adjuster
- Take Photos of Damage – Use a phone or a camera to document the damage sustained to your house and yard. Take before and after photos so you can prove the damage after clean-up work is completed
- Make a List of Damages – Keep a running list of damages or items lost during the storm
- Make Temporary Repairs – If it is necessary, make temporary repairs such as putting tarps on leaking roofs, boards on broken windows, and removing tree limbs that have fallen
- Get a Second Opinion – Once the adjuster gives you an estimate of the damage, you can choose to get a second opinion from a licensed contractor to make sure the insurance company is not undervaluing your claim
- Do Not Cash a Premium Refund Check – If your insurance company denies your claim and rescinds your insurance, they may send you a refund check for the premiums you paid. Do not cash the check as that could be interpreted as acceptance
- Contact an Attorney to Help Protect Your Rights – If your insurance company denies your claim or you feel like your claim is undervalued, contact an attorney who can help fight by your side to help you get compensation for your property damage and losses
Storm Insurance Coverage Disputes
Homeowners depend on insurance companies to fulfill their promises if a storm destroys or damages their home. Storm damages can include:
What is Insurance Bad Faith?
“Bad Faith” is when an insurance company fails to disclose or misrepresents information or engages in dishonest settlement negotiations. If an insurance company is acting in “bad faith,” that policy holder may be able to file a lawsuit against the insurance company in breach of contract claim in order to obtain punitive damages.
Free Storm Preparedness Brochures
At Burnetti, P.A. we know storms can have devestating consequences. Preparedness is vital for when a disaster strikes. We have compiled three brochures to help you and your family get ready for a storm. Download our free storm preparedness brochures to learn more about the different types of homeowners insurance and commercial insurance policies as well as helpful tips for what to do before, during, and after a storm.
Atlantic Hurricane Season
The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1st and goes through November 30th. According to The Weather Company there are on average 10.1 named storms each storm season. Out of the 10.1 named storms, 5.9 on average become hurricanes and 2.5 on average become major (Category 3 or higher) hurricanes.
Download our free Stormy Weather Ahead guide to learn the different hurricane category rating systems based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
The guide provides the wind speeds as well as examples of impacts and damages that could happen based on the intensity of the hurricane or tropical storm.
Storm Damage Attorneys
Policy holders who faithfully pay insurance premiums expect to be taken care of when a disaster happens. However, many times insurance companies use multiple excuses as to why they are denying a policy holder’s claim.
If you live in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or another U.S. state and a storm has caused damage to your home and your insurance company had denied or undervalued your claim, Florida storm attorneys may be able to assist you through every step of the process to pursuing your rightful compensation. Whether you have a common insurance claim dispute or a commercial property insurance claim, Burnetti, P.A. is dedicated to fighting for the rights of individuals, not insurance companies. For a free case review, call 1-888-BURNETTI or visit www.burnetti.com.