How Do I File a Claim for Hurricane Damage?
August 20, 2020
It’s hurricane season, here in Florida. Between the months of June and November, Florida is always in a state of preparedness in the event of a catastrophic hurricane. As we near the end of August and go into September, Florida’s risk of hurricane increases, with these types of damaging storms peaking during these months.
While many Florida homeowners have insurance that protects them in the event of a hurricane, insurance companies – for a multitude of reasons – may choose to deny the claim. In today’s blog, we take a look at why an insurance company may deny your claim and what your options are in the event your house or property was damaged in an unexpected hurricane.
How Long Do I Have to File a Hurricane Claim?
In Florida, residents have three years from the date the hurricane made landfall to file a claim. This statute of limitations is outlined in Florida statute 627.70132, also commonly referred to as a Notice of Windstorm or Hurricane Claim. Not only do residents have three years to file a claim, they also can reopen their claim during this time period, as well. This means that if you are still reeling from Hurricane Irma, you have until September 10, 2020 to work on your claim.
In the aftermath of a hurricane, property damage may not be readily apparent until much later. For example, if your roof was damaged in the hurricane but weren’t aware until much later than the roof never fully dried, it could lead to mold. This mold could be found beneath the walls. and other areas of the house. Not only can mold be expensive to treat (depending on the severity, it can cost up to $6,000), but it can also be damaging to one’s health. Individuals exposed to mold for prolonged periods of time may suffer skin and throat irritation, coughing, wheezing and can trigger symptoms in those who have Asthma. This is why residents have such a prolonged period to file or reopen their claim.
Why Would the Insurance Company Deny My Claim?
One of the most common reasons as to why an insurance company may deny a claim is due to pre-existing damage. While your insurance is meant to cover you in the event of a hurricane, insurance companies will deny your claim if any of the following factors are present:
- The house was not properly maintained
- The damage the result of a lack of temporary repairs after the initial loss
- There were issues on the property prior to you living there
- The house has normal wear and tear that comes with age and is not specifically associated with the hurricane
It’s important for homeowners and business owners to look over their insurance policies carefully to determine whether their losses fall under the “pre existing damage” exclusion. If you believe that your claim was wrongfully denied, it’s best to consult with an experienced attorney who can review your policy and work with the insurance company themselves to get you the coverage you’re owed.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Hurricane and Property Damage Claim in Florida
Was your home or business damaged as a result of a hurricane? If you believe your insurance claim was wrongfully denied, you have rights. The skilled attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. represent clients injured in Davie, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, and throughout Florida. Call (561) 533-0345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 813 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth, FL 33460, as well as offices in Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.