South Florida Hurricane and Property Damage Claims Lawyer
Skilled Attorneys Provide Dedicated Representation to Protect Clients’ Rights and Interests Following Hurricanes and Property Damage in Broward County and Palm Beach County, FL
Although South Florida’s miles of beaches are usually a benefit to living here in South Florida, when hurricanes hit our region, our low coastlines typically mean that many people end up being negatively impacted by hurricanes. Hurricanes can easily cause significant property damage and even cost people their lives. The worst storms, such as Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Wilma, get talked about in South Florida for years and decades after the fact.
Due to the threat posed by hurricanes, many property owners in South Florida have insurance to protect their properties in the event of storm damage. Although purchasing insurance to protect against property damage caused by hurricanes seems like a straightforward matter, when hurricanes do roll through South Florida, many property owners find out that this is not the case. Unfortunately, after devastating hurricanes, insurance companies will often deny or delay claims from policyholders. This can cause significant anxiety and grief for someone whose home or business property is no longer fit to live or work in following hurricane damage.
If you or your business find yourself having trouble getting property damage claims paid out following a hurricane, contact the attorneys of Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. to discuss the details of your case and to learn more about how our firm might be able to help you secure the insurance benefits you are entitled to.
How Hurricanes Cause Property Damage
Hurricanes are organized storm systems that can stretch hundreds of miles wide and pack winds whose speeds exceed 160 miles per hour. Forming over warm waters, when hurricanes move inland across South Florida, they can cause serious wind and water damage. Examples of property damage that typically occur during hurricanes include:
- Broken windows
- Roof damage, including a complete tearing off of roofs
- Impact damage from flying debris
- Damaged siding
- Destroyed accessory structures, such as garages, gazebos, or sheds
- Moisture damage, including mold buildup
Winds can easily rip open buildings, allowing rain and other water to get into structures and cause damage. Close enough to the ocean or other bodies of water, storm surge can easily flood underground structures and the lower floors of buildings. And hurricanes with significant rainfall can lead to flooding of low-lying areas.
South Florida Attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. Fight Back When Insurance Companies Wrongfully Deny Property Damage Claims Following Hurricanes
Although you might think that by having a customer relationship for years with an insurance company, the insurance company will have your back when the worst happens following a hurricane. However, insurance companies are still businesses looking to make a profit. That means it is in their interest (or their survival) to pay out as little as possible in claims. As a result, insurance companies may try to look for any excuse to reduce the value of your claim or to deny your property damage claim outright, such as attributing damage to wear and tear or to flooding not covered by a standard property insurance policy, or by disputing the value of damaged property,
At Gonzalez & Cartwright, we understand that when insurance companies deny property owners the coverage they rightfully deserve, they prevent families and communities from getting their lives back on track following a devastating storm. If you are having trouble getting full compensation for property damage that you’ve suffered in a hurricane, give our firm a call. We are ready to get to work to fight to get you full compensation for your losses. Many of our attorneys have previously worked for insurance companies, so we know how insurers think and how they try to minimize the validity or scope of losses. We won’t be swayed by these tactics, but instead we remain focused on getting you the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Schedule a Free Case Review with the Hurricane and Property Damage Claims Attorneys from Gonzalez & Cartwright
If your business or residential property has suffered damage following a hurricane and you are facing difficulties in getting your insurance claim process or your claim has been denied outright, you may need an experienced hurricane property damage claim attorney to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to under your policy. Contact Gonzalez & Cartwright today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to speak to one of our attorneys about your legal rights and options and to learn more about how our firm may be able to help you successfully recover benefits for hurricane property damage.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hurricane and Property Damage Claims in South Florida
Even though insurance companies will likely receive numerous property damage claims following a hurricane, under Florida law insurance companies are required to take initial actions within certain timeframes. Once you have filed your hurricane property damage claim with your insurer, they are required to begin investigating your claim within 10 days; a live insurance adjuster must also respond to your claim within 14 days of submission (thereafter all your communications with the insurance company must be responded to within 14 days). The insurance company then has 90 days from the date of submission of your claim to either accept your claim and pay benefits, or deny your claim. However, ultimately resolving your claim can take longer than that if you are dissatisfied with your insurance company’s initial determination and there is a dispute over the eligibility or value of your claim.
Hurricane coverage goes into effect once your property is in an area subject to a hurricane watch or warning. Even though most hurricane coverage policies only include wind damage, you may be entitled to coverage for more than just exterior wind damage. For example, if exterior wind damage allows wind or water to get into your home – such as through broken windows or roof damage – you may be entitled to coverage for that interior damage. However, other hurricane damage like storm surge or flooding is typically eligible for hurricane coverage and instead must be compensated through a separate flood insurance policy.