First-party Property Damage – Hurricanes

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If you live in Florida, you are well aware our beautiful state can be a hotbed for hurricanes and tropical storms. In the last few years, hurricanes have caused billions of dollars in property damage.

As frequent as hurricanes may be in any given year, you still need your Florida insurance disbursement to reconstruct your home and start to get your life put back together.

The Florida insurance claims attorneys at Stevenson Klotz have been working for clients who have suffered property damage and loss as a result of a hurricane.

We understand that many Florida insurance companies attempt to devalue the extent of your damage after a hurricane. They do this because they are dealing with many claims all at once and are concerned about their bottom line and not your qualify of life.

I have Property Loss Due to a Hurricane. Where do I start?

The first thing you should do is read your Florida homeowner’s insurance policy. You may have policies that cover flood, wind, and an all-risk peril policy, which is separate. Also check to see if you have a separate windstorm policy from your homeowner’s insurance. Many times, Florida residents have separate general homeowners and windstorm policies. Your insurance company will determine what the framework is for receiving compensation, and this process can be complicated. Our Florida attorneys can help you decipher your individual Florida homeowner’s insurance and windstorm policies and advise you of the steps that need to be taken in order for you to receive the compensation you deserve.

Based on your Florida homeowner’s or Florida windstorm policy information, we can determine if a phone call to your agent can get your claim underway, or if you need to have something in writing. It’s always a good idea to put everything in writing because some Florida insurance companies have separate departments for handling claims such as a hurricane and other disaster-related matters.

What Kind of Information Do I Include When I Report My Florida Claim for Hurricane Damage?

You will need to document everything possible related to your Florida hurricane insurance claim. Take a video or pictures of the damage and get a lot of estimates for repairs and/or replacements. 

Additionally, you should keep an itemized list of anything related to your property damage and all your receipts for anything you have replaced and/or repaired before your Florida hurricane claim is settled.

What is Proof of Loss?

Proof of loss is a standard term in the insurance industry with property insurance policies. Many Florida insurance companies have standardized forms they use for you to provide this proof. 

You are not required to use this form, and the rules of proof of loss are extremely developed under Florida law. Once you submit your Florida proof of loss documentation, your insurance company should respond to you within 30 days.

Are Flood Policies Different than Hurricane Policies in Florida?

Depending on where you reside in Florida, you may be required to carry flood insurance on your property. While a private insurance company may issue your flood insurance policy, flood insurance is a federal program run through FEMA. 

What Are the Differences in Policies in Florida? 

Generally, windstorm and all-risk policies exclude any payments for flood damage in Florida if you would help you if you carried a separate policy for flood damage. 

If you have an all-risk insurance policy in place, these types of policies generally exclude wind damage. In a hurricane, much of your loss is going to be caused by high winds and flooding. Make sure you have enough policies in place to cover any possible damage to your Florida home in the event of a hurricane.

If you live in Florida and have suffered hurricane damage, it’s important that you contact the insurance claims attorneys at Stevenson Klotz as soon as possible. We can act as a strong advocate for you with your Florida homeowner’s insurance company.

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