What to Do When Storm Damage Destroys Your Florida Home’s Roof
Losing your roof to a hurricane or tropical storm is devastating. As a Florida homeowner, you put your heart and soul into your home, only to have it damaged or destroyed in mere hours by high winds and rain. Beyond the financial costs, the turmoil, stress and uncertainty of what comes next can feel completely overwhelming.
You are not alone. Every year, thousands of Florida homeowners face this exact same crisis after a major storm. The good news is that with the right property damage lawyer guiding you, you can take back control, bring clarity to the chaos, and get your life and home back in order.
Assessing the Damage and Filing an Insurance Claim
The first call you need to make after the storm passes is to your insurance company to report damage and file a claim. An adjuster will be sent out to visually confirm and document the damage, especially focusing on your roof. As heartbreaking as it is see the destruction up close, this inspection is absolutely essential for getting your claim approved.
What the insurance adjuster checks for:
Missing or torn off shingles
Damage to the physical roof structure and deck
Water damage inside the home caused by openings in the roof
Downed trees or debris that damaged the roof
While you can file the insurance claim yourself, having a property damage lawyer in Florida there during the inspection can make a tremendous difference. An experienced attorney knows exactly what insurers look for and will make sure no detail gets missed. They also understand the full scope of what you are entitled to in a claim.
The initial insurance payment often falls far short of the actual costs to properly repair storm damage. Having legal guidance can help you secure a full and fair settlement the first time around.
Navigating the Insurance Claims Process
The back-and-forth negotiations, mountains of paperwork, and web of regulations in insurance claims can quickly become overwhelming after a disaster. Insurers often use delay tactics or pressure storm victims into lowball settlements.
An attorney levels the playing field and handles all the combative discussions on your behalf. The right property damage lawyer simplifies the bureaucracy, holds insurers accountable, and frees you up to focus on recovery. Legal council is invaluable for:
Getting stuck claims successfully reopened
Appealing wrongful denials of coverage
Forcing quicker payouts from insurers
Maximizing your policy limits
Recovering “bad faith” damages from insurers
A property damage lawyer in Florida also navigates the complex FEMA, NFIP and other sources to get you supplemental funds for rebuilding. Every dollar matters after destructive storm damage.
Choosing the Right Property Damage Lawyer in Florida
With so much at stake in the insurance claim process after hurricane and storm damage, you need an attorney who knows Florida property policies inside and out. Look for an attorney and law firm that:
Focuses specifically on Florida property damage disputes
Has high success rate negotiating homeowner claims
Offers contingency fee options
Has resources to fully document your damage/losses
Will aggressively litigate when needed
Ask any prospective attorney about their specific experience with storm and hurricane insurance claims in your area. How many cases have they closed successfully? Do they have the tenacity to take your case all the way to court if the insurer violates the policy or acts in bad faith?
Be upfront about your financial situation and make sure the attorney can customize payment plans. Most property damage firms work on a contingency fee basis, where legal fees come as percentage of the final claim amount. This means zero upfront costs to you.
Having a fiercely committed property damage lawyer in your corner levels the playing field with insurers and gets you maximum reimbursement for all hurricane and storm damage.
Long Term Recovery After Roof Damage
Getting your roof fully restored or replaced is first priority after storm damage. But it likely won’t be the last complication you face on the road back to normalcy.
Ongoing leaks can lead to pervasive water damage inside the home. Black mold outbreaks are common after floods as well. You may still be disputing claim value with the insurer months after filing.
This is why maintaining contact with your property damage lawyer long after the initial claim can be invaluable. They will monitor insurance communications, press for quicker fixes, and catch any new attempts by the insurer to devalue storm related repairs or replacements needed down the road.
You’ve suffered enough from the physical damage. Don’t let struggles with the insurer do further harm to your recovery. Relief, justice and peace of mind are one phone call away.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What should I do first after storm roof damage?
Contact your insurance company immediately to start your claim. Take extensive photos documenting the damage before clearing debris or making repairs.
2. Does my homeowner’s policy cover storm/hurricane roof damage?
Wind and hurricane damage is considered covered peril, though policy deductibles are usually higher for hurricanes specifically. Exceptions do exist though where insurers dispute covering older roofs.
3. What key details should I focus on during the inspection?
Note any debris impacts to roof, missing/torn shingles, damage to roof deck structure, and all interior water damage caused by new openings. Photos and video are extremely helpful.
4. Can I get FEMA funds if I have homeowner’s insurance?
Yes, receiving your primary insurance settlement does not disqualify you from applying for FEMA or other government disaster assistance.
5. What are “bad faith” tactics by insurers after storms?
Denying rightful claims, refusing to reinspect new damage, extremely low offers, and delays exceeding 60 days – these tactics violate policyholder rights. A property lawyer in Florida can recover damages.
Don’t Endure This Alone – Legal Guidance Brings Clarity and Hope
Losing your roof violently in a hurricane or severe storm is traumatic on many levels. Your sense of safety and stability has been utterly rocked. Meanwhile, a complex web of paperwork, regulations, contacts and decisions now stands between you getting back on your feet.
Take back control of the situation as quickly as possible. Call Cernitz Law today at 305-370-3255. We are knowledgeable property damage lawyers in Florida who have helped hundreds of homeowners successfully navigate roof damage claims. With a property damage attorney guiding the way, the path forward will be clear, obstacles will fall away, and the light at the end of the tunnel will shine brighter.