Florida Wind Damage Claims
Dealing with wind damage to your home can be an incredibly stressful and confusing process. As a Florida homeowner, you want to make sure you take the proper steps to file an accurate insurance claim with the help of a property damage attorney and get the compensation you deserve to repair your home. This blog post will provide key information Florida homeowners need to know about making wind damage claims, along with answers to common questions.
Getting Help From a Property Damage Attorney
Hurricanes and tropical storms that bring high winds are an unfortunate reality for many Floridians. Even thunderstorms can sometimes pack enough of a punch to cause damage to roofs, siding, windows, and other areas of your home. When wind damage occurs, most homeowners will need to file an insurance claim to cover repairs.
Navigating the claims process after wind damage can have its challenges. Insurance policies have specific provisions, requirements, and exclusions when it comes to wind and hurricane damage. As a homeowner, you need to understand these provisions clearly in order to get your claim paid properly.
An experienced Florida property damage attorney can help guide you through this process and deal with the insurance company on your behalf. They understand all the complex legal issues surrounding Florida insurance claims, like the intricacies of Assignment of Benefits (AOB) forms and navigating the Florida state statute 627.712 covering post-loss assignments. Having a knowledgeable lawyer in your corner can make all the difference in getting the full settlement you deserve.
5 Key Things To Know About Wind Damage Claims
If your Florida home has suffered wind damage, here are 5 key things Florida homeowners need to understand when it comes to filing an insurance claim:
1. Act Quickly to Prevent Further Damage
It’s important to take swift action to mitigate and prevent any further damage to your home after high winds or a storm. Do everything possible to cover broken windows, tarps on damaged roofs, clearing debris, etc. Your insurance company can deny your property damage claim coverage if you fail to take reasonable steps to protect your property from more damage.
2. Thoroughly Document the Damage
Insurance adjusters rely heavily on documentation when assessing a wind damage claim. Take date-stamped photographs and video of all damaged areas, both inside and outside, to clearly reveal the extent of destruction. Also save any receipts for temporary repairs, hotel stays if displaced from your home, and other related expenses.
3. Understand Your Deductible
Most insurance policies have a higher deductible for wind damage claims, usually about 2-5% of your dwelling coverage limit. This means you will likely need to pay several thousand dollars out-of-pocket before insurance kicks in. A property damage attorney can check if you qualify for any deductible waivers.
4. File Quickly, Follow Up Frequently
Insurance companies expect prompt claim notification after wind damage. File as soon as reasonably possible, and follow up with your adjuster frequently until the claim reaches resolution. Save copies of all correspondence as well. Having an attorney handle communication can be very helpful during the process.
5. Don’t Blindly Accept Low-Ball Offers
Insurance carriers will often try to deny or dispute valid wind damage claims. They may nitpick exclusions or issue low-ball payouts hoping desperate homeowners will accept. With a property damage attorney representing your interests, you stand a much better chance of collecting fair claim compensation.
1. Is wind damage covered by my homeowners insurance?
Wind damage is one of the covered perils under most standard homeowner insurance policies in Florida. This includes damage resulting from hurricanes, tropical storms, tornados, thunderstorms, and straight-line winds exceeding 55 mph.
2. What types of wind damage does homeowners insurance cover?
Typical wind damage covered includes:
Broken windows and doors
Roof and siding damage
Collapsed or damaged exterior structures
Water damage resulting from wind damage
Fallen trees, detached structures, and debris that damage your home.
3. Does my insurance cover new building code upgrades?
If wind damage requires significant structural repairs, most insurers are required to pay the necessary costs to upgrade your home to meet current building codes. This is to ensure homes meet newer standards for withstanding hurricane-force winds and intense storms. Upgrades often needed involve roof structures, windows, and reinforcements.
4. How long does it take to get an insurance payout after filing a wind damage claim?
The speed of a payout depends on many factors: claim size, proof of loss documentation, insurer workloads, and adjuster delays. However, Florida statute 627.712 states insurance companies must follow strict claim investigation guidelines and issue payouts within 90 days of properly filed claims. Reputable attorneys ensure adjusters follow these statutes to avoid unreasonable delays.
5. Should I get professional representation to assist with my wind damage claim?
Absolutely – an experienced Florida property damage attorney is your best ally when filing significant wind and hurricane claims. They understand claim investigation guidelines, policy provisions, state statutes, and insurance company tactics. This experience can mean collecting tens of thousands more for your claim. Professional legal representation almost always results in far superior financial outcomes.
How a Property Damage Attorney Can Help You
Dealing with home damage from high winds can be an enormously frustrating process for Florida homeowners. But understanding these key steps for filing an accurate claim, knowing what your insurance covers, and securing strong legal guidance can help smooth the road to getting your house repaired properly. Don’t let insurance companies give you the run around on what you rightfully deserve – contact a reputable property damage attorney today for a free case review if your home suffers windstorm destruction.