Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC are hurricane insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who help homeowners with delayed or denied claims. While our firm can help homeowners in a range of situations, the time to prepare to make a hurricane insurance claim is before the storm ever hits. Are you prepared for Florida’s hurricane season? The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30. At any point during this window, a major storm can potentially strike Florida, causing damage and destruction. Floridians are tasked to prepare for these major storms, from making sure that they have emergency supplies on hand to making sure that they have prepared financially for the consequences of a storm.
While most Floridians understand what items they need to prepare for a storm (water, non-perishable food, batteries, flashlights, and other essential items), many Floridians are not prepared financially and economically for hurricane season. For example, do you have all account numbers and insurance contact information in a safe place? Do you have a plan in place for how you will secure your home if a storm hits? What can you do to make sure that your home is properly insured and that you are prepared for the financial challenges that can arise during hurricane season? The information below is designed to help you consider the steps you can take today to ensure that you are properly insured and prepared for hurricane season. Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC are hurricane claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who understand the claims process and who can help you if your claim is being delayed or denied.
Are You Properly Insured in Fort Lauderdale, Florida?
One of the most important things homeowners can do to prepare for hurricane season is to contact their insurance companies to make sure that they are properly insured should a storm hit. Many homeowners may not understand what their homeowner’s insurance policy covers and doesn’t cover. Unfortunately, many homeowners may be underinsured when it comes to purchasing flood coverage and when it comes to having adequate coverage to repair their home should a storm strike. Even if you do not live in a flood zone, you may still want to purchase additional flood coverage, because flood maps in Florida may not always accurately reflect the areas where there is a risk of flooding.
According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, homeowners should contact their insurance agent every year to understand what their deductibles are, what their coverage includes, and to evaluate whether they should increase their coverage. Proof of coverage, insurance cards, and contact information of adjusters should also be kept in a safe place. Place all paperwork in a water proof bag so that you can access the information and so that it can be protected in the event a storm hits. Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC are insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who may be able to assist you with your claim after a storm, but it is also incredibly important that you have information about your coverage to protect your rights. If your insurance plan doesn’t cover you sufficiently, now is the time to purchase additional coverage. Once Florida is under a hurricane watch or warning, it will be too late to change your policy. We can tell you from experience many people think they have coverage that they do not and/or that the coverage they have protects them from more than it does or for less money than they think. Understanding these issues (limits on mold, water, requiring a policy covered peril creating a hole or opening for you to be covered for water intrusion, right to repair, upgrades required by code called law and ordinance coverage should things have to be repaired or rebuilt subject to a permit, etc.) are critical while you can do something about it before a loss as opposed to finding out when it’s too late!
Have a Plan in Place for After the Storm Hits
The aftermath of a hurricane can be stressful, challenging, and can raise many questions and uncertainties. In the aftermath of a storm, your immediate responsibility is to contact your insurance company to make a claim and to take steps to make temporary repairs to roofs and windows to ensure that your home doesn’t suffer additional water damage. Having tarps on hand before a storm hits can help you make these repairs more quickly. It is important to document all repairs and to get approval from your insurance company before you make any permanent repairs.
However, sometimes homeowners, despite their preparation, face challenges and delays from insurance companies and adjusters. Knowing your rights and your legal options can be incredibly beneficial. You might want to keep the contact information of a homeowner’s insurance claim lawyer like Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC, hurricane claim attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on hand so that if you face difficulties with your claim, you can seek assistance. Many homeowners may not always understand their rights or the behind-the-scenes estimates and questions that must be answered when insurance adjusters settle a claim. Having a hurricane claim lawyer on your side to help you navigate these questions can make a difference in the outcome of your claim. Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC can take the time to review the damages to your home, review your insurance policy, and help you understand your rights. We can then negotiate with insurance companies to help you get the best possible settlement under the law.