If you have questions about filing a wind damage claim or have questions about a denied wind damage claim, consider reaching out to Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC, wind damage claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Florida homeowners are in a unique position when it comes to wind damage claims. Because Florida homeowners live in a hurricane-prone region, wind damage associated with hurricanes require that homeowners pay a different deductible than the deductibles covered for other types of damage under your homeowner’s insurance policy. The good news is that while deductibles for hurricane damage can vary, insurance companies are required under the law in Florida to cover hurricane damage. If you live in a high-risk area, high-risk hurricane insurance may be available to you.
This can sound complicated, but in practice, if your home is damaged due to winds, you need only ask yourself whether the wind damage was due to a hurricane named by the National Weather Service, or whether it was due to other types of wind damage—tornadoes, high winds, or gusts. If the wind damage was due to a hurricane, your homeowner’s insurance hurricane deductible may be in effect. If the wind damage was not due to a named hurricane, then your regular homeowner’s insurance policy deductible may apply. According to the Insurance Information Institute, hurricane deductibles for your homeowner’s insurance will apply if a hurricane warning or watch has been issued and if the damage occurs 72 hours after a warning or watch. Hurricane deductibles also may only in effect during the official hurricane season.
The kinds of deductibles you’ll have to pay will depend on your policy, but you may have a deductible of $500, 2 percent, 5 percent, or 10 percent. Homeowners should read their homeowner’s insurance policy to understand what their out-of-pocket expenses should be. With a deductible, you are required to pay either $500 or a percent of the damage your home sustained first, before your insurance company will cover the rest. In general, after wind damage, most homeowners will have to pay something out of pocket.
Understanding your insurance policy, your deductible, and the claims process can sometimes be challenging. If your home has suffered wind damage, and you have questions about the claims process or have questions about a denied wind damage claim, or if you are in a dispute about whether the wind damage or hurricane damage deductible should apply, consider speaking to Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC, insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida today. Our wind damage lawyers can review your insurance policy, help you understand your rights, and speak to insurance adjusters to help you get the best possible settlement permitted under the law.
What You Need to Do When Filing a Wind Damage Claim in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
When filing a wind damage claim, there are steps you can take to make the claims process go more smoothly. Always report damage to your homeowner’s insurance company as soon as possible and be sure to provide the insurance company with any documentation requested. After your home has sustained wind damage, you might have roof damage or window damage. In order to avoid additional water damage, it is important that you take steps to secure your home. You may have to put a tarp over your roof or cover windows to prevent water from getting into your home. If you fail to take these steps, your homeowner’s insurance policy may not cover the damage to your home. Homeowners should also make a list of any property inside their home that has been damaged by wind or as a result of water getting in to the home. Finally, if you can, take photos of any damage your home has sustained. It can be helpful to have photos of your home before the damage, so adjusters can compare before and after damage photos. After you have informed your insurance company that your home has been damaged, you should always wait to make non-emergency repairs or to throw out damaged property. Don’t make any repairs or throw anything out until an insurance adjuster has had a chance to see the damage and make a proper assessment if possible. If you must do work to mitigate damages or on an emergency basis, notify your carrier before commencing work and photograph and possibly even video the impacted areas to help avoid the insurance company denying your claim based on “prejudice” to them caused by you making the repairs before they could inspect.
These are just some key steps you may need to take following wind damage to your home. You may need to get quotes from different contractors to determine the cost of repairs. If your homeowners insurance company isn’t offering you a settlement that matches the damage to your home, you may need to appeal the claim, or if your claim is denied for any reason, you may also have the right to appeal. Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC are insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who may be able to help you appeal a denied claim or appeal a settlement that is lower than the damage your home sustained. Contact our firm today to learn more.
Protect Your Rights When Making a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim
When your home has suffered damage due to winds, if you have homeowner’s insurance, your insurance company has a legal responsibility to cover your claim if that is a covered peril under your policy (BE CAREFUL AS MANY POLICIES EXLCUDE WIND DAMAGE). If you have paid your policy on time, it can be devastating to hear that a wind damage claim has been denied or that your insurance company isn’t going to pay you for the damages your home sustained. Sometimes this occurs because insurance company’s estimates of the value of damages differs from the value of repairs offered by contractors. If you have done your due diligence and sought quotes from reputable and licensed contractors, your insurance company should be able to offer a settlement that reflects these damages. However, there are situations where a claim can get complex. For example, if you had an older roof, the insurance company may only repair the part of the roof that was damaged, and not the whole roof. However, you may need to replace the whole roof during repairs. In many instances, the insurance company may be responsible to replace the entire rood even if a small area is all that is damaged. Know you rights! In this case, it can be helpful to have an insurance claim lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida like Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC fighting to help you get the best possible settlement permitted under the law. Contact our firm today to learn more.