Dealing with a hurricane damage insurance claim
Hurricanes expose homes and other buildings to very high sustained winds, and even higher gusts. Roofs and siding can be ripped off, trees knocked into structures, windows blown in, and leaks created. After a hurricane, some homeowners can no longer live in their home until repairs are made. Businesses can be shut down and lose income for months following a hurricane. Learn more about protecting your home with our ultimate hurricane prep guide.
Underpaid hurricane claims
Our experienced insurance attorneys have worked with many clients who reached out, because their insurance company didn’t offer enough money to pay for the cost of repairing the hurricane damage. Insurance companies try to justify paying too little with low adjuster estimates. Sometimes insurance companies try to say only part of the damage is covered by the policy, and send letters quoting lots of exclusions from the policy. There are a lot of aspects that don’t come to light until you find yourself in a serious situation. It’s for that reason that we put together this hurricane preparation checklist.
Even though the insurance company has told you that you’re not entitled to any more money, please do not give up. If you feel like you might have been underpaid for your hurricane damage, please call us and our insurance lawyers can evaluate whether your provider may be owe you more money for the resulting property damage.
How to deal with under deductible letters
Most insurance policies in Florida come with high hurricane deductibles. After making an insurance claim for hurricane damage, many property owners will receive a letter from the insurance company that says that nothing is owed because the cost to repair is less than the hurricane deductible. In our experience, many of those initial insurance company assessments are wrong.
Hurricanes affect a huge area and lots of claims come in at the same time. When adjusters are preparing estimates for hurricane damage, they are trying to get as many claims done in one day as possible. We’ve seen cases where adjusters performed roof inspections at nighttime! Even adjusters with the best intentions just miss things when they are too busy. And not every adjuster has your best intentions at heart.
Trust your gut. If you think the cost of repair is going to be more than your deductible, you shouldn’t just let the claim go based on the insurance company’s numbers.
Denied claims after a hurricane
Insurance companies deny claims they shouldn’t. It seems crazy that an insurance company could deny a claim for hurricane damage when there can be no dispute that a hurricane impacted an insured building. But we see denials for all sorts of reasons: sometimes the insurance company will say that the damage was repaired too quickly, or too slowly, or that there was no “wind created opening” in the building.
Whatever the grounds for denial that the insurance company gave you, you don’t have to just accept it. We provide a free case evaluation, and can very quickly tell you what we think about your claim and the insurance company’s position after getting a little information.
Case ResultsSee More Case Results
Underpaid Commercial Insurance Claim
Hurricane winds damaged our client’s apartment complex, causing roof damage and interior water damage. The insurance company paid $100,000, which was not enough money to cover the cost of repairs. We filed a lawsuit against the insurance company and recovered an additional $228,000 for our client, bringing the total payment up to $328,000. This allowed our client to fully repair the storm damage.
Delayed and Underpaid Homeowners Claim
A family’s home near Lakeland, Florida was damaged by a hurricane. Water came into the house from the roof. The insurance company sent its own contractor to dry it out, but didn’t complete the job. The adjuster also wrote an estimate to repair the inside of the house, but the insurance company made the adjuster delete some of the repairs from his estimate. At the end of the day, the insurance company only paid the family $1,900 for their damage. After we were hired to help the family fight back against the insurance company, the family was able to recover an additional $220,000 from the insurance company to settle the case.