Hurricane Storm Damage Lawyer in Tampa
Strong gusts of wind paired with a downpour of rain can have long-lasting effects on your home. This is exactly what hurricanes can bring. Their devastation has no limits. Nothing on your property is safe and is at risk of damage. Because of the risks, you might have some questions as to what exactly is covered and what steps to take if damage occurs.
Will my Insurance Cover Hurricane Storm Damage?
Insurance companies often have many policies, and it’s important to verify if your insurance covers hurricane damage. It can be challenging to figure out exactly which policies you are paying for, so don’t hesitate to give your insurer a call and get a definite answer. If the damages are covered, you’ll likely still be responsible for a deductible. This could be either a flat rate or a percentage based on the value of your home. Once you have confirmed you are covered, and the deductible has been paid, they should cover the remainder of the costs of any necessary repairs.
I’ve Filed my Storm Damage Insurance Claim, Now What?
While your insurer is supposed to get back to you within 14 days, Insurance companies do have up to 90 days to decide whether they want to approve or deny your claim. After they have received your proof of loss, they are required to start investigating your claim within 10 days. As many people will have incurred damages, your insurance provider will prioritize those with more severe damage.
Hurricane storms tend to affect a large area, and thus a huge amount of people. If your insurance provider doesn’t immediately get back to you, they might not be trying to be malicious. Processing all these claims can be overwhelming, and insurers can’t do much to prepare for an influx of claims due to a storm.
However, this does not give them the right to ignore or delay your claim. If these deadlines have passed, you should reach out to your insurer.
Should I Contact a Contractor for Hurricane Storm Damage?
It would be in your best interest to get in touch with a third-party contractor. It might be difficult to get an estimate right after a storm, as many people will simultaneously request an estimate. However, if you can get a hold of at least one reputable contractor, it will give your claim more validity. If you manage to get two separate, trusted contractors to value the damages and create an estimate, your insurer will have a much harder time trying to refute or deny any damages. This could lead to a much larger reimbursement.
Should I Try to Make Temporary Fixes for Storm Damage?
As contractors will likely be busy, it might take much longer for an experienced carpenter to come and repair the damages. Minor damages can lead to further, and oftentimes worse, damage. An example would be if your roof has lost several shingles due to strong winds. Sometime later, a storm blows in, and the downpour leads to water damage in your ceiling and walls. The insurance company will try and deny that claim since the water damage should have been “easily repairable”.
What Should I Do After My Home Experiences Hurricane Storm Damage?
You should always take as many pictures as you can. Take pictures of the damages, any repairs you did yourself, and any further damages that occur. If you hired someone to make those repairs, or if you spent money on temporary repairs, make sure to keep those receipts and add them to your records. Proving that you have spent money trying to fix it could lead to a bigger reimbursement.
What is a Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRR)?
After Hurricane Katrina, the US Army Corps of Engineers designed a comprehensive plan to help better prepare for hurricanes and reduce the damage they cause. While the plan is far too comprehensive for the average homeowner, there are things you can do to reduce the damage done to your home by hurricanes and major storms. Hillsborough County offers free resources to help homeowners protect themselves before, during, and after hurricanes and storms.
Get Help From a Storm Damage Attorney in Tampa
As you may have gathered, a lot relies on your specific insurance company, as well as the policies you are paying for. A good rule of thumb is to gather evidence by taking pictures of any damages, fixing current damages to prevent further issues, and keeping a record of all money you spent on the repairs. This way you can be sure that you’ll get your repairs covered.
If you need assistance with getting your hurricane storm damage insurance claim processed, contact Darrigo & Diaz, Tampa’s most experienced storm damage lawyer firm. We offer several convenient ways to connect with an attorney on our team. Call us at (813) 774-3341 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation right over the phone, or contact us to schedule a Zoom meeting when it is most convenient for you.