Severe property damage can feel catastrophic. You invested a great deal of time and money into your Aventura home or vehicle, and you want it to stand the test of time. Whether you suffer damage in a hurricane, a fire, or due to human error, you want to get your property back in shape as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, even if you carry adequate property insurance, dealing with your insurance company can prove difficult. An experienced Aventura property damage attorney can help. Contact Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman today to learn more about your right to compensation.
Understanding Types of Property Damage
Property damage can occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, property damage happens due to an act of nature: a hurricane or flood, for example. Other times, you may suffer property damage because of the actions of another person. Your insurance policy may provide compensation based on the specific type of damage you suffered: for example, you may need to take out specific property damage coverage for flood damage, while your homeowner’s policy may naturally include fire coverage. You may suffer damage from:
Fire damage can gut your home. Not only will you suffer direct damage in the parts of the home impacted by the fire, you may have smoke damage throughout a large area of the house. In addition, you may suffer water damage as the fire department puts out the flames.
The combination of smoke, fire, and water damage can cause devastation throughout your house. You may need to rebuild walls, repaint, or replace the flooring. You may need to have many of the cloth items throughout your home cleaned or replaced due to smoke or water damage. Electronics may also suffer severe damage, especially due to water or electrical damage.
Cleanup after a fire can lead to extreme financial difficulties, especially if you do not have adequate insurance to cover your needs. Worse, delays in insurance payouts can make it more difficult for you to begin repairs on your home. You may have to stay in a hotel or other facility while waiting for cleanup to take place in your home. You may even have to completely rebuild your home or move to a new home after a fire.
Hurricanes mean strong winds as well as significant rising water. Often, water can fill the streets of Aventura and even make it into your home after the hurricane. Your home may suffer severe outdoor damage, including missing shutters or roof damage, broken windows, or damage to your walls and supports. Following a hurricane, you may suffer power loss for a long time, which can make it hard to get back into your home or start working on needed repairs.
Hurricane cleanup often takes a long time. Frequently, multiple other homes in your area have also suffered severe damage, which can make it harder for you to get contractors and other professionals in to help with the damage in your home. In the meantime, your home may suffer additional damage from mold and water.
Like hurricanes, floods can mean a great deal of water damage to your home. Rising waters can cause damage at every level of your home: soaking carpets and rugs, leaving watermarks on the walls, and even causing structural damage.
Failure to promptly clean up water damage can lead to mold in your home, which may cause a host of health problems in your family members as you continue to live in the home. You may need to bring in a mold remediation specialist to help you deal with severe mold in your home. Following a flood, you may also have to throw away many of your possessions, including furniture.
Cast Iron Pipes
Cast iron pipes can erode over time, causing leaks and water damage. Many homeowners do not realize that they have cast iron pipes when they first move in. Unfortunately, they may not realize how much damage leaking pipes have caused until they have had time to do significant damage throughout the home.
Water damage may lead to a lack of structural integrity in the affected area. You may, as a result of water damage from your cast iron pipes, have to tear out walls and flooring, replace carpeting, or throw out furniture placed near the leak. If significant damage occurs before you have a chance to remedy it, you may end up having to replace ceilings, floors, or entire rooms within your home.
Vehicle damage can occur with or without human injury. Most often, vehicle damage occurs due to an auto accident: another driver strikes your car, causing severe damage to both vehicles. Sometimes, you can total your car without causing injury to yourself or your passengers. Other times, you may suffer severe injuries along with your vehicle damage.
Vehicle damage can also occur without anyone in the vehicle. Your vehicle may suffer damage due to flooding that rises above the level of the vehicle or a falling tree limb. You may suffer vehicle damage due to a fire or due to vandalism in your neighborhood.
The coverage you have for vehicle damage may depend on the type of insurance you carry.
- Liability coverage covers damage to the other party’s vehicle when you cause an accident. Your liability coverage will not cover damage to your vehicle.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage offers coverage for your vehicle when another driver causes an accident, but does not carry insurance, or does not carry adequate insurance coverage to repair your vehicle or to cover your injuries. Most drivers carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, since it usually adds only a small amount to the cost of your auto insurance.
- Collision coverage covers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if you cause an accident. With collision coverage, you can receive compensation for damage to your vehicle regardless of who causes an accident, which can make it easier for you to manage repairs or replacements.
- Comprehensive coverage offers coverage if your vehicle gets damaged in another way or stolen. Comprehensive coverage covers damage by tree limbs, floods, or theft in addition to damage caused during a car accident.
Seeking Compensation for Property Damage in Aventura
Following severe damage to your property, you may need to seek compensation for the damage to your investment. The type of assistance you receive from your insurance company may depend on the type of coverage you carry. In some cases, you may need an attorney to review your insurance policy to help you understand the type of insurance you carry and how it influences your right to compensation.
Property Owners’ Insurance
Property owners typically carry insurance that provides coverage for the structures and surrounding property. Property damage insurance usually covers the possessions within that property. For example, if you suffer damage to your home due to a flood, you may also suffer serious damage to many of your possessions.
You will need to check your policy to determine what it covers. Some property damage policies will cover damage to most of your possessions, while other policies may have specific exceptions, especially for expensive electronics or jewelry.
Commercial property owners, including those who own rental properties, may carry property insurance on those properties. These policies usually do not cover anything in the property that does not belong to the property owners.
If you do not own the property where you live, you may want to carry renters’ insurance. Renters’ insurance offers protection for the contents of a home: your electronics, furniture, clothing, and collectibles, for example. You may need to carry specific riders on your policy for some pieces of jewelry or expensive electronics, so make sure you contact your insurance company to learn what coverage you have and how you may need to adapt it.
Compensation When Someone Else Damages Your Property
In some cases, damage to your property may occur due to another party’s negligence or deliberate actions. In some cases, you may have the right to file a claim against that party for the cost of repairs or replacement to your home or other possessions. Contact an attorney to learn more about how to file a property damage claim in Aventura.
What Do You Need to Know About Your Policy?
Ideally, you should review your insurance policy before you suffer serious damage to your property to make sure that you have adequate coverage for your needs. Unfortunately, many people take out a homeowners’ insurance policy, then do not go back to review it again until disaster strikes.
When reviewing your insurance policy, you need to know several facts about the policy.
- What is your deductible? Your deductible is the amount you will have to pay for repairs to your home before your insurance kicks in. If the damage to your property does not cost more than your deductible to repair, you cannot use your property insurance to pay for those repairs. Some homeowners may not have the amount of the deductible on hand,
- What does your policy cover? Your insurance policy may clearly outline the types of damage it covers, or it may contain specific exceptions to the damage that it will cover. For example, some homeowners or renters need to take out specific coverage for flood damage. Even if you have flood coverage, you may need to check to ensure that you have water damage coverage on your home.
- How much damage does your policy cover? You should periodically review your coverage to ensure that it offers adequate protection. As the value of your home increases over time, whether it naturally increases or you make additions or upgrades to your home, you may want to make sure that your insurance policy still provides adequate protection for your changing needs.
Aventura Property Owner Concerns: Dealing With Your Insurance Company
You carry property insurance designed to protect you if your property sustains serious damage, whether that damage occurs due to human error or due to an act of nature. Unfortunately, your insurance company may not automatically provide the full protection you need.
Your Insurance Company May Not Pay out for the Full Amount of the Damage
Sometimes, an insurance agent will come to look over your property, estimate the cost of repairs, and issue a compensation offer that does not reflect the amount you really deserve. Following a fire, for example, the agent may suggest that you do not need to make repairs to specific areas of your property, or that the value of your property totals less than you initially expected. An attorney can help you seek the compensation you really deserve for repairs to your home.
Your Insurance Company May Try to Claim That You Caused the Damage
Your insurance company may conduct a full investigation into the circumstances that led to the damage to your home, then attempt to claim that you caused or contributed to it in some way. If you deliberately set a fire, for example, the insurance company would not have to pay out for repairs to your building. Your insurance company may also try to show that you committed an act of negligence that led to the damage. You may need an attorney to help prove that something else caused the damage.
Your Insurance Company May Try to Delay Compensation
The company may try to put off making those payments for as long as possible, leaving you without the funds you need to start tackling repairs to your home. Legally, however, the insurance company has a limited amount of time to process your claim. An attorney can help you fight for your rights following serious damage to your property.
Do You Need an Aventura Property Damage Attorney?
If you suffered damage to your property, you may need an attorney to help you determine how much compensation you deserve. or to help you seek that compensation. Contact Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman today at 833-552-7274 to learn more.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
20803 Biscayne Boulevard Suite 101,
Aventura, FL 33180