Hurricane Property Damage Attorneys
For those who live along a shoreline, during certain times of the year, typically June through November, the possibility of a hurricane is a fact of life. However, hurricanes and tropical storms are not just coastal problems. People can feel the damages and risks hundreds of miles inland. The destruction is often severe, recovery is expensive, restoration is challenging, and the insurance claim process is complicated.
If your family is fighting an insurance company’s “stall, delay, or deny” tactics in a quest for full compensation for hurricane damages, contact the dedicated hurricane damage lawyers at Dolman Law Group. We are a nationwide firm with the resources and experience to take on those insurance companies who do not act in good faith and attempt to avoid paying policyholders full compensation.
“Hurricanes and their remnants have struck every state in the Union”—Direct Energy Learning Center
Table of Contents
- Potential Property Damage
- What You Can Recover
- An Insurance Company Will Devalue Your Storm Damage Claim
- Frequently Asked Questions About Hurricane Protection
- Contact a Hurricane Property Damage Attorney Today
Potential Property Damage
A tropical storm receives a name when winds reach 39 miles per hour. A storm officially becomes a hurricane when winds reach 74 miles per hour. Based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, a category one hurricane will have winds gusting between 74 and 95 miles per hour, while a category two will find winds between 96 and 110 miles per hour.
- Class 3 hurricanes have sustained winds from 111 to 129 miles per hour
- Class 4 hurricanes have sustained winds from 130 to 156 miles per hour
- Class 5 hurricanes have sustained winds over 157 miles per hour
“Since 1924, there have been 35 documented hurricanes in the North Atlantic that reached this level—and of those, five have hit the United States at Category 5 strength.”—The History Channel
Expected damages to residential properties and businesses
- Structural damage or destruction
- Broken glass
- Loss of personal property
- Mildew and mold
- Electrical problems
- Damaged landscaping
- Plumbing issues
- Blocked roadways
- Vehicle damage
- Uprooted trees
With locations across Florida and the nation, Dolman Law Group helps home and property owners with concerns about their hurricane insurance coverage, especially when insurers unnecessarily delay or deny claims. When an insurance adjuster’s estimate is significantly lower than anticipated, there is no substitution for experience. Our reputation speaks volumes—the big insurance carriers know we mean business, and we will carry a claim to the courtroom if need be.
“In 1953, the National Hurricane Center began using female names for Atlantic storms. Male names were added to the cycle in 1979, and male and female names alternated through the alphabet, though there are no names that begin with Q, U, X, Y, or Z.”—USA Today
You Won’t Get What You Don’t Ask For
After a hurricane, the amount of loss and destruction is proportional to the duration and intensity of the storm. When damages are extensive, filing an insurance claim can be complex. In the wake of a regional disaster like a hurricane, insurance companies are overburdened with reports of property damage and requests for a financial payout.
A hurricane claim settlement adjuster is unlikely to offer a property owner more than they ask for. We can thoroughly inspect your damages and stop your insurance carrier from lowballing your claim.
Start at the top and get a roofing inspection.
For safety and accuracy, get a certified roofing inspector to examine the roof for storm damage. Broken or missing shingles or tiles compromise the roof’s integrity. Gaping holes will allow water to damage the attic space, and loose debris and tree limbs add to a dangerous situation.
Cover broken panes to prevent interior damage and look for cracks or damage to the window frames or screens.
Gutters and downspouts
If it can be done safely, unclog gutters and downspouts, and document any visual damage.
Other areas you must inspect include:
- Porches, patios, and decks
- Lawn, patio, and deck furniture
- Concrete surfaces like driveways and walkways
If your damages are extensive and your claims are complicated, an experienced attorney from The Dolman Law Group can help protect the true value of your home if you are not getting assistance from your liability carrier. Our legal team can deal with the insurance company while you and your family focus on putting your home and your life back in order.
You Won’t Get What You Can’t Prove You Lost.
Liability insurance carriers will require a proof of loss type document to begin processing a claim. According to Pew Research, 85 percent of Americans now have a smartphone. Documenting storm damage in digital pictures is just a matter of point and click. Although photos of the aftermath will prove damages, the before photographs will give the adjuster (and, if needed, a judge and jury) a frame of reference.
Home inventory pictures will validate exactly what is gone and the condition and location of each item before the storm hits. You are ahead of the majority if you already have photos or video proof of home furnishings. Today’s technology enables meteorologists to predict, with a fair degree of accuracy, the timing and trajectory of a major storm.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology tells us that once a storm forms over the water, we can track its path for three to five days before landfall. In addition to stocking up on emergency supplies, and absolutely before you evacuate the area, Invest the time it takes to catalog all personal belongings and furnishings in pictures,
Property Damage Hurricane Damage Lawyer Near Me 833-552-7274
Everything Has Value When You Must Replace It.
Our homes and possessions are our biggest assets for most of us. Do not miss anything. Go room by room, closet by closet, drawer by drawer—every wall, every carpet, and inside of every jewelry box, storage tote, and toolbox. Those who have valuable family heirlooms or expensive art and antiques would do well to document the provenance, as well as any actual receipts of purchase.
Recording the make, model, and serial numbers of appliances and electronic devices will help determine replacement value. When standing in the path of an oncoming hurricane or tropical storm, in the time you have before landfall—do what you can to mitigate your losses, then do what you must for your family’s safety.
Consumers in coastal areas typically pay high premiums for storm damage coverage. Having a detailed and well-documented inventory of losses will go a long way in securing full and fair compensation.
“Tropical cyclones and hurricanes have caused the most damage of all weather-related disasters in the United States since 1980. These storms are responsible for the five costliest disasters in U.S. history with average direct damage costs of almost $21.5 billion per event.”—Wharton Risk Management Center
An Insurance Company Will Devalue Your Storm Damage Claim
Dealing with an insurance company is not always as easy as their marketing materials indicate.
Not to make light of a serious situation, but a homeowner may find they are not “in good hands,” and their carrier is neither a “good neighbor” nor “on your side.”
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Consumers are no match for large liability insurance carriers. On their payroll, these mega firms are armed with a battery of experts, with only one goal in mind—mitigating their losses.
No matter how friendly your insurance representative may be, you can rest assured they will not look out for your best interest. Insurance is a highly regulated industry, and consumers have legal rights and options when an insurance company does not operate fairly.
They may try to convince you you do not need a lawyer. If you think you might, you do. A lawyer gives you leverage. Having a Dolman Hurricane damage attorney on your side gives your family the best possible chance for a full, fair, and timely resolution.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hurricane Protection
Does homeowners insurance cover all hurricane damage?
Maybe not. Hurricane coverage is often a stand-alone policy or an endorsement of the basic policy. Check with your insurance agent to review the terms and limits of your homeowner’s liability coverage. Your policy may cover water and wind damage but not flood damage unless you have separate coverage for floods.
Your auto insurance coverage might reimburse you for some of the damage to motor vehicles on your property. Additionally, currently, 19 states have a deductible for this damage.
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- and the District of Columbia
How will I know I need a lawyer to help with my insurance claim?
A family dealing with a disaster such as a hurricane may need help from a seasoned attorney when they find themselves facing:
- Intimidation tactics from their insurance agent
- Having to argue for fair compensation
- An obvious lowball offer
- An insurance company acting in bad faith
- A loss of control over the recovery process
- Being rushed to make a quick settlement
- Confusion over what’s covered and what’s not
- “Lowball” estimates and settlement offers
- An unfriendly or uncooperative claim adjuster
- An impossible financial situation
When you feel powerless, you need an advocate who understands how to use the justice system to hold unscrupulous insurance companies accountable.
What can I expect to recover in a hurricane insurance claim?
Every liability insurance policy is different. You should expect, and accept, nothing less than the limits of your particular policy or combined policies.
You may receive:
- Replacement costs for all lost or damaged personal items and furnishings
- Motor vehicle repairs
- The cost of temporary housing and meals
- Pet boarding
- Gas and mileage if your temporary housing is farther to work or school than your home was
- Laundry services, if not available in temporary housing
- Out-of-pocket expenses due to the storm damage
For a free legal consultation with a hurricane damage lawyer serving Property Damage, call 833-552-7274
Beware of Fraud And Scams Following a Natural Disaster
Unfortunately, scams abound when a community is in the throes of a disaster like a hurricane. Those looking to profit from another’s misfortune are known to target homeowners by phone, text, emails, and unabashedly- even door-to-door.
Verify all supposed contractors who claim to be sent by your insurance carrier, and donate only to known charities through a recognized website. Do not give out any personal or financial information unless given directly to your carrier or someone you know personally. Verify everything.
Call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline toll-free to report suspected fraud at 1-866-720-5721.
“After Hurricane Katrina, investigators found 5,000 questionable websites that were set up to collect donations.”—BKS Partners
What Can an Experienced Hurricane Property Damage Attorney Do for You
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we make every case personal. Our firm has a well-earned reputation for keeping insurance carriers honest regarding maximum compensation for our clients. Founding partner Matthew Dolman is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for settlements and verdicts exceeding $1 million and $2 million.
The legal team at Dolman Law Group focuses on quality. Collectively, we have built our practice by giving each client the personal attention they deserve.
If you have questions and concerns after hurricane damage, call us at 833-552-7274. We offer a free consultation.
When an insurance company delays or denies a storm damage claim, contact our team at the Dolman Law Group. We can help provide you with a way to move forward financially.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA – Clearwater Office
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
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