Boca Raton Property Damage Lawyer

February 15, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman

You carry insurance to protect you in the event of a disaster, from hurricanes to fires. Unfortunately, sometimes, that insurance policy may not seem to provide the level of protection you need. In fact, the insurance company may try to reduce the compensation it has to pay you so much that it makes it difficult for you to take care of needed repairs to your home.

Did you suffer property damage in Boca Raton? A Boca Raton property damage lawyer can help make sure you understand your rights and guide you through your next steps as you pursue compensation for your property.

Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, today to discuss your next steps and your right to compensation.

How Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, Can Help with Your Boca Raton Property Damage Claim

When you have significant damage to your property, you need a lawyer to help guide you through the claim process and help you understand how much compensation you deserve. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we offer support and assistance to our clients as they navigate the often challenging property damage claim process.

We listen to your story and your challenges.

You have your own story to tell about the damage to your property and the challenges it has caused for you. You may have significant losses, from typical losses like the challenges associated with the loss of the use of your property to personal challenges during the repair process.

At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we want to hear your story and deepen our understanding of the challenges you have faced. Thanks to our attention to you, we can often help you shape your property damage claim more effectively.

We do not take the easy way out.

Some property damage attorneys work as “settlement mills.” They try to push out damage claims as quickly as possible without considering their clients’ needs or the compensation they deserve.

At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we do not take that approach to our claims. Instead, we focus on ensuring that each client receives a high level of support throughout the claim process. We go tenaciously after the compensation our clients deserve as we help to get them real results for their property damage claims.

We make it easy for you to get in touch with a lawyer who can help with your claim.

Finding a lawyer to help with your claim is critical to ensure you can proceed with a successful property damage claim.

At Dolman Law Group, we make getting in touch easy. We have law offices across both Florida coasts, including an office directly in Boca Raton. We also offer virtual consultations for any client who cannot come into the office in person.

We also make our legal services affordable: We start with a free consultation regarding your property damage and typically accept property damage claims on a contingent fee basis, so you do not have to pay until we win your claim.

Did you suffer severe property damage in Boca Raton? Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, to discuss your right to compensation.

Dealing With Property Insurance: The Challenges Boca Raton Property Owners Face

You took out property insurance to help you pay for any damage to your property. Whether you need insurance for your possessions in a rental property, insurance to cover the cost of a building you own and its contents, or simply insurance to cover damage to the specific building, you rely on your insurance coverage to provide much-needed compensation following expensive property damage.

Types of Insurance

The level of insurance coverage you have may depend on the type of insurance you carry.

Renters' insurance provides insurance coverage for individuals who rent a space, but do not own the space itself. Renters' insurance provides coverage for the contents of a building, but will not provide coverage for the building itself. For example, if you suffer serious flood damage to your home, your landlord will need to use his property insurance to pay for the damage to the building, but your insurance will cover damages to your property.

Property insurance provides coverage for the property. Depending on whether you live on or operate out of the building, or you rent the property out to someone else, you may choose to insure just the building or the building and its contents. You will need to discuss the contents of the building and what you own with your insurance company.

Auto insurance. Your vehicle, like your home, represents an expensive investment. You need your vehicle to get to and from work and leisure activities each day. Many people choose to protect their vehicle with insurance.

However, the type of coverage you carry may determine when you have the right to seek compensation through your auto insurance company for damage suffered to your vehicle.

  • Liability-only coverage offers compensation to the owner of another vehicle for damage that occurs in an accident you caused.
  • Collision coverage will provide compensation to you if your vehicle suffers serious damage in a collision, regardless of who caused that collision.
  • Comprehensive coverage will provide compensation if non-accident damage happens to your vehicle. For example, comprehensive coverage may cover flood damage or the damage to your vehicle if a tree limb falls on it.

Understanding Your Coverage

Many Boca Raton property owners do not fully understand the insurance coverage their provider offers. You may struggle to understand just how much protection you have or what protection the items in your home may have. Sit down and take a look at your insurance coverage long before property damage occurs, if possible. You may find that you need to reevaluate or increase your coverage. If you have had problems with your insurance company and the coverage offered after serious property damage, work with your attorney to better understand your coverage and what you can expect.

You may need to know:

  • How much you will have to pay before your insurance kicks in. In most cases, you will have to pay for the first percentage of any repairs to your property, whether your home or your vehicle. The amount you will have to pay, known as your deductible, may tell you what minimum damage your home or vehicle must suffer before you can use your insurance. You may not always have to pay out the amount of the deductible directly. For example, if you carry a $1,500 deductible on your homeowner's insurance, and you suffer $5,000 worth of damage to your home, you may receive $3,500 in compensation and have the right to decide how you want to spend those funds.
  • How much your insurance will cover. Most policies have a maximum amount that they will cover, usually based on the value of your home and possessions. You may, for example, own a $200,000 home, and have $350,000 in coverage for the home itself and your possessions. However, if you have possessions in your home that total more than that amount, you may need not receive further compensation for your losses.
  • What your insurance will cover and what it will not. Many property owners' insurance policies have a clear set of exceptions. For example, you may need to add a special rider to your homeowners' insurance policy to cover jewelry or expensive collectibles, or your insurance company may require you to individually insure or mention some higher-end electronics in your home. You should also consider what damage exceptions apply to your policy. For example, you may need to take out a specific flood policy to cover flooding and hurricane damage to your home, rather than just expecting your homeowner's insurance policy to cover it.

Common Challenges Faced by Boca Raton Residents

Dealing with your insurance company can offer a unique set of challenges. You may assume that your insurance company will automatically pay out for any damage to your home. Unfortunately, the insurance company may not always issue the compensation you deserve. The insurance company may use several methods to try to limit its financial liability.

Those efforts, if they succeed, can prevent you from receiving the funds you need to repair your home or deal with other financial challenges you may face due to the disaster that damaged your property.

  • The insurance company may try to prove that you, either deliberately or through negligence, caused the damage to your home. For example, if you suffered fire damage to your home, the insurance company may try to prove that you set the fire or caused it through a knowingly negligent act. If you caused the damage, the insurance company may not have to pay.
  • The insurance company may try to prove that the damage fits into an exception in your policy. For example, you may have insurance that covers water damage. When a leaky pipe causes significant damage to your home, you may assume that your insurance company will pay automatically. Unfortunately, the insurance company may try to prove that the damage resulted from recent floods in the area, which your policy does not cover.
  • The insurance company may try to undervalue your property or the repairs to it. Ideally, you want your insurance to cover the replacement or repair of any damaged property. Unfortunately, that may not always work out as well as you had hoped. Your insurance company may try to deny the full amount that you deserve for the damage to your home, leaving you struggling to deal with the resulting bills.
  • The insurance company may try to delay issuing payment for as long as possible. The longer the insurance company waits to pay, the longer it can hold on to that money. In the meantime, however, you may struggle to take care of the damage to your home or vehicle. As you wait to take care of the damage, it may compound: for example, you may notice increasing mold damage due to improper cleanup after a flood.

Common Types of Property Damage in Boca Raton

Property damage can occur in a variety of ways. Sometimes, another party's negligent act may cause serious damage to your home: a neighbor cutting down a tree that drops onto your roof, for example. Other times, property damage may occur due to acts of nature. A Boca Raton property damage attorney can help you understand what coverage you have, including your right to compensation if someone else causes serious damage to your property.

Hurricane Damage

High winds, rising waters, and a long stretch without power can create a recipe for disaster in the middle of a hurricane. Many property owners find that hurricanes lead to serious damage to their homes and vehicles: water damage inside the home, roof damage, flood damage to vehicles and homes alike, and serious damage to the exterior of the home. Even if you took precautions like boarding up the windows, you may have broken glass and even missing walls. Cleanup after a hurricane can include mold and mildew treatment as well as throwing out waterlogged furniture, rugs, and other possessions.

Flood Damage

Like hurricanes, floods can cause serious problems for your home. While you may not have to contend with high winds during flooding, you may still notice challenges with rising water inside your home. You may also notice that high, heavy rains cause serious damage to your roof and throughout your home, often including many of your possessions. While quick remediation can help decrease the incidence of mold and mildew, many items may prove harder to clean than you think. You may also find yourself vying with others in your local community to bring remediation services out fast.

Cast Iron Pipes

Cast iron pipes can, over time, begin to erode. While modern homes usually avoid these types of pipes since the danger has grown well-known, older model homes may still have those cast-iron pipes, which may lead to increased risk of water damage throughout the home. Those pipes may leak steadily over time, leading to hidden water damage. Sometimes, they may burst unexpectedly, leaving you with water spread across your home.

Fire Damage

A fire can cause devastating damage to your home in a matter of minutes. You may suffer direct fire damage to the structure and many of your possessions. As the fire rages, it can also send smoke and soot throughout your home. In some cases, this may cause damage that makes it impossible to repair those items. In addition, as firemen fight the fire and work to reduce damage to your home and family, they may spray large quantities of water throughout your home. Unfortunately, this can lead to water damage on top of the soot and smoke damage throughout your home.

Auto Damage

Matthew A Dolman Esq
Boca Raton Property Damage Attorney, Matt Dolman

Your vehicle can suffer damage in several ways. Most often, you will suffer damage in an auto accident, when one car strikes another. You may have vehicle damage with or without injury to the passengers. Most auto insurance policies offer separate coverage for injuries and repairs to the vehicle, so you can often seek compensation for the damage to your vehicle even if you need to file a large car accident claim.

You can also suffer damage to your vehicle due to factors that have nothing to do with an auto accident. For example, high winds could cause a tree branch to fall on your vehicle, leading to a broken windshield or serious damage to the top of the car. Rising floodwaters can submerge your vehicle, leading to serious internal damage. Many people choose to replace their vehicles altogether following a flood, especially if the vehicle later proves unreliable. Comprehensive car insurance can help repair or replace a vehicle following a disaster.

Termite Damage Insurance Claims

For such a small bug, termites can be one of the biggest headaches that homeowners have to deal with. Florida termite damage can end up costing thousands of dollars to repair and signs of an infestation do not usually become apparent until a hive has chewed through a significant portion of wood. Property owners that look to insurance claims to cover the damage inflicted by a termite infestation are often disappointed to discover that their policy has language that excludes coverage in cases such as this. 

Just because a property insurance company has denied your claim or told you that you cannot get money to cover your termite damage does not mean that there are no options available. Consider seeking out the assistance of a termite damage lawyer to determine if there is still a way to seek coverage for termite damage to your property. 

An experienced Boca Raton termite damage lawyer can comb through your policy and determine if there are any loopholes or other options that can be utilized to get you compensation. For example, despite some policies excluding coverage for termite damage, they may still have a collapse provision that can be used if your termite damage causes a collapse. 

Boca Raton Property Damage FAQs

If you have questions about the damage to your property in Boca Raton, a lawyer at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can answer your questions.

What should I do if the insurance company denies my property damage claim in Boca Raton?

Having your property damage claim denied can feel catastrophic. Many people throughout Boca Raton do not have the means to take care of repairs or replacements for the damaged property on their own. A denied claim can spell financial disaster. Fortunately, having a claim denied does not necessarily mean that you cannot recover compensation.

If the insurance company denies your property damage claim after a damaging incident in Boca Raton, contact a lawyer to learn more about your rights. A lawyer can help you determine how to appeal the claim and protect your right to compensation.

How can I claim compensation for property damage that occurs during a hurricane in Boca Raton?

A hurricane can cause substantial property damage, not only for you but for many of your neighbors. After a major hurricane, insurance companies often field multiple calls related to severe storm damage. With its location on the Florida coast, Boca Raton residents get used to preparing for hurricanes and tropical storms. However, addressing severe property damage can still feel catastrophic.

You can protect your home against more damage, but should not start repairs before an adjuster views it.

You may need to put up tarps to prevent further water from getting in, for example, or even board up broken windows. However, you should not start formal repairs before the insurance company can provide an estimate for the cost of repairs.

Get in touch with your insurance company early.

Get your name on the list and start the process as soon as you can. Often, during a hurricane, Boca Raton residents will evacuate the area. It may take time to get back into town to evaluate the damage and determine whether you need to file a claim. However, the longer you wait to talk to your insurance company, the longer it may take to get compensation for the damage to your property.

Create a master list of all damaged items.

Include all items of value so you can clearly lay out the damages you suffered because of the hurricane and the compensation your insurance company may need to pay. Remember that you may not have coverage for expensive hobby items, artwork, or jewelry unless you specifically insure them. However, you may have general coverage for the contents of your home, which you may use to pursue compensation for the significant damage you may have sustained.

Contact a lawyer to help facilitate any dealings with the insurance company.

After major natural disasters like a hurricane, insurance companies may work harder to reduce the compensation they have to pay out so that they can protect their financial standing. However, their actions to protect the company can spell trouble for the people affected by the disaster. If you think that the insurance company may have issued you a low settlement offer for the damage to your property, or you have questions about the compensation you might deserve after a disaster, a lawyer can help you determine what comes next and how to protect yourself.

When do I need a lawyer to handle a property damage claim in Boca Raton?

Trying to handle a legal claim without the help of an experienced lawyer is a bad idea. Your lack of experience and resources will result in insurance companies taking advantage of you. We advise seeking the help of a property damage lawyer as soon as possible after the damaging incident. Here are some clues you need the help of someone who knows their way around the law.

You suffered severe property damage as a result of the incident.

Any time you suffer catastrophic property damage, you may need an attorney to look over your claim and provide you with a comprehensive estimate of how much compensation you should expect based on the terms of your policy. An attorney can evaluate your policy to get a better feel for how much compensation your plan offers, including what riders you may have for things like flood damage or what extra coverage, like compensation for having to stay somewhere other than your home, you might have. If you have severe property damage, you may also need to take a close look at policy maximums and any exceptions to those policies.

The insurance company delays payment for your claim.

The insurance company has a limited amount of time to pay out the damages related to your claim. If the insurance company delays that payment, its response to you, or any other stage of the claim process, you may need a lawyer to help you go over the terms of your contract and ensure that you get compensation for those damages within a reasonable period of time.

The insurance company denies your claim.

When the insurance company denies your claim, it can feel catastrophic. After all, you may have substantial damage related to the incident, and you need to take care of repairs as soon as possible. A lawyer can look over the terms of the policy and give you a better idea of what coverage you should realistically have. In many cases, you can appeal that decision and get the compensation you deserve for those damages.

You get a lower settlement offer compared to the damage to your property.

Generally, property damage estimates require experienced contractors who understand the work it will take to complete repairs and get the property back in working order.

Unfortunately, the insurance company sometimes tries to send you a lowball offer. That offer might take care of some surface repairs or allow for cheap options that can cobble your property back together, but it may not restore your property to its former shape. Talk to a lawyer to learn more about the compensation you deserve and how you can file a claim that includes it.

You have any questions about your coverage or the insurance company’s decisions.

When you have questions about the claim process or the compensation you can recover, working with a lawyer can offer you access to a wealth of information. The property damage attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, will start with a free consultation. We want you to understand your rights and the legal options available to you following substantial property damage.

How long does filing a property damage claim in Boca Raton take?

Florida law dictates how long insurance companies have to take care of a property damage claim.

The insurance company has:

  • 14 days to acknowledge that you have submitted a claim
  • Thirty days, with a written request, to provide you with confirmation regarding the status of your claim, including coverage, partial coverage, or claim denial. The insurance company may submit notice that it needs to further investigate your claim at this time.
  • Ninety days to pay either the full claim, the undisputed portion of a claim in the case of claim disputes, or to let you know that the insurance company denied your claim.

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding your claim can extend the time needed to process the claim and get funds in your hands. For example, if the insurance company suspects you of arson after a fire, it may need to complete an investigation into the cause of the fire before issuing payment for your claim. However, the insurance company still needs to conduct that investigation promptly.

If the insurance company drags out the claim process after your property damage claim in Boca Raton, including failing to issue compensation in a timely manner, you may need to contact a lawyer to discuss your rights.

Under what circumstances might the insurance company deny a property damage claim in Boca Raton?

Insurance companies might choose to deny property damage claims for several reasons.

You failed to notify the insurance company about the damage to your property on time.

The Florida statute of limitations for property damage claims may allow up to four years for you to file a claim for significant damage to your property. Keep in mind that your insurance company may have its own internal filing deadlines. In addition, if you leave the property unrepaired for a long time after a natural disaster or other damaging events, it could cause further damage to the property, which the insurance company might not cover.

The insurance company believes that you exaggerated the extent of the damage.

In some cases, you may need to negotiate with the insurance company to come up with a reasonable estimate regarding what damages your property has sustained and what repairs you can reasonably expect under the terms of your insurance policy.

Your insurance company will generally not cover the cost of upgrades to your home after a disaster. In some cases, the insurance company will cover replacement costs based on the state of the item at the time of the incident.

That may mean, for example, that you have a hard time getting replacement value for major appliances damaged in a fire or flood, or that you only receive part of the replacement value for a very old roof. The insurance company may also suggest that you claimed more damage in your report than the property sustained, which means the insurance company may deny the claim.

The insurance company notes that the damage occurred due to non-covered circumstances.

Your insurance policy will not cover every possible type of damage to your property. For example, the insurance company may not cover damage caused by neglect or deliberate action on the homeowner’s part. Furthermore, some policies may not cover flood damage, especially if you do not have a specific rider that covers that damage. In some cases, a lawyer can help you identify elements of the damage to your home that the insurance policy will cover, including damage that occurred for another reason. A lawyer may also note terms written into the policy that can help provide some compensation for damages, even when the company will not take on the full cost of repairs.

Any time you have a claim denied, having a lawyer look over the policy and the extent of the damage can help you get a better idea of what the insurance company should cover. In many cases, an attorney can help you appeal that claim denial and get the coverage you deserve for your damaged property.

What should I do if my Boca Raton insurance policy does not offer full coverage for the damage to my property?

Reevaluating your insurance coverage regularly can help ensure that you have adequate coverage to take care of the cost of repairs to your home. Unfortunately, many people fail to look at those policies until the damage has already occurred. Contact an attorney if you believe your insurance policy does not provide adequate coverage for the damage to your property.

An attorney can look over the policy and get a better idea of exactly what coverage it should offer, including any additional riders or options that can help increase the coverage you may have. In many cases, an attorney can increase the compensation you can recover for the damage to your property, which may make it easier for you to take care of repairs.

Contact an Experienced Boca Raton Property Damage Attorney Today

Did you suffer property damage, either due to another party's negligence or due to factors beyond your control? Have you struggled to get the compensation you deserve through your insurance company? Contact Dolman Law Group today at 833-552-7274 to learn more about your legal rights after serious property damage.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
301 Yamato Road, Suite 1240
Boca Raton, Florida 33431
Phone: 561-220-4963
Fax: 305-517-1306


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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