Ways a Fort Lauderdale Hurricane Damage Lawyer Can HelpWhen you hire a hurricane damage lawyer, you can level the playing field with your insurer by protecting your rights during the entire claims process. Your lawyer will build a strong case against the insurer by investigating and collecting evidence to show the damage was connected to the hurricane. Here's how a lawyer can help with your hurricane insurance claim:
- Assess your home insurance policy to identify the losses it covers
- Compile evidence to build a strong hurricane damage claim
- Estimate the full amount of damages
- Negotiate with your insurer to recover losses
- Keep you updated with the claim process
- Answer any questions about your claim
- Check for other policies that may compensate for other losses
- Safeguard your interests against the insurance company during the negotiations
- File for an appeal if the insurance company denies the initial claim
Types of Hurricane DamageHurricanes are among the most destructive natural disasters. In Florida, they often cause severe devastation to houses, businesses, and communities. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report shows that the U.S. loses more than $50 billion every year in economic damages due to hurricane winds and storm-related flooding. It's impossible to predict the type of property damage you'll experience after a hurricane in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. However, the most common types of damage may include:
- Damage to vehicles
- Damage to driveways
- Foundation damage
- Flooding and water damage
- Damage from downed lines and wires
- Collapse or destruction to the home or building
- Exterior damage to the house, including roof, window, or door damage
- Interior damage to household items, such as furniture, appliances, and computers
- Structural damage, including decks, porches, balconies, and other outside buildings
- Damage to outdoor areas, such as landscaping, trees, sheds, or pools
Steps To Take After Hurricane DamageIf your property or home has sustained any damages, the most critical step is to ensure your safety and that of any other resident. Most people who live in areas where hurricanes frequently happen have adopted safety measures to protect themselves and prevent severe property damage. However, not all damages can be prevented or predicted. The following are steps to take after a hurricane to ensure your hurricane insurance claim is settled promptly:
- Document Your Property Damage: It's vital to document the damage to your property by taking photos and videos. Insurance companies tend to downplay the seriousness of the damage reported. Having photographic evidence can prove the extent of your damage to the insurer, making it difficult for them to undervalue or deny your claim.
- Prevent Further Damage: Make sure to cover any damaged property using tarp material to prevent further damage. You will also want to avoid likely safety hazards and reduce the costs of replacement and repairs as much as possible. Your insurer can deny your claim if additional damages occur to the property after the hurricane.
- File Your Claim Right Away: It's essential to contact your insurer immediately and file your claim as soon as possible after the hurricane. Taking time before filing your claim may cause the insurer to be suspicious, causing a further delay as the insurer conducts their investigations. In addition, most claims have a statute of limitations. Therefore, it's best to file immediately to avoid preventable difficulties down the road.
- Hire a Lawyer: Filing an insurance claim without help can be overwhelming, so we recommend seeking the services of a lawyer for legal support. The lawyer will assess your case and present strong evidence to the insurer to help bring a settlement offer that can cover your damages.
Recoverable Damages in a Hurricane Insurance ClaimYou may wonder about the amount the insurance company will pay to compensate for your property damage. The value of your hurricane insurance claim is determined based on the details of your claim. Some of the damages that insurance policies typically cover include:
- The cost to replace or repair the damage to your home and other property structures
- The cost to clean up fallen trees, limbs, or other debris from your yard
- The cost of replacing destroyed personal property, such as clothes, furniture, electronic devices, and toys
- The cost incurred for temporary housing and living expenses if your house is inhabitable after the hurricane
- The boarding up expenses used to secure your property after the storm passes