Hurricane Damage Lawyers

September 25, 2022 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman

When your home or business sustains damage from a hurricane or another tropical storm, you need a financial recovery sooner rather than later. You could get money for repairs by filing a claim with your homeowners or hurricane insurance provider. In some cases, other insurers may also pay to cover your losses. A hurricane damage lawyer from our team could help you understand your options and fight for fair compensation.

Our hurricane damage attorneys from Dolman Law Group provide free consultations to homeowners after a hurricane, tropical depression, or tropical storm causes property damage. We know how insurance works after these storms and do not want to see you settle for less than you deserve based on your coverage. Call us today to learn more.

What Makes the Hurricane Damage Lawyers at Dolman Law Group Different

Lawyers of Distinction 2019

At Dolman Law Group, we know that you have choices regarding getting legal help. However, if you want to ensure that you get treated like a person and receive the service you deserve, consider working with our team after you face hurricane damage.

Many firms leave their clients feeling like nothing more than a number. Our goal is to offer a personalized experience for every person we serve. Your case is unique, and we aim to create a custom approach to your case's needs—not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Our founding attorney, Matthew Dolman, is a nationally-recognized trial attorney dedicated to getting results for claimants and injury victims. Let our team get to work seeking the compensation and results you need during this challenging time in your life.

Our Hurricane Damage Lawyers Help Clients Get Money for Their Losses

Headquartered in Florida, our team from Dolman Law Group understands how hurricane destruction can affect property owners. Many of our lawyers and staff have had personal experience with hurricane damage. As a result, we understand how these storms damage homes and businesses in several ways, how to document that damage, and the coverage available in most insurance policies.

When a hurricane hits, it cuts a wide swath across the area. Those who experience the eyewall of the storm generally have more severe damage. Lighter damage may occur out where the arms of the hurricane passed. Of course, this offers only a generalization of storm and damage patterns. Someone miles from the storm's center may have a larger claim if a tree fell on their house than someone in the eye who lost a few shingles.

Hurricanes can cause significant property damage because of the many conditions within them. Some types of hurricane damage include:

Wind Damage Inflicted by Hurricanes

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), wind poses one of the top risks for property damage during a hurricane. Minor hurricanes can destroy manufactured homes, and a Category 4 or 5 hurricane can leave well-built buildings and homes with significant damage. In addition, roof damage and fallen trees can put structures at risk in any tropical storm or hurricane.

High winds also turn signs, metal sheds, and other outdoor items into projectiles that break glass, damage siding, tear open walls, and cause significant destruction in major storms.

Wind plays a major role in hurricane damage. Storm ratings consider pressure and wind speed, not including other dangerous aspects. The NWS issues an extreme wind warning when winds reach a sustained 115 miles per hour. Some hurricanes can bring much higher wind speeds.

Consider the National Hurricane Center's reports on the strongest hurricanes ever:

Water Damage From Rain

When wind damage causes trees to fall on homes or damage a roof or wall, little can stop the rain from pouring in. Water damage is likely, with no way to tarp the house during the storm. This can cause water damage, mold growth, and other significant concerns. This may prove especially true when you evacuate and cannot return home for several days.

Homeowners' insurance or your hurricane policy generally covers this type of water damage. However, you may need evidence that it occurred because of roof damage, not inland flooding, flash flooding, or storm surge. Your standard homeowners' insurance policy will not likely cover damage from flooding.

Hail Damage to Property

While hail is not the most common or damaging danger in a hurricane, it can occur. This can prove especially true in outer bands where tornadoes can happen. Large hail can damage vehicles, siding, sheds, and roofs. This destruction can sometimes lead to other issues, such as rain and water damage.

Lightning and Fires Endanger Homes

Lightning can cause damage to electronics and appliances and even cause fires. A fire during a hurricane may become bad because the fire department cannot dispatch firefighters to the scene. Property damage may prove extensive when firefighters have no way to combat the fire.

Your homeowners' insurance policy should pay for this. For example, your insurance may replace broken appliances, remediate the home from smoke damage, and cover repairs after a fire.

Storm Surge and Flash Flooding

Storm surge can often prove the deadliest aspect of a hurricane. The hurricanes with the most fatalities were not Category 5 storms with extreme winds. Instead, they were those with high, fast-moving flooding. Experts estimate that the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 killed as many as 12,000 people because of an 8-to-15-foot storm surge. More recently, Hurricane Katrina took over 1,800 lives because of flooding and failed levees.

This flooding can also cause extensive property damage. However, homeowners insurance does not generally cover it. If you live in an area where a storm surge or other flooding will likely occur, investing in flood insurance may prove the only way to receive a payout for this damage.

What Do I Need to Know About Filing a Hurricane Damage Claim?

At Dolman Law Group, we handle property damage insurance claims every day. Therefore, we know the ins and outs of this process and what to expect. However, we know many people get started on hurricane damage claims before connecting with our team. Some things you need to know about this process include:

Your Homeowners Policy Likely Has Exclusions

Many believe their homeowners' policy provides all the protection they need during a natural disaster. However, most policies have exclusions and will not cover some types of losses.

The most common exclusion that affects a hurricane claim is flooding. You could purchase flood insurance as an additional policy. Those in storm surge areas that could see inland flooding should consider this coverage.

Some people in hurricane-prone areas may have hurricane damage as a homeowners policy exclusion. You should have the right policies to cover hurricane damage in these areas. In addition, adding additional coverage for wind and flooding damage can prove essential.

Hurricane Damage Claims Often Move Slowly

When a hurricane occurs, many people across the entire area suffer property damage simultaneously. As a result, insurance companies receive dozens or even hundreds of claims from policyholders who need compensation to make repairs. This can make the process move slowly. As a result, it may become difficult to get the money you need quickly and easily.

When an insurer receives a claim, the company's adjusters need to look at the documentation, assess the damage, value the claim, and take other steps before offering the policyholder a payout. When they only have one claim, this can take several days, a week, or longer. However, with hundreds of claims to manage, it may take longer.

Still, many states—including Florida—have laws that require insurers to stick to reasonable timelines throughout the claims process. If they fail to do so, our team could help.

You May Have a Different Deductible for Hurricane Damage

In areas that frequently receive hurricane damage, insurance companies often have separate deductibles for these claims. While many homeowners policies have a flat deductible of $1,000 to $2,000, a hurricane damage deductible generally only consists of a percentage of the insured value.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), a hurricane damage deductible may range from 1 to 5 percent of the home's insured value. In areas with frequent claims, the percentage could get even higher.

Our attorneys can review your insurance policy to determine the deductible you will need to pay for your hurricane damage claim.

Getting the Payout for a Homeowners' Insurance Claim You Need Is Not Always Easy

You may have to fight for fair compensation based on your losses and necessary repairs. Insurers commonly try to lowball their policyholders after a hurricane through several tactics.

This could include:

  • Disputing your losses or cost of repairs
  • Claiming your policy does not cover the damage
  • Pushing a settlement offer on you before you understand the cost of repairs
  • Saying your negligence caused the damage or you failed to prevent further damage
  • Asking you to sign a release before you have completed your claims
  • Offering you significantly less than you need to cover your expenses

You have a right to contact an attorney at any point in the claims process. If you call our team, we will review your policy and claim with you. We could handle this process on your behalf and negotiate a fair payout from your insurer.

Our Hurricane Damage Lawyers Can Help When You Have an Issue

After a dispute or issue during the claims process, do not hesitate to contact our team. We will help you understand your rights and options during a free hurricane damage consultation. We may be able to take over documenting your expenses and losses, managing your claim, and handling all communication with the insurance company. You can focus on other tasks while we seek the money you need and deserve.

How Much Can a Hurricane Damage Lawyer Help Me Recover?

Hurricanes consistently prove the most expensive natural disasters or weather events.

According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), the most expensive hurricanes on record include:

  • Hurricane Katrina in 2005, $186.3 billion adjusted to 2022 dollars
  • Hurricane Harvey in 2017, $148.8 billion adjusted to 2022 dollars
  • Hurricane Maria in 2017, $107.1 billion adjusted to 2022 dollars
  • Hurricane Sandy in 2021, $81.9 billion adjusted to 2022 dollars
  • Hurricane Ida in 2021, $78.7 billion adjusted to 2022 dollars

Each of these totals includes damage to thousands of properties, shorelines, beaches, homes, and commercial buildings. These numbers are staggering, but the cost of home repairs, property losses, and related expenses after a hurricane often surprises even the homeowner. Therefore, you should consider all the covered expenses and losses before you agree to a payout.

Your claim's worth depends on the losses, expenses, and coverage your policy provides.

You could receive money for:

  • Damage to the foundation or structure of your home
  • Roof damage
  • Damage to sheds, fences, decks, outbuildings, and other structures
  • Replacement costs for damaged personal property, furnishings, and appliances
  • Car repair or replacement, usually paid for by your auto insurer
  • Loss of use of your property
  • The cost of staying in a hotel or rental property during repairs
  • Temporary housing, travel expenses, and meals during the evacuation
  • Pet boarding, if necessary
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses related to your relocation

Our team helps clients identify their recoverable losses and repair expenses. We document them and provide this documentation to the insurer while we pursue a fair payout for our client.

Our Hurricane Damage Attorneys Fight Insurance Denials

At Dolman Law Group, our team knows the reasons insurance companies use to deny hurricane claims. Contact our team if you receive a denial letter after a hurricane claim. We will review the letter and explain how you can fight the denial. We could handle this process for you.

Some common reasons insurers use to deny property damage claims include:

  • The policyholder missed the filing deadline.
  • The premiums were not up to date, and they canceled the policy.
  • They accuse the policyholder of lying, falsifying, or misrepresenting their damage.
  • They did not believe the policyholder sufficiently documented their losses.
  • The insurer believes the losses occurred because of excluded causes.
  • The damage occurred to an undisclosed addition or another improvement.
  • They assure the policyholder of failing to prevent further damage.

Our attorneys know how to determine the insurer's appeals process and follow it to challenge the denial. Sometimes, a company may reassess a claim when we inquire about it. Insurance companies respect our attorneys because they know we do the job for our clients.

If we cannot get results through the appeals process, we may need to take additional action to help you secure a payout based on your insurance policy and the losses you endured. This could include a civil suit against the insurer. How we approach your denial will depend greatly on the circumstances.

We will discuss your options with you and develop a plan to pursue the money you need to address your repairs, out-of-pocket expenses, lost property, and more. We will handle your case for you, but you will receive regular case updates and remain as involved in the process as you want. Many of our clients focus on lining up the necessary repairs and replacing damaged property while we worry about the rest.

How a Hurricane Damage Attorney From Dolman Law Group Can Help Your Case

At Dolman Law Group, our hurricane damage lawyers can help you pursue the money you need to repair your home and get back into it as soon as possible. We know how difficult it can be to leave your home for an extended time. We want to help you get your life back to normal sooner. Some of the issues we can help resolve include:

Confusion About Your Homeowners' Policy

Our attorneys can review your policy and determine what it covers and does not. Again, this may differ from what the insurance company told you, and we can also help you with this type of dispute.

Homeowners' Insurance Representatives' Bad Behavior

Insurance adjusters do not always cooperate or treat you kindly. They must act in good faith and help you get the necessary money for repairs. However, that does not always mean they are on your side. We often hear about adjusters using intimidation tactics and other bad behavior to pay out as little as possible.

We ensure our clients' rights remain protected. We seek fair compensation from the insurer based on the terms of their policy and the damage they experienced.

Refusal to Provide Fair Compensation for Hurricane Property Damage

In some cases, insurance companies try to underpay their policyholders despite evidence to show their claim's worth. This leads to a situation where the policyholder must accept a lowball offer or argue with the insurer for fair compensation. This type of dispute often feels like a no-win financial situation for policyholders. This is because the coverage they pay for only leads to extremely low estimates and offers.

Our attorneys could present stronger evidence of the value of your case and recover fair compensation for you. We can also help if the insurer denies your claim or will not increase its offer. We know your options and can help you navigate them to secure the payout you deserve.

Taking Too Long or Not Giving You Enough Time in a Hurricane Damage Claim

Insurance companies like to control the pace of the claims process. As a result, they may rush you to make a quick settlement before you can feel certain of the value of your losses or delay your case and hinder your repairs. Reach out to our team if you experience pushy insurance representatives or unreasonable delays, and we could help.

We believe our relationships with clients make a difference at Dolman Law Group. When we begin working with clients, they receive their attorney's cell phone number and email address. They can contact their hurricane damage lawyer anytime with questions or get a case update.

Those in the insurance industry respect our attorneys. They know how hard we fight for our clients and the knowledge we bring to the claims process. As a part of our commitment to our clients, we represent policyholders—not insurance companies. At Dolman Law Group, we work based on contingency. We never charge our clients upfront fees.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Our Hurricane Damage Attorneys

Hurricane Damage Attorney

Below, we offer answers to some of the most commonly asked questions during our free consultations. We offer general answers here, but you can contact our team for your free claim review to learn more about your options.

How Soon Do I Need to File My Claim After Hurricane Damage?

Your insurance company will likely set the timeline for filing your claim. They each have their procedures and processes, which often include a deadline to notify about the damage and file the claim. We can review your policy to determine your deadline. An insurance policy functions as a contract between the company and the policyholder. You must meet these deadlines or risk a claim denial.

When it comes to lawsuits, each state sets its own rules. For example, Florida law sets deadlines for filing a lawsuit based on negligence, property damage, or breach of contract, depending on the facts of your case. Our team can help you understand the deadlines that apply in your case during your initial consultation.

Will My Insurance Pay for My Family to Stay Somewhere After a Hurricane?

When you cannot inhabit your home following a hurricane, fire, or another disaster, your homeowners' insurance may cover the cost of a hotel, rental property, or another place for your family to live while making repairs. Our attorneys can review your policy to determine if this benefit may get covered.

You must keep all receipts and other paperwork related to your evacuation, hotel stay, and expenses to receive reimbursement, so ensure you have a file for this documentation.

What Actions Do I Need to Take to Protect My Rights After Hurricane Damage?

Following a hurricane, you must take photos and videos of the damage as soon as possible. Next, take a walking inventory of your home before and after a disaster. See the differences and document the losses. Afterward, you must take action to prevent any further damage. This could include tarping holes in the roof, cleaning out any standing water, and boarding any broken windows.

We also advise working with an attorney to manage your insurance claims. We help our clients pursue a fair insurance payout based on the damage to their homes, personal property losses, and repair costs. When you let an attorney handle your case, it can significantly reduce the risk of the insurer trying to lowball or unfairly deny a claim.

Do I Need a Hurricane Damage Attorney to File a Hurricane Damage Claim?

Some people can successfully file their property damage claims on their own and receive compensation from their insurance company. However, doing so is not always easy. We represent clients with complex circumstances, extensive damage, or who received a denial. You should not have to try to navigate the process on your own.

When we represent a client in a hurricane damage insurance case, we may need to file claims with different insurance providers, document what caused each type of damage, and fight to get them the payout or payouts they deserve based on their policies. When our team handles the claim, it allows them to focus on their family, work, and scheduling repairs.

How Much Is My Hurricane Damage Claim Worth?

We cannot immediately know your hurricane damage claim's worth until we investigate your case further. We need to document the damage, inventory your losses, and gather receipts for out-of-pocket expenses to determine how much the hurricane cost you.

This is among the most common questions we hear, but we cannot offer an accurate answer immediately. However, we will determine what a fair insurance payout looks like in your case if we represent you. We know how to estimate your losses and seek adequate compensation from your insurer to cover them.

Are All of My Hurricane Losses Covered?

There may be some situations when your homeowners' insurance policy will not cover all of your property damage. This most commonly occurs when you have storm surge damage but do not have a flood insurance policy. Homeowners' coverage generally does not pay for flood damage.

After a severe storm, you could also reach the maximum payout of your policy before you cover all your lost belongings and home repairs. This may occur because new building codes require upgrades, or you lost valuable belongings without an additional policy to cover their high value.

Our team of attorneys could help you negotiate a fair payout from your insurer, file hurricane damage claims with your flood insurance provider, or take other steps to help you recover the money you need and deserve.

What Can I Do if My Insurer Denies My Hurricane Damage Claim?

Each insurer has its own appeals process you must follow to challenge a denial. Other options could be available if you do not have success in getting your claim approved. However, this often makes for a challenging and frustrating process. It can take a lot of time and work to ensure you have the right support for your claim and document your losses properly.

We recommend reaching out to our team if your insurance company denies your hurricane damage claim. We could handle the appeal for you or otherwise take steps to fight for the payout you need and deserve based on your policy.

How Will Having a Homeowner's Insurance Attorney Help Me Fight a Denial?

Sometimes, an insurer will reassess a denial simply because a law firm contacts them about it. The insurers respect our attorneys and know we will fight to help our clients get a fair payout. We know how to appeal a denial following the insurer's outlined procedures, sue in civil court, or take other steps to ensure the company respects our clients' rights, as well.

We also know how to build support for these claims by documenting what happened and the losses our clients experienced. When insurers receive a lot of claims at once, yours could slip through the cracks. They may not give it the attention it deserves or review it properly. We could work to ensure your case can overcome a denial and get you the compensation you need to repair your property.

How Can I Learn More About the Dolman Law Group?

Our team offers free case consultations. You can speak with a team member about your hurricane damage claim for free today. We will answer your questions about your policy, the claims process, our team, and our fees. We can ensure you feel confident with our team before we ask you to partner with us to seek the compensation you need and deserve.

Our attorneys have extensive experience and knowledge in handling property damage claims, including hurricane claims for homes and businesses. We will be glad to discuss similar cases, how we approach these claims, and why we do not represent insurance companies—only policyholders.

How Much Will It Cost Me to Hire a Hurricane Property Damage Lawyer for My Claim?

Our hurricane damage lawyers work based on contingency. We do not charge clients a retainer or any upfront fees. We go to work using our firm's resources to build a case, file claims, and even sue when necessary. Our clients never need to give us money out of their pockets to work on their cases. Instead, we get paid from the money we recover in their case in what is known as a contingent fee.

We only charge for attorney's fees if we win, too. In this way, you can get the representation and advocacy you need to navigate this process without putting your family's financial health at risk.

Property Damage from Hurricane Ian

hurricane ian damage

Hurricane Ian is one of 2022's first major hurricanes and one of the first major hurricanes to really threaten Florida in years. Most people would consider Michael to be the last major Florida hurricane that struck as a Category 5 in October 2018 near Panama City. Hurricane Ian is also a significant enough threat that Governor Ron Desantis has declared a state of emergency in Florida and stressed the need for

Many people may assume that their home insurance coverage is sufficient to cover all losses and damage to their property caused by Hurricane Ian. But that may not be the case.

For instance, most ordinary homeowners' insurance policies do not cover water damage, which is covered by flood insurance. This type of coverage must typically be purchased separately.

Along with these problems, homeowners who experience substantial property damage from wind, debris, or electrical issues may struggle to obtain the coverage they require, even if the damage is covered by their insurance. That's because insurance companies are out to make money. Their goal is to keep costs low and they do that by denying, delaying, and lowballing.

Hurricane Ian Damage Across Florida

Many cities in Florida are being threatened by Hurricane Ian. This includes coastal cities and cities that are more inland.

According to current projections, Florida cities such as Tampa, Saint Petersburg, Fort Myers/Cape Coral, and surrounding towns are at immense risk for storm surges and consequent flooding damage. There is also a major risk of damage to property inflicted by wind, heavy rainfall, and debris.

The following 24 Florida counties are estimated to be the most heavily damaged by the storm.

  • Brevard
  • Broward
  • Charlotte
  • Collier
  • DeSoto
  • Glades
  • Hardee
  • Hendry
  • Highlands
  • Hillsborough
  • Indian River
  • Lee
  • Manatee
  • Martin
  • Miami-Dade
  • Monroe
  • Okeechobee
  • Osceola
  • Palm Beach
  • Pasco
  • Pinellas
  • Polk
  • Sarasota
  • St. Lucie

To minimize the amount they lose in profit, insurance companies fight tenaciously against the property damage claims that always come after a powerful storm like Hurricane Ian.

Homeowners should consult a knowledgeable hurricane property damage attorney in situations like this to prevent getting lowballed, stressed, and possible denial. Insurance companies have more resources and legal expertise than 99% of people but we have your back.

Our homeowner's insurance lawyers have been fighting insurance companies for a combined 120+ years. We can even the playing field so you can rest assured.

If Hurricane Ian damaged your property and your home insurance company is playing games, contact Dolman Law Group today. We will get what you are owed.

Personal Injury Lawyer
Matthew Dolman, Hurricane Damage Lawyer

Speak to a Dolman Law Team Member About Your Hurricane Damage Claim Today

Dolman Law Group offers free case reviews for those who endured property damage after a hurricane in Florida or another coastal area in the United States. We have offices in Florida, New York, Massachusetts, and Texas to serve our clients nationwide. We can help you understand your insurance coverage, document your damage and losses, and file your claims. We also fight insurance denials for our clients.

Dolman Law Group emphasizes quality over quantity by taking fewer cases so that we can deliver the best possible legal representation. Our clients can't speak enough about our diligence in maintaining communication throughout the whole process and our ability to deliver results. Hurricane damage does not have to mean you must suffer through insurance claim red tape and denials. Consider contacting Dolman Law Group about your hurricane damage claim and set up a free consultation with our hurricane damage home insurance lawyers.

Call us to learn more about your options before you file your claim or after you receive a denial. We can help. Contact us online or by phone at 833-552-7274 today.

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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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