When people think of a homeowners policy in Florida, the coverage that they are mainly thinking about is a windstorm policy. A windstorm policy covers damage from covered perils. Normally, the covered perils include fire damage, theft, falling debris (like trees), and importantly hurricanes. In the state of Florida, there are two separate insurance coverages. One is for windstorms, the same as normal homeowners insurance and the other is for floods. That’s what homeowners buy when they purchase their homeowners insurance. Under a homeowners insurance policy, what is generally covered is the dwelling or house. Other structures on the property can also be covered with a separate provision under the same policy. They will be identified as coverage A, coverage B, and coverage C. It will be documented in a separate category under the declaration page, but it’s still the same policy.
I Have Property Damage Due To A Hurricane. Where Do I Even Start?
In a property damage claim, the first step is to document everything by taking pictures and recording the time that you noticed the damage. It is essential to take pictures of the house’s roof, exterior, windows, doors, and anything else that was damaged due to the windstorm. Afterward, you’ll want to get your policy and contact your insurance agency to start the claim process.
The problem with hiring a mitigation firm is that it may not be qualified to do exactly what needs to be done. They may be certified for flood damages, but not for wind and rain damage to a roof structure.
- Hurricane Property Damage Claim: Do I Need A Lawyer?
- What Can I Do About Flood Damage On My Property?
- What Can I Do If My Neighbor Is Causing Water Damage To My Property?
- How Does A Hurricane Deductible Work?
- My Adjuster Seems Friendly And Knowledgeable. Why Would He Or She Mislead Me?
- My Home Was Very Badly Damaged After The Hurricane And The Insurance Company Is Refusing To Pay Anything Upfront For My Contractor’s Overhead And Profit. I Don’t Have The Cash To Advance This Item And They Won’t Get Started Without It. Should I Start Work Anyway?
- My Home Is Only Partially Damaged, But It Will Look Weird If I Have New Vinyl Siding On One Side And Old On The Other. The Insurance Company Tells Me They Don’t Owe For Matching. Is That True?
- Should I Hire A Public Adjuster Or An Attorney?
How Long Do I Have To Report The Damage From A Hurricane To An Insurance Company In Florida?
In Florida, a homeowner has three years to report any damage from a hurricane to their insurance company. However, if you have flood damage and flood insurance, it’s completely different. You have 90 days to report flood damage. If you believe you have damage after a storm, it’s important to contact a lawyer or an experienced loss consultant. A lawyer or an experienced loss consultant can help explain the difference between flood damage and wind damage, or whether you even have flood insurance.
What Will The Insurance Company Ask Me? What Should I Tell Them When I Report The Loss?
Insurance companies are going to ask the time and date of the storm. They will ask whether it was hurricane-related, whether you have wind damage, flood damage, and water damage. They’re going to ask a number of questions referring to the kind of damage that was sustained in the home. From that process, they will set a date to have an insurance adjuster do an inspection on the house. They generally won’t go into a lot of detail on questions over the phone until an adjuster has come out to review the damages on the house. The most important thing to remember when speaking to the insurance company when you begin your claim is to be honest. Of course, they are recording your every word. The insurance company is just looking for any reason to deny to your claim. If they ask you a question that you do not know the answer to – it is perfectly fine to say I don’t know. Do not guess or make up an answer.
What Information Must I Provide My Insurance Company When I Make The Claim?
Homeowners have a duty through their insurance policy or contract to work with their insurance company during the claim. The information that you have to provide is reasonable information. They may ask why you waited to make a claim even though it’s only been five or four days after the storm. The best thing to do is to keep calm and reasonably relay the information to the insurance company. It’s also very important to be honest with your insurance company.
After I Report The Loss, What Else Can I Do While Waiting For An Adjuster?
After a loss has been reported, the biggest issue that homeowners confront is how to start repairs on physical damage to their house within reason. This is known as temporary repairs. Whether you have to put a tarp over your roof or broken window, the main focus should be to make temporary repairs to avoid further damage after the storm. Doing temporary repairs demonstrates that the homeowners are making an effort to keep their home from further damage.
What Is A Flood Policy? How Is It Different From Other Policies? Are There Different Requirements That Must Be Fulfilled To Make A Flood Claim?
A flood policy is a policy that’s backed by the federal government. When you think of flood insurance, think of it like Medicare or Medicaid. The federal government allows private insurance entities to sell and manage the insurance, but the truth is that these insurances are federally backed programs. One of the major differences is that there is a time limit to report a loss related to a flood. It’s done through a proof of loss, which is a very important document. A proof of loss is essentially an affidavit where you list your total damages under oath. There is a 90-day limit from the date of the event to report damages through the proof of loss. That’s the biggest requirement that must be fulfilled in the flood category. Flood insurance is much more difficult to deal with because it is a federal program and requires specialties. It requires loss consultants and an attorney to make sure that the flood claim is done correctly.
For more information on Hurricane Insurance Claims in Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (850) 220-2098 today.