Florida Hurricane Damage Claims Attorney
Filing a Hurricane Damage Claim in Melbourne, FL
Anyone who lives in Florida knows the importance of having hurricane insurance. As multiple studies and reports indicate that tropical cyclones, hurricanes, and storms are increasing in both frequency and intensity in the Atlantic Basin, insurance companies should be prepared for an uptick in hurricane damage insurance claims. Unfortunately, despite the fact that they offer policies, ostensibly, to protect home and business owners, insurance companies often dispute, devalue, and deny rightful hurricane damage claims.
If you are having trouble getting your hurricane damage claim paid, turn to the experts at Nance Cacciatore. With a team of board-certified attorneys, our Melbourne, FL-based law firm is well-versed in all types of insurance disputes. We have handled numerous hurricane damage claims on behalf of homeowners, small business owners, and commercial entities throughout Brevard County and the surrounding communities—and we are ready to help you, too.
What Is Hurricane Insurance?
Technically, there is no specific type of insurance in Florida called “hurricane insurance.”
Rather, homeowners can protect themselves against hurricane-related damage through two types of insurance:
- Windstorm Insurance: Windstorm insurance is the type of insurance most commonly referred to as “hurricane insurance.” In Florida, insurance companies must extend this type of insurance to property owners; if you own a home or commercial property in Florida, you are required to have windstorm insurance. This type of insurance only covers hurricane-related damage caused by high winds. It does not cover water-related damage unless wind damage was the proximate cause of the water damage. For example, if high winds damaged a roof, allowing water to leak into a home, windstorm insurance should cover the water damage.
- Flood Insurance: Windstorm insurance may cover certain types of water damage, but it does not cover all water-related damage caused by hurricanes and other tropical storms. This is where flood insurance comes in. Although it is not mandatory in Florida, flood insurance can serve as a solid safety net for hurricane-related water damage that is not otherwise covered by windstorm insurance. For example, if your home is damaged by a storm surge, this would not be covered by windstorm insurance. However, if you have flood insurance on your home, you could be covered for your losses.
Note that because insurance companies must extend hurricane-related insurance to their policyholders, all insurance companies in Florida can take hurricane damage claims. However, these claims may not always be accepted. In fact, insurance companies often dispute or deny hurricane damage claims, leaving home and business owners unsure of how to proceed.
Why Was Your Hurricane Damage Claim Denied?
If the insurance company has denied your hurricane damage claim, it is important to identify whether they have a valid reason to do so.
Some of the most common reasons insurance companies dispute or deny hurricane damage claims include:
- Coverage Issues: The insurance company may argue that your losses are not covered or that the hurricane or storm was not a “qualifying event.” In other instances, the insurance company may argue that you have reached your coverage limits. This could be the case if your home or commercial property is underinsured.
- Lack of Documentation: It is extremely important that you document all damage to your property and other related losses after a hurricane. Insurance companies often dispute or deny claims based on lack of evidence. Failing to properly document the damage and your losses can ultimately jeopardize your claim.
- Preexisting Damage: The insurance company may argue that your home or commercial property had preexisting damage and that your losses were not related to a qualifying event, such as a hurricane or windstorm. They may also argue that you failed to maintain your property, leading to more severe damage than if you had kept up its condition.
- Failure to Secure the Property: The insurance company may try to argue that, even though the damage to your home or business was caused by a hurricane, you failed to take reasonable measures to secure your property and prevent excess damage. However, many property owners are forced to evacuate and simply do not have time to take these steps.
- Excluded Damage: Your insurance company may dispute or deny your claim by arguing that the type of damage to your home or business is excluded under your insurance policy. For example, they may state that you are not covered for water damage because you do not have flood insurance, even if the water damage was proximately caused by wind damage.
These are just some reasons why your insurance company might dispute or deny your hurricane damage claim—and not all of them are valid. Our Florida hurricane damage claims attorneys know how to investigate claims and protect your rights.
What to Do If the Insurance Company Denies Your Hurricane Damage Claim
If your insurance company is disputing or has denied your hurricane damage claim, you have the option of fighting back. Your insurance company may have denied your claim in bad faith, or they may be otherwise violating your rights as a policyholder by delaying the investigation, failing to make timely payments, or attempting to alter the terms of your policy after you have filed a claim.
We strongly advise you to contact an experienced insurance claims attorney who can protect your rights and advocate for you. At Nance Cacciatore, we can sit down with you to discuss the specifics of your case during a free, confidential consultation. Should you choose to work with our firm, our attorneys will handle every legal detail, from reviewing your claim to gathering evidence and supporting documentation to litigating on your behalf if necessary. We understand how stressful it is to deal with massive property damage after a serious storm or hurricane, and we want to help you get back on your feet as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Get Started with Your Free Initial Consultation Today
The sooner you reach out to our Florida hurricane damage claims lawyers, the sooner we can begin building your case and working to recover the benefits you are owed under your homeowners’ insurance policy. From our office in Melbourne, we serve clients throughout Brevard County and the entire state of Florida, offering personal attention and aggressive representation every step of the way.