It’s hurricane season, and for South Florida homeowners that means the potential for significant damage from hurricanes and tropical storms. With Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew having already passed through, those who are fortunate enough to have gotten by with minimal damage remain on high alert for the potential of another 2016 storm headed their way.
As a homeowner, your home insurance and flood insurance policies should cover most storm-related losses (provided that your policy limits are adequate to cover the costs of any damage to your home). However, that does not mean that receiving an insurance check and getting your repairs scheduled is as easy as picking up the phone. In this article, the attorneys at Saavedra Goodwin in Fort Lauderdale provide answers to some common questions about filing hurricane damage insurance claims in South Florida.
Q: Is hurricane damage covered by my home insurance policy?
With most standard homeowners’ insurance policies, hurricane damage is a covered loss. However, flood damage typically is not. If your home sustains flood damage as a result of a storm surge or significant rainfall during a hurricane, you may need to seek coverage for some losses from your homeowners’ insurance carrier and for others from your flood insurer.
Q: What if I don’t have flood insurance?
If you don’t have flood insurance, this unfortunately may mean some of your hurricane-related property damage isn’t covered. However, before you simply assume that you will need to find a way to pay for your home repairs out of pocket, it is critical that you consult with an insurance claims attorney. Some water damage may still be covered under your home insurance policy, and if your home policy has an ensuing loss provision, this may entitle you to coverage for certain flood-related losses as well.
Q: Should I hire a public adjuster?
Hiring a public adjuster for your hurricane damage claim may be a good idea. A public adjuster works for you, not your insurance company, and his or her role is to help make sure that the full scope of your home’s damage gets included in your claim. At Saavedra Goodwin, we regularly work with trusted public adjusters, and if you would like to speak with a public adjuster we would be happy to provide you with a referral.
Q: Should I make temporary repairs and take other steps to mitigate the damage?
Generally speaking, yes. You do not want to give your insurance company an argument that you should have done something to mitigate the damage, and most policies provide for reimbursement of expenses incurred for necessary temporary repairs. However, you should exercise extreme caution when approaching or entering a storm-damaged home, and if you have questions about what you should (and shouldn’t) do when it comes to dealing with your insurance company, you should speak with an experienced attorney.
Speak with a Hurricane Damage Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The attorneys at Saavedra Goodwin have decades of experience representing South Florida homeowners in hurricane damage and other insurance coverage claims. If you would like to learn more about how we can help enforce your rights under your home or flood insurance policy, please call (954) 767-6333 or request a consultation online today.