If your home has been damaged in a hurricane, tropical storm or other major weather-related event, figuring out where you can turn for help is often the first step toward recovery. Unfortunately, scam artists and other unscrupulous individuals seeking to take advantage of those who need help are a legitimate concern (which we recently discussed), and this makes it difficult to know who you can trust.
When looking for information online, one of the safest options is to rely on government resources. These resources in particular provide practical guidance for South Florida homeowners:
DisasterAssistance.gov is a website maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security which provides up-to-date information on specific weather-related disasters. You can enter your town, city or ZIP code to find out more about assistance available in your local area, and you can use the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Hotel Locator if you need temporary housing do not have coverage through your insurer.
FEMA’s Disaster Fraud and Rumor Control Pages
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an important resource for homeowners who have suffered significant property damage in a major storm. FEMA maintains a general Disaster Fraud page devoted to helping homeowners protect themselves against scams and fraud, and it posts Rumor Control pages for major weather events (including this Rumor Control page for Hurricane Irma).
Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation
All contractors who perform repairs on your home should be licensed by the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR). You can verify contractors’ licenses on DPBR’s website.
Florida Division of Consumer Services
If you would like to file a complaint against your insurance company, you can submit a complaint online through the Florida Division of Consumer Services. Keep in mind, however, that filing a complaint will not necessarily result in payment of your property damage claim. If you need help securing payment from your home or flood insurance company, you should discuss your situation with an attorney.
Florida Division of Emergency Management
The Florida Division of Emergency Management provides information about storm preparedness, emergency response and various other aspects of dealing with major weather events in South Florida. On its website, you will find everything from tips for preparing a family disaster plan to up-to-date information on weather-related emergencies.
National Flood Insurance Program
If you are among the many South Florida residents who have flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you can visit the NFIP’s website to find useful information about filing a claim under your flood insurance policy.
Speak With a Fort Lauderdale Insurance Claim Lawyer at Saavedra | Goodwin
Saavedra | Goodwin is a Fort Lauderdale insurance claim law firm that represents homeowners in claims against their insurance companies. If your home was damaged in a storm and you are struggling to recover payment from your home or flood insurer, we can help. To speak with a lawyer about your claim in confidence, please call (954) 928-9568, or send us a message online and we will respond as soon as possible.