For many Florida homeowners who suffered losses during Hurricane Michael, their ability to rebuild is heavily dependent upon their ability to secure coverage from their homeowner’s insurance and flood insurance carriers. While some homeowners may find the insurance claims process to be fairly straightforward – especially if their homes suffered fairly minor damage – others will face significant challenges and frustrations at virtually all stages of the process.
Unfortunately, in many cases, there is simply no way to avoid the insurance companies’ efforts to delay or deny coverage. But, as a homeowner, there are steps you can take to assert your claim more effectively – and to ensure that you have the evidence needed to pursue legal action if your claim is improperly denied.
Seeking Homeowner’s or Flood Insurance Coverage After a Major Hurricane in Florida
If your home was damaged in Hurricane Michael and you are currently waiting for your homeowner’s or flood insurance carrier to pay for repairs, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself against a bad-faith coverage denial:
1. Document Your Losses
After any type of property loss, it is always a good idea to take photos documenting the damage as soon as possible. If you are waiting on your insurance company, you will want to continue to document any changes in your property’s condition; and, if you haven’t done so already, you can use the time to make a comprehensive list of your personal items that were lost or damaged in the storm.
2. Be Persistent
Do not give up on your claim. No matter how frustrating it gets to leave voicemails and send emails and get nothing in return, you want to do everything you can to keep your claim moving forward.
3. Keep Records of All Communications
To the extent that you receive letters, emails, or voicemails from your adjuster, make sure you keep copies in your possession. Also, make sure you respond promptly.
4. Make Sure You Understand Your Policy
While most people will be pretty well covered for hurricane damage between their homeowner’s and flood insurance policies, you will want to make sure you have appropriate expectations. Review your policy carefully to make sure you are not waiting for coverage you do not have; but, also be careful not to rely on your carrier’s interpretation of your policy.
5. Assess the Need for Temporary Repairs
The longer it takes for your insurance company to process your claim, the more important it may become to make temporary repairs. If you think you may need to make temporary repairs, here are some important considerations to keep in mind.
6. Seek Professional Help
Finally, if you simply cannot get your insurance company to budge, or if you suddenly get a denial letter in the mail, you may need to seek professional help. A public adjuster can help determine the value of your claim, and a property damage attorney can make sure your insurance company upholds the terms of your policy.
Contact the Fort Lauderdale Property Damage Attorneys at Saavedra | Goodwin
If you would like more information about how to overcome improper delays and other bad-faith insurance practices, we invite you to contact us for a confidential consultation. To speak with a property damage attorney at our offices in Fort Lauderdale, please call (954) 928-9568 or inquire online today.