Hurricane Damage in Tampa
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, forty percent (40%) of all U.S. hurricanes hit Florida. This year, alone, Florida waters have been threatened by 15 named storms, 10 consecutive of which, grow to hurricane strength, five major hurricanes, and 3 Category 5 storms, a few of which hit land.
While Floridians are accustomed to hurricanes, the monetary liability from the resulting property damage can be financially crippling. Not only can a homeowner fined his or herself facing monetary liability from wind damage, but hurricanes also bring water damage from floods, blown down tress and excessive debris.
Reading the fine print on an insurance policy is imperative, but there are times when insurance companies wrongfully deny or attempt to avoid paying a valid claim. In these times, understanding your policy will be crucial.
Attorney for Hurricane Insurance Claims in Tampa, FL
Insurance litigation attorneys at Germain Law Group, P.A. have handled multiple types of property damage insurance claims, including hurricane insurance, termite damage, flood damage, and fire damage, throughout Tampa courtrooms.
Michael B. Germain is a zealous advocate and skilled negotiator who will fight tirelessly to get you the best possible settlement. He takes cases throughout the Tampa Bay Area, in counties like Pasco County, Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, and Manatee County, FL.
Call Germain Law Group, P.A. at (813) 835-8888 to schedule a one-on-one consultation with our attorney.
Hurricane Damage Information Center
- What is Florida Hurricane Insurance?
- What Should You Know About Filing a Hurricane Damage Claim
- What Happens When Your Hurricane Damage Claim is Denied?
Florida Hurricane Insurance
Not all types of hurricane damage are covered under a Florida basic insurance policy. Florida Statute § 627.712, however, requires insurance companies to provide windstorm coverage in their standard residential insurance policies. Unfortunately, that is the extend of such requirements, all other damage that could potentially result from a hurricane, including flood damage, mold, dilapidation, or water damage, may not be covered.
In addition, many policies require a high deductible on the property owner’s total damage before it will release any monies owed from their policy. Some deductibles are too difficult for a policyholder to pay and may cause serious financial strain.
Filing a Hurricane Claim
Apart from understanding the various facets and requirements under a hurricane insurance policy, another important component of a Florida hurricane insurance claim is the statute of limitations.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a hurricane property damage claim against an insurance company is five years from the date of the loss. The “date of the loss” language is important because it tells the policyholder when he or she can no longer file a claim.
The statute of limitations begins to run when the policyholder’s property is damaged, not when an insurance company wrongfully denies a claim. These two occurrences can be the same day in some cases, or months, even years, apart depending on when a party files and how long it takes a company to evaluate a claim.
Denying a Hurricane Damage Claim
Florida is a state that is prone to hurricanes and other tropical storms. Given that, the Legislature deemed it necessary to set certain insurance requirements to protect its residence from overreaching insurance companies.
Under Florida Statute § 627.7019, an insurance company is required to set standards for filing a claim for damages as a result of hurricanes and other natural disasters.
In each policy, an insurance company must address the following:
- grace periods for paying premiums and other duties;
- claims reporting requirements; and
- temporarily postponing policy renewals and cancellations.
Insurance companies must issue an order within seventy-two hours (72) after a hurricane, stating which of the standardized requirements apply, the geographic area to which they apply, the time at which the requirements begin, and the time in which the requirements end.
If you Florida insurance company denies your claim, then the company must also provide a notice of that denial that explains why the coverage was denied and include the specific part of the policy that allows the denial.
Find a Lawyer for Hurricane Insurance Litigation in Hillsborough County, FL
Insurance companies will find many reasons to deny a claim. Companies have denied claims on theories of bad faith, the statute of limitations, and by stating that the policy does not cover the listed damage. It is important to have a Florida insurance attorney look at any denied claim that you may have to ensure that the claim was not wrongfully denied.
Contact an experienced insurance litigation attorney at Germain Law Group, P.A.. Attorney Michael Germain will aggressively advocate and negotiate on behalf of his clients who are struggling to meet their policy deductible, who have been wrongfully denied coverage, and who are in need of an experienced attorney.
Call Germain Law Group, P.A. at (813) 835-8888 to schedule a one-on-one consultation with our office.
This article was last updated on October 31, 2017.