Hurricane Damage Claims
Swamped with claims from multiple hurricanes in Florida alone, homeowner’s insurance companies will often cut costs wherever they can. Adjusters will try and reach quick settlements with you, often for amounts that are not reasonable. Insurance companies will try and delay some claims and just flatly deny other claims that should be paid.
The lawyers and staff at Smith & Vanture are experienced in making insurance companies pay for all damage done to your home. In most cases, if we are successful making the insurance company pay the disputed claim, the insurance company will be required to pay our fees and costs. If we don’t win, you don’t pay fees or costs. Whether your claim is large or small, we may be able to help you with the claim process from start to finish.
Smith & Vanture, LLP can answer all your Frequently Asked Questions!
Insurance Policy Information
Homeowners insurance policies in Florida are more restrictive in their coverage following statutory changes in the year 2000. Most Florida homeowners are now required to carry separate hurricane coverage and there are specific deductibles that apply to hurricane losses that do not apply to other weather related losses or floods. General homeowners policies will probably not cover your losses following a hurricane.
The typical Florida hurricane policy will have a deductible equal to 2% of the homes value. Some persons will have elected a higher deductible, in an effort to save costs. In that event, the deductible is typically 5% of the homes value. Therefore, if your home is worth $100,000 and you have elected the standard 2% deductible, your out of pocket expenses will be $2,000. If you have elected the higher deductible to save on premiums, your out of pocket expenses following a hurricane will be $5,000.
The typical hurricane policy will cover the following losses:
- Wind damage to your home and attached structures;
Rain damage that is a result of rain entering through a wind-damaged area; Emergency repairs to prevent further damage; Debris removal; and The actual cash value or replacement value of the damaged property, depending on the policy.
- Flood insurance is sold separately. It covers damage by these types of water: waves; tidal action; overflowing rivers, creeks or lakes; and groundwater runoff. Also covered by flood insurance are repair or replacement of damaged or destroyed buildings; compensation for damaged or destroyed property at its actual cash value; and debris removal.
- Vehicles damaged by hurricanes are usually covered by the comprehensive section of an auto insurance policy.
If you believe your insurance company has provided you an unreasonable offer, contact us today.
With offices in West Palm Beach and Tallahassee, we are strategically located to handle disputed insurance claims for all hurricanes. We handle cases throughout the states of Florida and Georgia.