About Insurance Claims: Storm Damage
Unfortunately, we have no control of the weather. And by its very nature, severe weather is unpredictable, and the damage it can cause to personal property is often catastrophic. It can be extremely frustrating and taxing to deal with the results of a particularly nasty storm or another naturally occurring event, but dealing with your insurance company can easily take your stress level to new heights. Even the best of insurance companies can be difficult to deal with in regard to a claim, and they will often look to exploiting legal loopholes within your policy for their own benefit.
It can’t be overstated how important it is to possess a thorough understanding of your insurance policy. But with that said, should storm damage to your home or property occur, you may find yourself in need of help when it comes to receiving an equitable payout. Specializing in storm damage claims, John Bales Attorneys can help you with just that. We can assist you in getting the money you deserve. Call us today at 1-800-CALL-JOHN (800-225-5564) or fill out our free consultation form.
Does your insurance policy cover storm damage?
In today’s world, there’s no getting around having the kind of homeowner’s insurance needed to protect your family’s financial future should disaster strike. But just exactly what does that insurance policy cover? This is an extremely important question.
Regardless of what you may think, your current insurance policy does not cover all types of damage resulting from different types of storms. As a matter of fact, certain kinds of storm damage often require entirely different policies. It’s easy to see how important it is to familiarize yourself with the most common types of storm damage you could be confronted with. Let’s start with lightning.
As all Floridians know, thunderstorms are not uncommon. And where there are thunderstorms, there is lightning. Lightning bolts strike the Earth’s surface 100 times each second, and each strike can deliver up to one billion volts of electricity. Needless to say, lightning strikes can cause some serious damage to your home and property.
Power surges are often the biggest problem experienced by a policy holder and often result in a plethora of ruined electronic devices. Sure, most homeowner’s policies cover damage related to power surges—as well as fire and smoke damage—however, coverage often varies from policy to policy. Be sure to learn all the details of your policy.
High and powerful winds spawned by hurricanes and tornadoes can do an incredible amount of damage to the average home. They can damage roofs, sometimes ripping them off altogether, as well as the sides of your house. In addition, extremely strong winds can blow down trees, which in turn can fall over on your home, your vehicles, and other property.
The average insurance policy typically covers damage caused by rain driven by high winds, as well as damage caused by fallen trees if, in fact, it was the storm winds that caused the tree to come crashing down in the first place.
More often than not, flood damage is usually not covered by your standard homeowner’s policy in the state of Florida. It is recommended that you purchase separate flood insurance, regardless of what caused the flood, in order to protect yourself from the severe water damage that usually accompanies a flood.
Like floods, earthquake damage is normally not covered by your standard homeowner’s insurance policy. To protect yourself against a destructive earthquake, a separate insurance policy will likely need to be purchased.
What Should You Do After a Hurricane?
Unfortunately, even the best attempts to protect one’s property will likely end with some kind of damage in the event of a hurricane. But there’s no need to worry. In the event of hurricane damage to your property, John Bales Attorneys will help you in taking the following measures to guarantee your insurance claim is resolved quickly and fairly.
- Be certain to cover any damage property with a tarpaulin or similar item to prevent any further damage. As is standard with most insurance companies, they are trained to look for any reason to avoid paying you. That said, insurance companies sometimes assert your property was damaged after the hurricane in order to deny your claim.
- Be sure to document everything, and this cannot be overstated. It’s our recommendation that you begin documenting outside. Take photographs, being careful to get your entire home in each photo if possible—this includes every side of the house as well as the roof. Be sure to take pictures of the yard, too. Because they show more, wide shots are highly recommended. Once the exterior wide shots have been taken, you can move in closer to capture more detail. Go inside once you’re finished outside, being sure to get photos of the entirety of every room. Once the rooms are photographed, you can start taking pictures of individual items. As you take these photos, it’s best to make a written inventory of everything. This will all come in very helpful later.
- Don’t procrastinate—be sure to file your insurance claim as quickly as possible.
Be Forewarned: You May Not Get the Money You Need
Even if your home or property has been damaged by a storm, and even if you’ve done everything required of you to file your claim, you may still run into hassles getting your insurance company to play fair.
As mentioned before, it’s vitally important to understand everything there is to know about your particular insurance policy, including how your insurance company will pay out. The following is a list of common problems experienced by policy owners attempting to file a claim:
- Insurance companies look for excuses to justify denying your claim, such as subtle loopholes and vague wording within your policy. Be aware!
- The evaluation of damage to your home or property might be much lower than what you expected and need—and truth be told, much lower than what is fair. The insurance company may also try to minimalize your incurred expenses, such as overnight hotel stays, rental vehicles, and more.
- The insurance company will sometimes refute their obligation to provide you with defense to claims made under a liability insurance
In order to avoid being taken advantage of, you must learn all the ins and outs of your policy. Additionally, should a damaging storm occur, be sure to do whatever you think is necessary to prevent or reduce any further damage.
All that being said, should you find yourself involved in a policy dispute with your insurance company, John Bales Attorneys is here to help you get the money you have coming to you.
Call John Bales Attorneys Now Fight for You
The devoted attorneys at John Bales Attorneys know how to deal with stubborn insurance agencies—we deal with them on a regular basis. And based on our many years of experience, here’s a list of what we believe to be the basic rights of every insurance policy holder:
- You have the right to a just and reasonable settlement.
- You have the right to fight delays, denials, and inequitable payment offers.
- You have the right to know why your claim was denied.
- You have the right to be treated fairly and with respect.
We’re here to help home owners, condominium owners, property managers, associated boards, and public adjusters get the highest amount of benefits they deserve after a storm (including hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters) or an accident.
A natural disaster, especially one that destroys your home, can leave you feeling vulnerable and helpless. We understand this, and that’s why we’ll never accept any offer less than what you and your family truly deserve.
We will never stop fighting until you receive the maximum benefits you have coming to you under your policy, and we will not charge you a single nickel unless we win for you.
Call us today and let us help you weather the aftermath of the storm. Call John Bales Attorneys now at 800-225-5564 or log on to JohnBales.com. We’re here to help you.