Hurricane and Storm Damage Claims
Hurricanes, tropical storms, hail and thunderstorms wreak havoc on our homes. Typical storm damage includes: missing roof shingles; water intrusion into the home; trees that have fallen onto a home or vehicles; and destroyed docks and bulkheads, just to name a few. When this happens, we rely on our homeowner’s insurance to repair the damage. However, far too often, insurers refuse to honor their end of the bargain. They gladly accept premiums, then deny a claim in full or in part. That is where we come in. Our lawyers used to represent insurance companies. We know their playbook and strategies and we know how to hold them accountable. The Jacksonville insurance dispute lawyers at The Lawrence Law Group assist homeowners with insurance disputes that arise following a hurricane or a serious storm, such as Hurricane Matthew.Pursuing Insurance Claims in the Aftermath of a Hurricane or Severe Storm
In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew paralleled the Northeast Florida coast, causing extensive property damage in Flagler, Volusia, St. Johns, Duval and Nassau Counties. The storm brought significant rainfall as well as heavy winds, leaving residents to deal with destroyed roofs, water intrusion, flooding and fallen trees. Our coastline experienced major sand dune damage, which caused Jacksonville Beach to flood. The storm also disrupted power for almost 250,000 residents. Approximately 35,000 insurance claims were filed statewide following Hurricane Matthew, with over 76 percent of those claims arising in Duval, Brevard, Volusia, St. Johns, and Flagler Counties.
We have successfully handled a multitude of claims that resulted from Hurricane Matthew. These claims have typically involved roof damage, damage to the interior due to water intrusion and damage to the outside walls. Often, we bring claims because the insurers claim that the damage pre-existed the storm.
In general, there is no specific ‘hurricane’ insurance policy to deal with the effects caused by such a storm. General homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for wind damage. Flood insurance is necessary to cover damage from rising water. The damage resulting from a hurricane or tropical storm should be covered by one or both of these types of policies. In Florida, there is a special deductible for hurricane damage that must be met before policy benefits apply, which is much higher than a typical loss deductible. Pursuant to Florida Statute § 627.701, all homeowners insurers must offer various deductibles. The deductible can range from $500.00 up to 10% of a home’s structural value.
When policyholders try to collect benefits after a storm, insurance companies may employ tactics in order to delay or deny coverage so that they can reduce their own costs. These tactics can include unreasonable delays in processing a payment, denying part or all of a claim, and undervaluing estimates regarding damage amounts. Often, insurance policyholders do not understand the intricate language of their policies and can easily be misled. Insurance adjusters rely on this confusion and may take advantage of it in order to reduce the cost of a claim. When terms are ambiguous in a policy, however, Florida law errs on the side of a claimant, providing coverage when a court is confronted with unclear language. Insurance disputes can be lengthy and complicated, so having the legal aid of a seasoned attorney to support you is important to make sure that you receive the benefits for which you have paid through your premiums.Insurance Claim Attorneys Serving Jacksonville Residents and Others in Northeast Florida
In the aftermath of a catastrophic storm, victims may be overwhelmed by dealing with big insurance companies while trying to rebuild their homes. The Jacksonville lawyers at The Lawrence Law Group offer dedicated and knowledgeable legal services to clients engaged in insurance disputes. We are committed to ensuring that policyholders are not treated unfairly when they are trying to collect benefits that they are entitled to obtain. Our firm represents residents of Duval, Clay, Nassau, Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, Baker, Brevard, Union, Columbia, Suwannee, Hamilton, Jefferson, Volusia, and Alachua Counties. If you have questions about an insurance claim regarding damage following a hurricane or storm, or if you need a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation after an accident, contact us online or call us at (904) 632-0077 to speak at no cost with an attorney about your rights and options.