Hurricane Damage Insurance
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, forty percent (40%) of all U.S. hurricanes hit the State of Florida. Sarasota has had many small hurricanes but rarely has the City suffered from a direct hit. Some consider a direct hit to occur when the "eye" of the storm passes over the city, while others consider a direct hit to be substantially affected by strong winds and rain.
Either way, Floridians are accustomed to hurricanes and the monetary liability associated with hurricane damage.
Attorney for Hurricane Damage Liability in Sarasota, FL
Florida insurance companies have denied and underfunded hurricane damage claims for many reasons, from bad faith to not having up-to-date inspections. Florida law requires insurance companies to follow certain requirements after hurricanes, and other natural disasters hit Florida soil.
If you or someone you know has been subject to hurricane damage and has had their insurance claim denied in the North port-Sarasota-Bradenton Metropolitan area and in the surrounding cities of Naples, Venice, North Port, Sarasota, and Bradenton, contact an experienced insurance liability attorney to help.
Attorney Michael B. Germain is a skilled negotiator who has handled cases throughout Sarasota County, DeSota County, Manatee County, and Charlotte County, FL.
Call (941) 316-0333 now for a no obligations consultation on hurricane insurance claims.
Florida Hurricane Insurance
Many simple Florida insurance policies do not cover all of the types of hurricane damage that a Florida home can be subject to. Under Florida Statute § 627.712, insurance companies must provide windstorm coverage as a part of their residential insurance policies.
Not all policies cover the other effects of hurricanes, such as flood damage, mold damage, dilapidation, or debris removal.
Additionally, many policies require the policyholder to pay a deductible on the total damage before they can receive any monetary recovery from their policy. Requiring an insured to pay money after an unexpected disaster can be a serious financial strain on the policyholder.
Many Florida insurance companies will allow the policyholders to lower their insurance premiums by installing home improvement measures and hurricane mitigation factors such as wind resistant windows and doors and removing debris from their property.
Filing a Hurricane Claim in Sarasota
In Florida, if your home has been damaged due to a hurricane it is important that you understand the statute of limitations and how it will apply to your case if you cannot immediately file a claim.
The statute of limitation for filing a claim for hurricane property damage, in Florida, is five (5) years from the date of the loss. The date of loss language is important in the Florida statute because this means that the statute of limitations begins to run when the policyholder's home is first damaged, and not when the insurance company wrongfully denies the claim.
The importance of this language lies in the fact that sometimes an insurance claim is not denied for some time, especially considering that Florida law allows for insurance companies to withhold damage coverage until the policyholder pays their deductible.
For some policyholders, paying a large hurricane damage deductible could cripple their finances. If the policyholder takes too long attempting to come up with the funds to pay the deductible and misses the statute of limitations, then he or she will be barred from recovery for any damage.
Denying a Hurricane Damage Claim in Florida
Under Fla. Stat. § 627.7019, an insurance company must set the standards for filing a claim for damages as a result of a hurricane or other natural disasters. The Statute directs Florida insurance companies to address the following:
- claims reporting requirements;
- grace periods for paying premiums and other duties; and
- temporarily postponing policy renewals and cancellations.
Insurance companies must issue an order within seventy-two (72) hours after a hurricane, that states which of the standardized requirements apply to the policyholder's case, the geographic areas to which they apply, the time at which the requirements begin, and the time at which the requirements end.
If your insurance company denies your claim, then the company must provide a notice of denial that explains why the coverage was denied and the specific policy coverage that allows the denial.
It is important to fully understand the terms of your policy. Insurance companies will find many reasons to deny a claim. Companies have denied claims on theories of bad faith, the statute of limitations, or by stating that your policy does not cover the listed damage. Having an experienced insurance attorney to ensure that your claim for hurricane damage is fulfilled in good faith is imperative.
Hurricane Research – Visit the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration for more information about hurricane statistics in Florida and to find out the number of hurricanes that have taken place across the State of Florida and whether your property is at risk.
Fla. Stat. § 627.7019 – Visit Online Sunshine the official website of the Florida Legislature for more information about the requirements that insurance companies have after hurricanes and other national disasters. Online Sunshine provides the full statutory language of the statute.
Finding an Attorney for Hurricane Insurance in Sarasota County, FL
Having a claim denied or being barred from bringing a claim due to the statute of limitations can have drastic effects on your home, especially if you have paid thousands of dollars maintaining Florida homeowner's insurance. Talk to an attorney who will fight for your best settlement against a bad faith insurance company.
Call attorney Michael Germain for more information about the statute of limitations in hurricane cases and how to fight a wrongfully denied hurricane liability case in Sarasota County, FL or in the surrounding counties of DeSota County, Manatee County or Charlotte County, Florida.
Call (941) 316-0333 for a consultation about your hurricane damage liability case in Sarasota, Florida.
This article was last updated on Friday, June 7, 2017.
Meet Our Attorney
Michael B. Germain
Michael B. Germain is the founder of the Germain Law Group. For over a decade, Michael has been involved in litigating insurance claims and complex commercial matters.