After a Florida hurricane passes, you may find that your home has sustained severe damage. Typically, your hurricane insurance should cover the damage.
In most cases, you should be eligible for compensation for:
- structural damage to your home;
- damage to your personal possessions (such as your furniture or household appliances); and
- any relocation costs (if your home is unlivable because of repairs).
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a hurricane insurance adjuster to underestimate the value of your damage, or even deny your claim altogether. If you have suffered Florida hurricane damage, and your Florida hurricane damage claim is denied, you should seek counsel from an experienced Florida hurricane insurance attorney who may be able to get you the money you deserve.
Filing Your Florida Hurricane Damage Claim
To file your Florida hurricane damage claim, you must submit a “Proof of Loss” form. A proof of loss must be completed and submitted to your insurer within 60 days from the date the damage was sustained. It should include a specific estimate for the replacement or repair of your damaged property.
Once your insurer receives your proof of loss, they will pay your claim if they agree on the amount of damages. If the hurricane insurance adjuster does not agree on the amount of damage, you may have to negotiate your settlement.
If after negotiating with a hurricane insurance adjuster, your claim is still denied, ask to speak to the adjuster’s supervisor. If the adjuster’s supervisor can’t help resolve your issues, you should speak to a claims representative.
If you are still not satisfied after speaking to your insurer’s claims representative, you can write a letter of appeal to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA may be able to help you with your Florida hurricane damage claim.
Sending Your Letter of Appeal to FEMA
When appealing your Florida hurricane damage claim with FEMA, your letter should include:
- your policy number (as it appears on your insurance policy’s declarations page);
- the policy holder’s name (as it appears on the declarations page);
- your address (as it appears on the declarations page);
- your contact information;
- a detailed account of the issue that you are appealing; and
- the contact information for the person(s) who handled your Florida hurricane damage claim.
In your letter to FEMA, you should also include documentation of everything that supports your appeal, such as your policy and claim information, a copy of the insurer’s written denial and any documentation that supports your damage claim.
When FEMA receives your letter of appeal, they may conduct a re-inspection of your Florida hurricane damage. If FEMA requests additional information about your claim, this information must be provided within 14 calendar days. If this information is not provided within 14 calendar days, your appeal may be dismissed.
Once your appeal has been reviewed, FEMA will make a decision within 90 days from the date that your information was submitted. If you do not agree with FEMA’s final decision on your appeal, you can proceed with filing an insurance claims lawsuit.
Filing an Insurance Claims Lawsuit
You will have 1 year from the receipt of your insurer’s written denial to file an insurance claims lawsuit. After that time period has expired, you will no longer be able to take action against your insurer. A Florida hurricane attorney will help you file your lawsuit and make sure that you are within the state’s statute of limitations.
The hurricane insurance claims process can be complicated and lengthy, especially when you have suffered a tremendous amount of damage. You want to do everything right from the start to avoid any further delays or having your claim denied.
Get Legal Help Now – Contact a Florida Hurricane Attorney
An experienced Florida hurricane insurance attorney from Falk & Falk can work with you from the start to file an accurate and comprehensive proof of loss form. In addition to helping you avoid costly mistakes on your claims forms and in conversations with the insurance company, your Florida hurricane insurance attorney will protect your rights throughout the process and work toward a swift but fair resolution so that you can begin your home’s repairs.
Our firm knows how important it is to you and your family to get the settlement you need to move on with your lives. Our hurricane attorneys have experience in helping victims of natural disasters—and other homeowners’ nightmares—recover from their loss. Contact us today – (305) 742-0878.