Where Can I Find a Hurricane Lawyer in Big Pine Key, Florida?30338 Overseas Highway, Unit 7
Big Pine Key, FL 33043
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Hurricane Lawyer in Big Pine Key, Florida
Because of their location as the bridge between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys sit in the hot zone for the development and passage of tropical storms. The warm salt water and balmy breezes sometimes morph into tropical systems that produce high winds, heavy rain, and dangerous storm surges. In some cases, tropical storms transform into destructive hurricanes when sustained wind speeds reach a minimum of 74 miles per hour.
After a hurricane wreaks havoc in the Florida Keys, homeowners and business owners have to take steps to return to a normal life. One of the steps required involves filing a hurricane insurance claim. If you are dealing with an insurance company that has wrongly denied your hurricane claim, you should speak with a hurricane lawyer in Big Pine Key, FL. The same principle applies if an insurance company has treated you poorly or delayed processing your hurricane insurance claim.
With a statewide presence in the Sunshine State, the hurricane insurance experts at Morgan & Morgan have helped clients process hurricane insurance claims from Key West to Key Largo. We understand the devastation left behind by a hurricane makes it difficult to recover, especially when you have to deal with an uncooperative insurance company. Our expertise in filing hurricane insurance claims makes us one of the highest-rated law firms operating in Florida, as well as adjacent states such as Georgia and Alabama that also experience the wrath of hurricanes.
Schedule a free case evaluation with an accomplished Morgan & Morgan hurricane lawyer in Big Pine Key, FL to get the legal support you deserve when filing a hurricane insurance claim.
Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.
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What Is a Hurricane?
A hurricane represents the scientific term for the general term called a cyclone. It starts as a low-pressure system that forms over warm water before developing into a strong tropical storm. If the weather elements are perfectly created, such as no wind shear and no other weather system to impede development, a tropical storm can transform into a hurricane. The National Hurricane Center located in Miami classifies hurricanes based on five categories of wind speed, with a category 5 representing the most dangerous hurricane category.
The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and concludes on November 30, although tropical storms can form any time during the year if the weather conditions are ideal for development.
What Does the Cone-Shaped Area on a Hurricane Map Mean?
For both residents of Florida and visitors to the Sunshine State, the cone-shaped area on a hurricane map is somewhat of a mystery. Used as a predictive tool, the cone-shaped area on a hurricane map predicts where a tropical storm or a hurricane is expected to travel for one, two, three, four, five days, and beyond. The narrowest part of the cone represents the prediction of a hurricane’s movement over the next 24 hours. As the forecast expands to include additional days, the cone grows wider, and thus, the forecast of a hurricane’s movement is less certain.
The one thing to remember about hurricanes is they are predictably unpredictable. For example, forecasters predicted Hurricane Charlie would make a direct hit on Tampa Bay a little more than 24 hours before landfall. Instead, the hurricane unexpectedly veered east to strike Punta Gorda.
What Are the Most Common Types of Hurricane Damage?
The five categories of hurricanes produce different types of damage. However, each hurricane category is capable of producing four similar types of damage.
Roof damage is common for all five categories of hurricanes Wind speeds as low as 74 miles per hour can rip shingles from a roof. Roofs are particularly vulnerable to damage if a hurricane produces extremely heavy rainfall. Prolonged exposure to moist conditions weakens the structures of roofs.
Although wind damage from both tornadoes and straight-line winds receives most of the attention when discussing hurricanes, the storm surge is the deadliest and the costliest in terms of structural damage to homes and businesses. Storm surge as low as a couple of feet can enter a home or business and leave behind an incredible amount of destruction. Issues such as mold make a home or business inhabitable.
The same ferocity of high winds and storm surge can destroy vital equipment such as electronics, HVAC systems, and telecommunication systems. Damage to equipment hits businesses especially hard because businesses depend on vital equipment to sell products and services. In the aftermath of a hurricane, impacted homeowners and business owners must remember to file an insurance claim that includes compensation to replace vital equipment.
Public Utility Damage
If you have watched the Weather Channel’s coverage of a hurricane’s landfall, you probably noticed that one of the first structures to fall are power poles and lines. Public utilities take a major hit because of hail and high winds. It can take days for a utility company to restore power, which places a business in dire financial straits. This is particularly true for a business that sells perishable goods.
What Do I Need to Know About Filing a Homeowners Insurance Claim After a Hurricane?
One of the most complicated elements of filing a homeowners hurricane insurance claim concerns understanding what the policy covers. Typically, a homeowners hurricane insurance policy covers the structural damage done to a home, as well as the possessions located on the homeowner’s property. However, some insurance companies make exceptions to the general rule for homeowners that live in high-risk areas such as the Florida Keys. Working with a Morgan & Morgan hurricane lawyer in Big Pine Key, FL can help you determine what your insurance policy covers.
Most homeowners insurance policies that include a hurricane clause cover additional expenses such as debris removal and the costs associated with bringing a property up to code.
What Do I Need to Know About Filing a Condo Owners Insurance Claim After a Hurricane?
The aftermath of a hurricane that causes damage to a condo introduces a significant complication because two insurance policies kick in to compensate a condo owner. The condo owner’s insurance policy covers the possessions located inside the condo. On the other hand, the condo association’s insurance policy covers structural damage, such as damp drywall and structural damage done to the roof. Condo owners also might have to refer to flood insurance to pay for the costs associated with storm surge.
A hurricane lawyer in Big Pine Key, FL from Morgan & Morgan helps both condo owners and condo associations file persuasive insurance claims that get them compensated promptly.
What Do I Need to Know About Filing a Business Insurance Claim After a Hurricane?
Business owners face different financial challenges after the devastation generated by a hurricane. Businesses experience the same types of structural damage faced by homeowners and condo owners. The greatest difference business owners face is trying to stay afloat financially because the business might not reopen for days, weeks, or even months. Business hurricane insurance policies should include a clause that covers lost income. Calculating how much to claim for lost income can be difficult to do because of the wide fluctuations in sales experienced by businesses in the Florida Keys that depend on the tourism industry for a majority of their revenue.
What Issues Might I Face That Prevent Me From Receiving Full Compensation?
Although insurance companies receive negative publicity for treating policyholders unfairly, some policyholders fail to take the right steps after a hurricane when filing a hurricane insurance claim. Property owners that do not take steps to at least minimize the damage caused by a hurricane might not receive full compensation to recover the costs associated with the damage. For example, if a homeowner returns to a property and fails to tarp the roof to prevent additional water damage, the insurance company representing the homeowner might deny a claim to pay for water damage.
Another mistake made by policyholders in the aftermath of a hurricane involves failing to submit accurate paperwork on time. You must be ready to present financial data when your insurance company’s claim adjuster inspects your property. If you cannot provide accurate repair costs and property values, the claim adjuster assigned to your claim has the authority to recommend denying your hurricane insurance claim.
You want to make sure you organize your personal or business inventory for display before an insurance claim adjuster arrives at your property. Do not throw away damaged inventory before the claim adjuster can document its diminished value and how much it costs to replace the damaged item. Working with a Morgan & Morgan hurricane lawyer in Big Pine Key, FL ensures you understand your legal rights, as well as every provision written into the hurricane clause of your home or business insurance policy.
When Should I Hire a Hurricane Lawyer in Big Pine Key, FL?
When we sit down with a potential client during a free case evaluation, we recommend being proactive when it comes to obtaining experienced legal representation. Waiting until your insurance company becomes a problem by delaying and/or denying your claim can make it difficult to get you the compensation you deserve because of the damage done by a hurricane. The insurance appeal process requires the submission of additional evidence and it takes more time to resolve. This means you cannot move forward with your life because of the financial distress caused by a denied insurance claim.
At Morgan & Morgan, we have earned a reputation from former clients and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for having developed one of the best reputations of any law firm in the Sunshine State. To prevent your insurance company from acting in bad faith, you should be proactive and contact a Morgan & Morgan hurricane lawyer in Big Pine Key, FL. The attorney assigned to your case reviews every detail of your insurance policy to determine what is covered, as well as how to devise the most effective strategy for filing a convincing claim.
We document the financial losses you have sustained down to the last penny. Our reputation for helping file accurate claims for our clients is well-known among insurance adjusters in the Florida Keys that specialize in handling hurricane insurance claims. Your attorney handles all communications with the insurance adjuster, as well as tries to negotiate a favorable settlement that gets you fairly compensated for your financial losses.
You can expect to be informed every step of the way, from the day you receive a free case evaluation to the day when you resolve your hurricane insurance claim.
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