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Hurricane Lawyer in Orlando
Every year, Orlando residents brace for hurricane season, preparing for the worst but hoping for the best – that their families and belongings will end up unscathed.
Unfortunately, these storms are often too powerful and wind up causing incredible damage.
When you suffer property damage due to a hurricane, the financial and emotional toll can be devastating. If your insurance company refuses to pay your claim, it’s like rubbing salt in the wound.
The good news is, Morgan & Morgan is here to help. Our lawyers have been there and done that, having recovered significant compensation for hurricane victims in Orlando and all throughout Florida.
Schedule a free, no-risk case evaluation to learn more.
What Steps Should I Take After a Hurricane?
If your home or business sustained damage in a hurricane, it’s important to take certain steps to help ensure your claim is handled fairly.
- Document Everything: Assess the damage inside and out. Take photographs of your home, yard, and as much of the roof as you can show. Check windows for leaks. Also, be sure to keep inventory of damaged property as you go.
- Place Covers On Damaged Property: The insurance company will take any opportunity to avoid paying your claim, so be sure to cover your affected property with a tarp or something similar. That way, they can’t claim your property further deteriorated after the storm.
- Promptly File a Claim: Your policy likely requires that you act quickly after sustaining hurricane damage to your property. Be sure to check your obligations, as not following your contract may put your claim and coverage at risk.
What Does My Insurance Cover?
There’s no such thing as a hurricane insurance policy, or a specific type of coverage that protects solely against hurricane damage. Instead, the standard homeowners insurance policy (which covers windstorm damage) and flood insurance generally provide coverage.
In Florida, there’s a special deductible on a homeowners insurance policy for hurricane damage. The insurance company won’t pay any damages until the deductible is reached.
What If My Claim Is Denied or Undervalued?
Insurance companies may use any number of dishonest and unethical means to avoid paying your claim, including:
- Denying that you have coverage
- Unreasonably delaying the processing or payment of your claim
- Requiring a written release of any supplemental claims
- Telling you not to hire a lawyer
- Lowballing your payment
If you run into any of these problems, our Orlando lawyers can help you fight back. We understand how to hold insurance companies accountable and afford you the chance to once again get your life on track.
What’s more, our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning it costs nothing to hire us and our payment is contingent on us successfully resolving your claim. You pay nothing out of pocket, and there’s no risk to you.
Contact an Orlando Hurricane Lawyer
If you’ve suffered property damage in a hurricane, contact Morgan & Morgan. Our lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation that the insurance company doesn’t want you to receive.
Find out by scheduling a free, no-risk case evaluation now.
Morgan & Morgan
How Do I Protect My Home From Flooding in Florida?
Although most major hurricanes cause flooding, hurricane insurance doesn’t generally cover it. You’ll need separate flood insurance to cover damage resulting from flooding.
When purchasing homeowner’s and flood insurance, make sure you find out exactly what your respective policies cover. A qualified hurricane insurance lawyer can carefully examine the contents of your policies to determine which one covers specific damage caused by a hurricane.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Appeal a Hurricane Insurance Claim Denial?
You unquestionably should retain a lawyer if you need to appeal a hurricane insurance claim denial. The insurance company controls the appeals process, and you don’t have a good chance of getting a denial reversed without help from an experienced hurricane insurance attorney.
Ideally, you’ll want to hire an attorney before you’re denied. But even if you don’t, an attorney will know how to fight a denial and increase your chances of getting it reversed.
When Should I Hire a Hurricane Insurance Lawyer?
The best time to hire a hurricane insurance lawyer is as soon as possible after a hurricane damages your home. Your attorney can help you document your losses and file your claim.
Hurricane insurance attorneys have experience working with insurance companies and understand the types of evidence that will best support your claim. Typically, the sooner you hire a hurricane insurance lawyer, the more you stand to receive from the insurance company, and the faster you'll get it.
Can I Hire a Hurricane Insurance Lawyer Before My Home Suffers Insurance Damage?
While there isn’t much purpose to hiring a hurricane insurance attorney before your home is damaged, there may be value in consulting with an attorney before a major hurricane is predicted.
Your attorney can help you document the current state of your home and may even be able to direct you to resources that will protect it from damage. Furthermore, if you’ve consulted with an attorney before a hurricane hits, they’ll be expecting your call after the event and may be able to act more quickly.
If My Car Is Damaged in a Hurricane, Is It Covered by Car Insurance, Homeowner’s Insurance, or Flood Insurance?
Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to that question. Which type of insurance covers the damage will depend on the circumstances surrounding that damage and where your vehicle is located.
For example, a situation in which your car is flooded while parked on the street during a hurricane is very different from one in which it’s totaled because your garage collapsed on it. Your hurricane insurance attorney will study your various insurance policies and investigate the circumstances of the incident to determine which insurer should compensate you for the damage.
Can I Purchase Insurance After a Hurricane Is Predicted?
There’s no limit on when you can purchase insurance, but there might be a limit on when the insurance takes effect.
Flood insurance, in particular, is likely not to take effect until 30 days after you purchase the policy. Additionally, if a hurricane watch has been issued for where you live, it’s too late to purchase additional insurance to protect your home.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against My Insurance Company if It Denies My Claim or Undervalues My Claim?
You can file a lawsuit if you feel your insurance company is treating you unfairly. However, this option is best saved as a last resort. Before you pursue litigation, you should allow your attorney to attempt to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.
If you do file a lawsuit, it will probably take a year or longer before the trial ends. The good news is that you’ll often receive more money from a trial reward than you would get from a negotiated settlement.
Also, by filing a lawsuit, there’s a chance that the insurance company will come to the negotiating table in good faith and make a larger offer. Trials are expensive, and it’s usually more advantageous for the insurance company to settle than to pay for a trial.
What Kind of Evidence Do I Need for My Insurance Claim?
The more evidence you can provide to the insurance company, the better. Examples of helpful evidence include:
- Photographs of your possessions, both before and after they were damaged
- Receipts organized by date
- Repair estimates from multiple trusted contractors
- Evidence that a tropical storm or hurricane hit your home, such as photos, videos, or meteorological reports
Remember, you aren’t trying to convince your insurance agent that a hurricane damaged your property. You’ll usually have to convince someone higher up in the company who you’ve never met and may not even live in the same state.
Thus, having copious objective evidence will greatly improve your chances of getting your claim approved and receiving the compensation you deserve.
Is My Home Covered for Hurricane Damage if I Evacuate During a Hurricane?
The most important thing to protect during a hurricane is your family. If you think a hurricane may get bad enough to cause injury to you or your loved ones, you should leave your home and head to a safe place until it’s passed. Doing so won’t invalidate your insurance coverage or prevent you from receiving compensation for the resulting damage.
However, the precautions you take when you evacuate your home could affect your right to compensation.
For example, you should make it a point to turn off the electricity and the main water valve before you leave to minimize potential damage. It’s also a good idea to unplug all appliances and electronics, cover all exposed windows, and bring any loose or lightweight items indoors.
Taking these sorts of proactive measures means the insurance company can’t use your evacuation as an excuse to undervalue your compensation. And since the deductible for hurricane damage is a percentage rather than a flat value, making more of an effort to limit the damage to your home will limit the amount you have to spend on the deductible later.
Regardless of whether you have the time or ability to take proper precautions, you should always evacuate if you have any reason to fear for your safety or that of your family in the run-up to a major storm.