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Hurricane Damage Lawyer in Pembroke Pines
Hurricane Damage Lawyer in Pembroke Pines
June 24, 2021 admin

Hurricane Damage Lawyer in Pembroke Pines

Of the 292 hurricanes that have hit the U.S. since record keeping began in 1851 with the Saffir-Simpson scale, a staggering 120 hurricanes have made some sort of landfall in Florida. Southeast Florida ranks as the third most hurricane-prone region in Florida, being battered by forty-nine hurricanes to date, including sixteen that were a Category 3 through 5. [1] Residents of the Pembroke Pines area are no strangers to hurricanes, but when one strikes, the toll is still devastating. The hurricane damage lawyers at Schlacter Law know how important hurricane insurance is to our community and, when a powerful storm hits, the last thing you should expect is further hardship when dealing with your insurance company. We serve those who are being victimized by insurance companies through unfair partial payments and improper claim denials. If you have suffered property damage after a hurricane and your insurance company is delaying or denying the financial recovery you deserve, Schlacter can help you fight for proper reimbursement for your losses. Call Schlacter Law at 305-999-1111 or visit us at thehurricanedamage.com®.

Hurricane Damages in Pembroke Pines

When a hurricane strikes an area close to the coast like Pembroke Pines, it brings a number of serious hazards including heavy rains, high winds, storm surges, and even tornados. Hurricanes can cause serious damage to homes, garages, sheds, and property landscaping.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the state of Florida boasts the largest share of hurricane damage compared to any other state, with around $15.4 billion worth of damage each year. [2] Most homeowners in Florida rely on homeowners insurance to pay for property damage after a hurricane.

Hurricane Insurance

Much of the damages associated with a hurricane are covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. These hurricane-related covered perils include:

  • Windstorm damage
  • Wind-related water intrusion (such as when wind blows shingles off a roof allowing water to enter the home)
  • Falling or flying objects
  • Fire caused by falling trees and downed electrical wires

It is important to note that most homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage due to flooding, even if the water damage was related to a natural disaster like a hurricane. Most Florida homeowners in moderate- to high-risk flood areas have an additional flood insurance policy in the case of hurricane-associated water damage. You can find out more information on flood insurance at thehurricanedamage.com.

A homeowners insurance policy usually includes three key areas of coverage related to hurricane damage:

  1. Dwelling coverage
    Included in the basic coverage of a homeowners insurance policy, dwelling protection helps cover the structure of your Pembroke Pines home including the house’s foundation, walls, and roof. Dwelling protection may also help cover other structures attached to the home including garages and decks. Examples of hurricane losses covered under dwelling protection include:

    • Building structural damage repair
    • Replacement or repair of roof
    • Wind damage to siding
    • Door replacement or repair
    • Broken window replacement
  2. Other structure coverage
    Most homeowners insurance policies also include coverage for other structures on your property that are not attached to the home. This includes detached garages, tool sheds, and perimeter fences. Debris cleanup and downed trees may also be included under other structure coverage.
  3. Personal property coverage
    Many policies also include contents coverage–coverage for the personal belongings within your home including damaged or destroyed furniture, clothing, art, and homewares. Depending on your policy, the insurance company may pay to repair or replace belongings damaged by a hurricane up to the coverage limit. You may also be able to purchase extended coverage for valuables such as jewelry, watches, and furs that may be above your coverage limits.

Coverage under homeowners insurance policies will vary from company to company. It is important to review your insurance needs with an agent before deciding on a specific policy and to read your policy carefully so that you understand the coverage you have. As many policy terms are long and complex, a hurricane attorney can help review your policy after a hurricane and discuss coverage areas and claim filing. You can find out more about these policies at our website thehurricanedamage.com®.

Due to its proximity to the coast, many Pembroke Pines residents also choose to purchase additional coverage for risks not covered under typical homeowners insurance policies, such as for flood-related damages. Flood insurance may be available as an added policy through your private insurance carrier or through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Common Insurance Issues

After a hurricane, faithfully paying home insurance policyholders in Pembroke Pines expect their insurance company to handle their damage claim quickly and fairly. Unfortunately, most companies employ dirty, bad-faith tactics to delay or deny claim payments, even if the damage is covered under your policy. Several common hurricane insurance issues include:

  • Unreasonable claim delays: An insurance provider can delay payments by stalling investigations by an adjuster, changing your representative, or requesting unnecessary records and documents. An insurer may choose to intentionally delay your claim for a variety of reasons. If your claim was filed close to a specified deadline, further delaying the claim could allow the company to deny you coverage. Delays also increase frustration on the part of policyholders, making it more likely that they will take the first lowball settlement offered.
  • Under the deductible excuse: If hurricane damages were not properly documented and submitted according to the terms of your specific policy, an insurance company may allege that your claim value (the total monetary value of your hurricane-related damages) is under the deductible. Hurricane deductibles are commonly percentage deductibles and are generally higher than deductibles applied to other covered perils. Most insurers in Florida offer hurricane deductibles of $500, 2%, 5%, or 10% of the policy dwelling limit of liability. For example, if your home liability limit is $200,000, then a 2% hurricane deductible would be $4,000, a 5% hurricane deductible would be $10,000, and so on. [3] The Pembroke Pines property owner is responsible for the deductible amount before the insurance company pays for covered damages. As such, the damages to your home must be accurately and fully scoped, even if that means you need to hire a third-party estimator. The attorneys at Thehurricanedmage.com can help you document your damage. Do not assume that a deductible can block your payment.
  • Lowball settlement offers: Insurers may undervalue the devastation to your property in an effort to trick you into taking a settlement offer less than the value of your damages, and less than what you are eligible to receive based on your policy. Insurance companies will send out their own inspectors, adjusters, and lawyers to come up with excuses for not paying your full damages. Again, consulting a third-party damage evaluator or hurricane damage attorney to explain your options may be the best course of action.
  • Unlawful claim denials: Insurance companies can deny claims for a variety of reasons including missing or late premium payments, filing for uninsured losses, lacking evidence to prove your property damage, filing for hurricane damage coverage too late, or human error on behalf of the adjuster. A claim denial letter from the insurance company doesn’t mean that your claim is done. A Pembroke Pines hurricane attorney can review your case and determine how to proceed with a successful claim.

Insurance companies often operate with the hopes that policyholders will not read their policy terms closely and will not negotiate settlement offers or appeal denials. An experienced hurricane damage lawyer can help.

How a Hurricane Damage Lawyer Can Help

When a hurricane hits, you will be one of possibly thousands of other homeowners, business owners, and property owners navigating the complicated process of recovering losses and competing for the insurance company’s attention. A hurricane damage lawyer can take over the entire filing and settlement process and keep pressure on the insurance company to get things done quickly and correctly. The renowned lawyers at Schlacter Law have been helping Pembroke Pines residents recovering from hurricane damage for years. We go the extra mile to learn about you and your specific case, taking the time to:

  • Examine your insurance policy and your coverage
  • Assess and document all of your damages and losses
  • Determine all relevant coverage options
  • Address any questions and concerns you have about your policy or the filing process in general
  • File the insurance claim on your behalf
  • Closely monitor your claim’s progress and negotiate for fair and complete compensation based on your policy’s coverage

We know how insurance companies operate and will use our expert knowledge to fight back against unjust policy term loopholes, lowball settlement offers, and dirty industry tricks companies use to reduce or deny settlements.

If your home was affected by hurricane-related water damage and you carry FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program or private flood insurance, Schlacter hurricane lawyers can also help you file your claim for flood losses. You can find out more on our website at thehurricanedamage.com®.

How We Handle Cases

  1. Investigation
    • Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
    • You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
  2. Negotiation
    • Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
    • Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
  3. Litigation
    • If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
    • At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is hurricane insurance required in Florida?

Hurricane insurance is not required in Florida.

Hurricane and windstorm coverage fall under a standard homeowners insurance policy. While Florida law does not require the procurement of homeowners insurance, most mortgage lenders require clients to maintain some sort of coverage policy. In any event, it is strongly advisable for Pembroke Pines property owners to carry homeowners insurance to protect your property investment and personal belongings.

For those with a homeowners policy, Florida law requires property insurance policies to include specific coverage for damage caused by wind during a storm that the National Hurricane Center declares to be a hurricane. Policies may include a separate deductible applicable specifically to damage caused by a hurricane. [4]

Are there any discounts available to homeowners for hurricane insurance?

Yes. Florida Statute 627.0629 provides for savings to policyholders who install or implement windstorm damage mitigation techniques, alterations, or solutions to their properties to prevent windstorm losses. Insurance companies will provide reasonable discounts, credits, other rate differentials, or appropriate reductions in deductibles for wind-resistant features, including fixtures or construction techniques that enhance:

  • Roof strength
  • Roof covering performance
  • Roof-to-wall strength
  • Wall-to-floor-to-foundation strength
  • Opening protection
  • Window, door, and skylight strength [5]

If you make any hurricane-mitigating alterations to your Pembroke Pines home, contact your insurance company for possible discounts.

Is any hurricane-related water damage covered by homeowners insurance?

Some types of wind-related hurricane water damage may be covered by homeowners insurance. By itself, a water damage component to a hurricane insurance claim can be tricky as most homeowners policies contain a flood damage exclusion. However, if there is evidence of water coming in through any type of opening (such as damaged roof, siding, or window frames) and wind was a triggering cause, the water damage should be covered by insurance. You may need to hire a third-party investigator or structural engineer to prove that the damage was indeed caused by falling water intrusion as opposed to storm flooding. A Pembroke Pines hurricane claim attorney can also assist you in making the case for water damage coverage after a hurricane. Contact us at 305-999-1111 or visit us at thehurricanedamage.com®.

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