Florida Statutes § 627.70132 (2) generally require that you file an insurance claim within one year after a hurricane makes landfall in Florida. You then have five years under Florida Statutes § 713.23(1)(e) to file a lawsuit if you cannot settle the claim through negotiations.
Get a property damage lawyer to evaluate your situation and determine which statutes of limitations apply to you.
A hurricane property damage lawyer in Florida will know the fine details regarding such deadlines, though. Never assume that you cannot file a hurricane claim—instead, speak with a lawyer about your claim.
File your claim as soon as possible, but get protection from bad-faith insurance tactics. An attorney will proceed with the claim and protect your rights.
Hiring a lawyer to handle a hurricane claim is a time-sensitive matter. You may not want to even begin the claims process before hiring an attorney.
Hire your hurricane claim attorney as soon as possible because of:
Your insurance policy may include one or more deadlines specific to your claim. Your lawyer will quickly become familiar with your policy (or policies) and take action before any deadlines expire.
Your lawyer will need to document your hurricane-related losses as soon as possible. You need to capture the entire scope of hurricane damage, but you also need to begin cleanup and restoration to move your life back toward normalcy.
By hiring an attorney and allowing them to document hurricane-related damage as soon as possible, you move your claim and recovery process forward.
Insurance companies do not always handle insurance claims in good faith. If an insurer presses you to give a statement or accept a settlement offer (perhaps a lowball offer), you can greatly benefit from a lawyer’s defense of your rights.
Once you retain an attorney, they will negotiate with insurers and inform you of any steps you need to take. Because insurers will not deal directly with you, your lawyer will minimize your vulnerability to bad-faith tactics.
If you do not file your hurricane claim by Florida’s legal deadline or an insurer’s deadlines, you may lose your right to pursue compensation through insurance.
This can require you to pay personally for:
Even if more than five years pass since your property suffered damage during a hurricane, speak with an attorney. The financial stakes of a hurricane-related insurance claim are too great otherwise. An attorney may inform you of filing exceptions or alternate ways of seeking compensation for your property losses.
Your lawyer may find that you have an extended time to file your hurricane claim because:
Though courts and insurers address each case individually, a serious injury or illness may be a reason to extend your filing deadline. For example, if you had a tree branch fall on you and suffered a serious head injury, you won’t file an insurance claim during the extended period you were in the hospital.
You may have additional time to file a claim for many reasons. An attorney will review your circumstances and file a claim if possible. Don’t wait, as even those with an extended deadline still face a deadline, and missing that deadline can have serious financial consequences.
If you attempted to file a claim, but the insurer did not acknowledge the claim (or is now claiming not to have received notice of your claim), your records may prove that you notified the insurer.
If these or any other circumstances extend the deadline to file a hurricane claim, your lawyer will submit your claim as soon as possible. Speaking with a law firm about a claim, even if you have reason to believe the filing deadline has expired.
One benefit of hiring a lawyer for your property claim is that they will shield you from any bad-faith tactics insurance companies use, which may include:
Your lawyer can negotiate for a settlement unless an insurer will not offer a fair compensation package. At that point, your lawyer will discuss filing a lawsuit for you.
Attorneys provide comprehensive services for hurricane victims. Because a lawyer will tend to every detail of your claim, you can clean up your property and focus on personal responsibilities.
Expect your hurricane claim attorney to:
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) covers residents in more than 23,000 American communities, including many in Florida. Additionally, homeowners insurance policies generally cover wind and rain damage from hurricanes.
Hopefully, you have comprehensive insurance coverage through one or more policies. Your attorney will determine which storm-related insurance policies cover which of your hurricane-related losses.
The details of homeowners insurance policies and flood insurance policies dictate the amount of compensation you deserve.
Your attorney will need to identify:
Understanding the important policy details lets your attorney negotiate confidently with liable insurance companies.
Your hurricane-related losses will be the key focus of your case, so your lawyer will document them in the greatest possible detail.
Useful forms of documentation may include:
Your attorney will determine the financial cost of all hurricane-related losses. Once your lawyer has calculated the losses and checked the figures with financial experts, they can negotiate your financial recovery with insurers.
Your lawyer will handle negotiations with insurers. Negotiations take time to resolve, and your lawyer will present evidence of losses, expert testimony, and other resources supporting your claim.
Lawyers who lead insurance claims have a powerful negotiating tactic at their disposal. If proof of your losses and your lawyer’s general argument for compensation do not convince the insurance company to pay what you deserve, a lawsuit may become necessary.
Most attorneys and claimants prefer to settle. A settlement is the most efficient, cost-effective way to obtain money for hurricane victims. However, your attorney should not hesitate to sue an insurance company when the insurer negotiates in bad faith.
The details of your insurance coverages will determine your covered losses. Most hurricane survivors who suffer property damage may reasonably expect compensation for:
If you must relocate from a dwelling damaged by a hurricane, insurance may help cover the cost of lodging, meals, and certain other living expenses.
You may need several cleanup services after a hurricane, including:
These urgent services may entitle you to compensation from your insurers. Your attorney will seek to obtain that compensation as soon as possible.
Storm waters present the risk of waterborne bacteria and other hazards. If professionals do not adequately sterilize your property, you may develop mold, structural deterioration, and other hazards to your health and property.
Your insurer will likely be responsible for repairs to your structure, including repairing or replacing floors, walls, windows, ceilings, roof, and any other features damaged during the hurricane. These may cost more than all your other hurricane-related losses, so your lawyer will keenly focus on them.
Your lawyer will seek compensation for appliances, electrical components, furniture, electronics, air conditioning components, plumbing, and any other property damaged during the hurricane.
Once you decide to hire a lawyer, research hurricane claim lawyers in your area.
As you research, consider:
Hiring the right law firm will likely affect the outcome of your claim. Conduct your research urgently, but make the decision carefully.
Remember the statute of limitations for filing hurricane accident claims, and don’t wait to find the right property damage claims attorney for your claim.
Once you hire your a personal injury lawyer, they will work to secure your financial recovery as soon as possible. The right legal representation relieves stress from you and improves your financial future.
We Are Here For You 24/7
“Really pleased with Boohoff Law! Received immediate responses when I had any questions. Treated amazingly by all staff … made this process a true breeze!”