Hurricanes can devastate your home and property with high winds, heavy rains, and flooding. In just a few hours you can lose everything you own if you are in the path of a severe hurricane. Insurance companies are supposed to work with their clients to resolve hurricane damage claims, but property owners have been ignored or even abandoned by the insurance companies who have taken their premiums for many years.
Dino Law understands that hurricane insurance policies are legal contracts, and you can use the legal system to obtain the funds you need to restore your home and life. You have legal rights if an insurance company denies your claim or refuses to pay the full value of your damaged home and property. Contact us today if your insurance claim has been denied or underpaid.
Here are some of the reasons insurance companies will deny claims for hurricane compensation:
This is a common clause in insurance policies, and simply means that if two causes of damage are simultaneous, and one cause is not covered by the policy, then the claim can be denied. A typical example is when a roof is blown off a home by high winds, then flooding rains damage everything inside. The insurance company states the damage is due to the flooding which is not covered by your policy, and therefore denies your claim.
If the insurance company states that some of the damage to your home happened before the hurricane, they will often deny the claim or pay you less. Simply having an older roof on a home can be cause for a denial if the insurance company claims the older roof was already damaged. If the home has been remodeled in any way the insurance company may claim the remodeling damaged the structure of the home and therefore they are not responsible for storm damage claims.
Florida law requires insurance companies to offer windstorm damage as a standard part of their hurricane coverage. However, some coastal zones have been designated high risk areas, and homeowners are required to purchase a separate policy covering wind damage. Florida has an existing statute 627.4025 which states that windstorms related to named hurricanes must be covered under existing insurance policies. Disputes can occur if the insurance company claims pre-existing or anti-concurrent causes exist, eliminating their requirement to insure you for wind damage. If your insurance company claims otherwise or has denied your wind damage claim, contact Dino Law today.
Florida homeowners’ insurance coverage typically does not cover flooding damage. Some mortgage lenders require it when you obtain financing, but in many cases it is the homeowner’s responsibility to obtain flood insurance. The most common policy is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is called the National Flood Insurance Program.
Most flooding falls into three classifications; river flooding, coastal flooding, and shallow flooding. Alluvial fan flooding also exists but is typically found in mountainous areas. FEMA describes flooding as (see full descriptions at fema.gov/flood-or-flooding):
Keep in mind that water damage is different from flooding, as it is normally considered to be damage which occurred from the roof on down. This could be caused by missing shingles or a tree falling through the roof. Disputes with insurance companies often arise when they claim damage is flooding rather than covered storm damage. Let Dino Law help you sort out your flood damage issues and get you the money you deserve.