Unlike any other state in the nation, Florida’s unique geography sets the stage for powerful storms with the capacity to inflict widespread devastation and utility disruption, resulting in billions of dollars’ worth of damage. These storms are often accompanied by strong winds, storm surges, tornadoes, and – with the proper conditions – hail, placing Florida residents, particularly those residing along the coast, at high risk for irreparable property damage. With recorded wind speeds exceeding 150 mph, hurricanes pose a significant threat to Florida’s mainland.
So just how much damage can a hurricane cause?
Independent adjusters estimate repair costs could be upwards of $30,000. While wind gusts and storm surges are the primary causes of property damage, the Shiner Law Group has identified the four most common areas susceptible:
- Interiors (i.e. debris and mold growth)
Hurricane property damage victims may also discover broken or damaged pipes resulting from pressure buildup caused by sewer flooding. In South Florida alone, 53% of non-storm related claims are attributed to plumbing issues.
As the lightning capital of the United States, Florida residents are also victims of lightning damage and power surges during severe storms, which can result in overloaded electrical outlets and sporadic fires.
How a Shiner Law Group Attorney Can Help
When major hurricanes, such as Hurricane Irma, are slated to make landfall, property owners look to their insurance providers for security; however, more often than not, insurance companies fail to uphold their agreements with their policyholders, providing too little coverage, or no coverage at all, when it’s needed most.
In the aftermath of a severe storm, insurance companies find themselves overwhelmed with insurance claims, which results in claimants receiving delayed or underpaid payments if their claims aren’t denied. The hurricane property damage attorneys at the Shiner Law Group understand the complexities of hurricane insurance disputes and are prepared to hold insurance companies responsible if they fail to act.
We recognize that our clients are faced with mounting physical, emotional, and financial hardships ensuing from severe weather, particularly if a residence was destroyed, so we aggressively pursue the best results for our clients while holding ourselves to the highest standards of legal ethics. As a visible part of the Florida community, we are committed to ensuring our clients receive the care, attention, and thoroughness they deserve.
Policyholders should know there are several factors that could determine their financial recovery, as well as issues that could prevent policyholders from receiving financial compensation under their insurance policies. For instance, insurance companies will seek to minimize their financial liability if property owners fail to:
- Remedy damage(s) upon returning to their premises (i.e. shutting off water supply valves or covering torn roofs)
- Provide relevant paperwork, financial figures, property values, or repair costs when an adjuster arrives to assess property damage
- Provide an inventory list of property contents
- Understand their policy agreement
Many hurricane property damage victims in Florida, unfortunately, find out too late that insurance companies may not pay a claim in full, or that insurance companies will delay a claim’s payout. If you or a loved one has been the victim of hurricane property damage, or your insurance provider has underpaid or denied your claim, contact an experienced hurricane property damage lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Our award-winning law firm has successfully represented storm-related property damage victims and their families in Florida communities for over 15 years, recovering millions of dollars, because we understand the unique challenges hurricane property damage victims face, and, by extension, the dogged tactics employed by insurance companies and defense attorneys.
We believe insurance companies must honor the contracts signed with their policyholders, which is why we conduct a thorough investigation of the facts, including, but not limited to, evidence gathering, independent property damage assessments, insurance negotiations, and examinations of the insurance company’s history.
The Shiner Law Group provides a list of things you can do before a hurricane to help build the most compelling claim:
- Record evidence by taking pictures or video
- Creative an inventory of your personal belongings
- Minimize damage by securing the residence and making minor repairs
- Recover receipts and proofs of purchase
- Locate and preserve insurance policies