Storms are a common source of costly damage to residential and commercial properties in Florida. While some storm damage claims may be settled without the help of an attorney, it makes sense to look for a storm damage attorney to ensure you are getting the outcome you need. Whenever you hit a standstill with your insurance company, it is recommended to engage the legal service of an attorney.
When Should You Hire a Lawyer for Your Storm Insurance Claim?
Going through a storm can be a challenging experience. After you have paid your monthly premiums on time and followed the steps to help your insurance claim, an insurance dispute is not what you would expect. If you have been left to foot the bill to fix your property while the insurer gets off scot-free, do not worry. You still have the chance to not only challenge your storm insurance claim denial but to win it.
It is highly recommended to hire a storm damage attorney in the following scenarios:
- Your insurer denies your storm claim outright.
- Your insurance company asks you to sign a release, or they give you a check saying ‘full payment’ early after the storm.
- Your insurer asks you to sign a release while you still have unresolved disputes that they are no longer willing to negotiate.
- Your insurer fails to cover the total storm-related loss due to wear and tear, improper maintenance or negotiations at a standstill.
- If your insurer acts in bad faith. They have 60 days after you file your claim to initiate adjustment and 30 days after you submit a valid proof of loss to the initial tender payment. If the insurance company does not meet these deadlines, they will have to pay not only your claim but also owe penalties and attorney fees.
- If you are nearing the statute of limitation for your claim or the time, you must file a storm damage lawsuit. In Florida, the statute of limitation is one year. However, it would be best if you did not wait to call an attorney until a week before the deadline.
- When you disagree about the damage. If you believe a recent storm damaged your home, but your insurer claims it is old damage, it is best to contact a lawyer.
- Your insurance claim for storm damage has been denied, and you need help understanding why.
- You think your home damage should be covered under your insurance policy, but the insurance company disagrees.
Working With a Storm Insurance Lawyer
You may believe that once you have insurance, everything will be fine. Unfortunately, it is not always the case. As a storm victim, you may not fully understand your rights or know how to determine the extent of your losses.
Waiting to see if your insurer does the right thing might be a considerable gamble, primarily if you need help determining the total costs of repairs. However, a storm damage attorney has vast knowledge and resources to assess your damage accurately. Moreover, having a lawyer acting in your best interest is one of the best ways to protect your rights, and you will recover as much as possible on your storm insurance claim.
Fortunately, most lawyers handle such cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not have to pay them unless you get paid. There will be no upfront fees or costs. Moreover, a lawyer’s fee is contingent on the settlement they can draw from the insurance company, so virtually, it will cost you nothing out-of-pocket.