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Can I Still File A Claim For Hurricane Irma

Can I Still File A Claim For Hurricane Irma?

Is It Too Late To File A Claim For Hurricane Irma?

A common question we get is: Can I still file a claim for Hurricane Irma? The answer is No, not exactly. However, if you have submitted a claim with your insurance company, and you do not like its assessment of your damages, you can still file a property damage lawsuit against the insurance company to fully compensate your damages. According to Florida law, you are allowed five years from the date of loss to file an action for breach of the property insurance contract. This lawsuit does not need to be filed immediately; in fact, you have until September 10, 2022, before the statute of limitations expires. However, it is crucial that you make a claim with your insurance company within three years of the hurricane — or by September 10, 2020 — as stated in Florida Statute 627.70132:

Notice of windstorm or hurricane claim.—A claim, supplemental claim, or reopened claim under an insurance policy that provides property insurance, as defined in s. 624.604, for loss or damage caused by the peril of windstorm or hurricane is barred unless notice of the claim, supplemental claim, or reopened claim was given to the insurer in accordance with the terms of the policy within 3 years after the hurricane first made landfall or the windstorm caused the covered damage. For purposes of this section, the term “supplemental claim” or “reopened claim” means any additional claim for recovery from the insurer for losses from the same hurricane or windstorm which the insurer has previously adjusted pursuant to the initial claim. This section does not affect any applicable limitation on civil actions provided in s. 95.11 for claims, supplemental claims, or reopened claims timely filed under this section.

How You First Contact The Insurance Company Will Determine If They Pay Or Deny Your Claim

When you contact your insurance company to report a claim, the adjuster who takes your call will write down everything you say. It’s important to remember this because every answer could affect whether or not your losses are covered. Be careful what you say, as it is common for people in your position to be under stress and anxiety from their situation. The insurance company will not care that you were upset and under a lot of stress when the accident happened. They will take advantage of your confusion and frustration to try to deny or lowball your hurricane insurance claim without hesitation. If at all possible, if you are determined to contact your insurance company directly yourself, always do it in writing (email is fine) rather than on the phone so everything is documented from the start.

Get Legal Counsel Before Giving Formal Statements To Your Insurance Company

In Florida, insurance policies have what is called “cooperation clauses” with conditions that can result in your claim being underpaid or denied. One condition is a requirement for an “Examination Under Oath” at the request of the insurance company. This is a sworn statement conducted before questioning the insured by the agent or defense attorney representing the company. The questions during these sessions are frequently difficult to understand and will be used against you to minimize the amount of your claim or deny it outright. although you are required to attend, let them know that you would like to have a property damage attorney present.

Insurance Companies Are Required By Law To Replace Your Lost Belongings With Items That Are Equal In Quality

Many insurance policies will reimburse you for any lost belongings, but only if you can demonstrate what the item was, how much it cost, and that it meets a certain quality. For example: if your top-of-the-line tv is stolen, they won’t replace it with a Wal-Mart brand one. This is why making an inventory of all lost items including makes and models as well as receipts or other forms of proof of purchase.

A Standard Windstorm Policy Does Not Usually Cover Damages Caused By Flooding

The 1968 Federal National Flood Insurance Act ruled that windstorm policies would no longer cover storm surges and flooding loss. Now, these losses come under the Federal Flood Insurance Program. In Florida, if rainwater collects on the ground and then flows into your home, this is also classified as a flood.

Contact Our Miami Hurricane Damage Attorney Today

After a hurricane hits, you should know your rights and how to protect yourself. Most times insurance companies aren’t as helpful as we hope them to be, so it’s important that you keep your family and health at the top of your priority list while also protecting your home and belongings. The attorneys at Florida Legal have years of experience with handling hurricane insurance claims similar to yours and will ensure that you get the compensation for damages that you’re legally entitled to receive. Contact our office today for more information or questions about moving forward with filing a claim.

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