How much time do I have to file a claim after a hurricane in Florida?

When a hurricane destroys everything you have worked so hard to achieve, all your goals, all your dreams, the home you had always dreamed of having with your family. Having the right insurance agreement can mean the difference between rebuilding or having to find a new home. However, with the right help, you can fight insurers and get the money you deserve.

As a homeowner in Florida, you have 36 months after a hurricane makes landfall to file a claim with your insurance company. After that time it would be considered a late-reporting claim which will end as a denied claim. If you wait too long to file a claim with your insurance company, you may lose the opportunity to do so. When you notice the damage caused to your home after a hurricane, you should at least call a Florida Public Adjuster and make sure you get a FREE home inspection for damages. 

filing hurricane claim on time in Florida

The more prepared you are when you file your claim, the higher chances you will have of settling a claim in your favor. It is recommended to make a call to your public adjuster first and then your insurance agent. Your insurance company is there to record and document the damage and reimburse you accordingly. Your public adjuster can protect your rights, contact your insurer and fight if necessary to help you recover the damages you need to repair and rebuild. Ricardo Public Adjusters works with many accredited lawyers in Miami, FL to defend you in any court hearings with your insurance company.

Remember to File Hurricane Claim On Time!

If you wait until after the 3-year limit, you may be prohibited from filing an insurance claim. This means that any damage caused to your home by a hurricane will not be covered and you will have to pay for out-of-pocket repairs.

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See If You Have Hurricane Damage

In general, the damage caused to your property due to the effects of a hurricane comes from wind, rain driven by wind and water entering your home through the roof, windows, doors, cracks in the walls or the foundation. In many cases, the shift in the properties walls has causes plumbing leaks which lead to water damage in the property

Although the damage caused by floods or water rising from the bottom up, for example, from the overflow of a body of water or a storm surge, is not covered. Much of the damage in Florida from hurricane Irma was thanks to flooding and was only covered if it had flood insurance. 

Live In a Flood Zone?

If you feel you live in a flood area, always make sure to get flood insurance through the FloodSmart.gov National Flood Insurance Program or a private flood insurance company. But even if you did not have flood insurance, it is worth contacting your home insurance company to see if some of your expenses will be covered, such as wind damage on your roof or additional living expenses.

Even if a hurricane did not destroy your home, you may suffer damage from fallen trees. If your tree damages a neighbor’s property, for example, by crushing a garage or fence, your neighbor must file a claim with his insurance company, which he will usually pay to repair the damage. When a tree falls and hits nothing, insurance policies will generally pay between $ 500 and $ 1,500, or sometimes nothing, for cleaning. Some insurance companies treat hurricane damage differently than other damages your home may face. For some insurance policies, a higher deductible may apply to damage caused by a hurricane. To ensure adequate coverage in case of hurricane damage, you may want to purchase wind storm cover and flood insurance separately.

tips for preparing for your hurricane claim

Preparing Your Claim

If you have been a victim of property damage caused by hurricanes and have submitted a claim to your insurance company, it is important to keep accurate records of all your expenses. Save your receipts and invoices for repairs you make. Having photographic or video evidence of the damage caused is very useful, especially if you have before and after images. If you have to make large and permanent repairs to your property, you may want to wait until the insurance adjuster has seen your property. 

Keep a separate inventory of damaged items, including a description of the item, its serial number, the date of purchase, the name of the manufacturer and the place where you purchased the item. If it is not safe to live in your home due to the extent of the damage, notify your insurance company about finding another place to live while repairs are being made. Some policies have additional coverage for living expenses (ALE) during this time. Although these tips we just gave you cover the basics to preparing your claim, here we share with you the top 3 reasons for denied claims after a hurricane.

Live In a Flood Zone?

If you feel you live in a flood area, always make sure to get flood insurance through the FloodSmart.gov National Flood Insurance Program or a private flood insurance company. But even if you did not have flood insurance, it is worth contacting your home insurance company to see if some of your expenses will be covered, such as wind damage on your roof or additional living expenses.

Even if a hurricane did not destroy your home, you may suffer damage from fallen trees. If your tree damages a neighbor’s property, for example, by crushing a garage or fence, your neighbor must file a claim with his insurance company, which he will usually pay to repair the damage. When a tree falls and hits nothing, insurance policies will generally pay between $ 500 and $ 1,500, or sometimes nothing, for cleaning. Some insurance companies treat hurricane damage differently than other damages your home may face. For some insurance policies, a higher deductible may apply to damage caused by a hurricane. To ensure adequate coverage in case of hurricane damage, you may want to purchase wind storm cover and flood insurance separately.

living in a flood zone and how to prepare

What To Expect From Your Insurance Agency

If you are a client of a reputable insurance policy, you have the right to repair or rebuild your home and receive compensation for damage to your property inside and outside your home.

You also have certain rights under the Owners Claims Rights Statement regarding the written response of the insurance company to your claim. These are:

  1. The right to receive notification that they received their claim within 14 days.
  2. The right to receive notification that your claim is being paid partially or totally; It has been rejected; or is being investigated within 30 days.
  3. The right to receive a notice that they finished reviewing your claim and are sending you a partial or total payment or denying your claim within 90 days.

Any claim submitted will include a maximum amount payable and a deductible that will be subtracted from the total amount of compensation that was paid.

Until recently, many people in high-risk areas of Florida had to buy several insurance policies to cover windstorms. Now, more insurers are offering coverage against windstorms in Florida as part of their homeowners’ policies. But you could have a higher deductible for hurricane damage. For example, you can have a $ 500 deductible on most claims, but a deductible of 2% to 5% of the amount of your coverage for damage caused by a hurricane. In Texas, people in some coastal areas, such as Corpus Christi, may have three separate policies: homeowners insurance, separate hurricane coverage from the Texas WindStorm Insurance Association and a flood policy with the National Program of Flood Insurance.

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File Your Claim On Time