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Wind Damage Claims

Panama City FL is renowned for it’s nearly year-round pleasant weather. Residents, tourists, and college students on break take advantage of this warm water paradise by enjoying a wide array of outdoor activities, from sailing and kiteboarding to scuba and snorkeling excursions. Legendary for its breathtaking white sand beaches and tropical climate, the coastal city is outside the Southeastern hurricane belt, but Panama City does experience many high wind events.

The windy season in Panama City lasts for about 7 months, from September through May. Average wind speeds are about 10 miles per hour, but many days will see high winds or wind gusts of up to 55 mph. You can certainly expect damage to homes, landscapes, and vehicles that may require a wind damage claim to be filed with your insurance company.

If you live in Panama City FL, you should know what constitutes a high wind event, and when it is appropriate to make a wind damage claim to your insurance company. A hurricane lawyer is the best professional to handle a claim against your insurance company to recoup money for damages caused by high winds in Panama City FL.

What is a high-wind event?

When looking at high winds and the damage that may be caused to property, you must consider both sustained winds and wind gusts. A high wind warning consists of sustained wind speeds of 35 mph or wind gusts of 50 mph. In high wind conditions, consider the following threats:

  • Loose objects are blown around and may cause other impact damage
  • Damage to carports, awnings, porches, outdoor sheds, or pool enclosures
  • Isolated or widespread power outages may occur due to downed power lines.
  • High-profile vehicles (trucks, SUVs, RVs, etc.) experience instability while driving
  • Mobile homes or boats docked in the area may experience extensive damage.
  • Weak or diseased trees may have large branches that break

Sustained high winds or high wind gusts are considered an extreme threat to life and property, especially when the gusts are frequent and debris is flying through the air. Your local weather operations will certainly issue a “high wind warning” in Panama City, FL under these conditions.

To put these wind speeds into perspective, it only takes a wind of 15 mph to make a beach experience very unpleasant. Umbrellas, beach chairs, and belongings might fly off and be carried away, while the sand that is kicked up can cause a real hazard if it gets into your eyes.

How To Assess Wind Damage

The first sign of wind damage will likely be power lines or tree branches lying on the ground. Examine the property to determine if any fallen tree limbs have damaged the home due to impact.  Even if tree limbs are not downed, there may be damage to your home or business property’s roof. Look for signs of roof damage caused by high winds such as missing or lifted shingles, damage to the soffit, fascia, or gutters, along with indoor leaks.

Other structural damage to your property may include broken windows, damaged siding, or damage to your car port or garage. You may require the skills of a structural engineer to assess significant wind damage to the home’s structure, which includes the roof, walls, foundation, and hidden structural components like beams and trusses.

Often, wind damage can be more severe depending on the type of wind.  Straight-line windstorms can be very destructive by knocking over trees and separating roof elements. Macroburst winds only last a few minutes, but this strong burst of wind is extremely concentrated and produces an outward movement of air pressure that can displace small structures such as a shed or outdoor equipment. Circulating winds that are not of tornado strength will wreak havoc on anything outdoors that is not secured, and will likely cause damage to your home due to impact by other objects.

Steps To Filing a Panama City Wind Damage Claim

After you’ve secured the safety of your family and the damaging wind event has subsided, it is important to act quickly to document any wind damage to your property. Inspect and take pictures of the interior and exterior of your home from different angles, making sure you get multiple photos of damaged areas.

You are looking for any signs of structural damage to the home’s frame, foundation, windows, doors, roof, and landscape. Immediately schedule any emergency repairs needed to keep the home safe and dry, but leave other repairs until later. Keep detailed records of all repairs made, all estimates given, and all weather-related news reports concerning the day of your wind damage claim.

You should also quickly contact your homeowner’s insurance company to file a wind damage claim. They may send an adjuster out to inspect for wind damage, or they may simply accept the photos you’ve taken to settle the wind damage insurance claim.

Contact us when you need help recovering all the expenses you encounter due to a wind damage claim in Panama City, FL. We can help you through the best steps to take when navigating the claims process so you can recover faster from the devastation caused by a high wind event.