Than Four Combined Decades
Hurricane Damage Claims
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. Although Tampa rarely gets direct hits from hurricanes, these storms can still cause considerable damage to homes in the area. Strong winds in outlying bands can blow debris around. Heavy rain can cause flooding. If your home suffers damage from one of these storms, it’s important to know what to do. Time is of the essence when it comes to filing a hurricane claim.
Insurance claims for these storms can be tough to navigate on your own. At The Morgan Law Group, our hurricane damage lawyers can assist you with filing this type of claim. We can guide you through this complex process.
What to Do After a Hurricane in Tampa, FL
Waiting until any danger has passed from a hurricane is important. When you’re safe, you can get started on filing a hurricane damage claim. The following steps can help you know what to do if you find yourself in this situation as a Tampa homeowner.
- Assess Property Damage
Walk around your property to see how much damage you have and how severe it is. Make sure you only do this if it’s safe. Check for water damage from flooding, damage from wind and debris, and other kinds of property damage to your home.
- Contact the Insurance Company
You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim after a hurricane, so reach out to your insurance company as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might have trouble with your claim. Many insurance companies have an adjuster come to the affected property to assess the amount, type, and severity of damage.
- Document Property Damage
Take plenty of photos and videos of damage to your home, including interior and exterior damage. This documentation should also include damaged personal items in addition to structural damage, as well as landscape damage if applicable. You’ll need detailed images of damage for your insurance claim.
- Start Emergency Repairs
In some cases, property damage requires immediate repairs to prevent it from getting worse or more dangerous. For example, you might need to board up any broken windows you have to stop water, debris, and pests from getting in. Keep all paperwork related to these emergency repairs, such as invoices.
- Contact Professionals for an In-Depth Assessment
Assessing damage on your own gives you limited information, depending on your expertise. Have contractors and other professionals conduct an in-depth assessment of property damage. This gives you detailed reports to show your insurance company when filing your claim.
- Gather Essential Documents
Keep all documents in one place, so that they’re easy to access. In addition to invoices and receipts from emergency repairs, gather your insurance policies and any other relevant documentation.
- Reach Out to a Hurricane Damage Lawyer
An insurance claim lawyer with expertise in hurricane damage claim can help you with this process. They can provide you with guidance on how and when to file your claim and help you understand your policies. If needed, they can also handle negotiations with your insurance adjuster.
When to File a Hurricane Damage Claim in Tampa
Under Florida law, homeowners have a limited window of time to file a claim for hurricane damage. Avoid waiting until you know the full extent of the damage, since this can take time to determine. Instead, you should file an initial claim for damage due to a hurricane as soon as possible. Otherwise, you risk having your claim denied.
How to Calculate the Amount of Your Tampa Hurricane Damage Claim
The value of your hurricane claim can vary based on a wide range of factors. This amount includes the total cost of repairs, including emergency repairs, replacements, Additional Living Expenses (ALE) if applicable, and depreciation.
Keep in mind that replacement costs include personal items and appliances, not just structural replacements. ALE expenses should be included if you need to relocate temporarily due to property damage. A hurricane lawyer in Tampa can go over these costs and expenses in detail in order to determine the value of your insurance claim.
Tips for Handling Insurance Adjusters and Companies
When you file a claim for hurricane damage, you can expect to deal with your insurance company and adjusters. Since insurance companies generally try to keep claim amounts as low as possible, having good legal representation is important. An insurance claims attorney can negotiate with the adjuster or insurance company to help you receive a favorable settlement.
At The Morgan Law Group, you can count on having dependable legal help with hurricane damage claims. Our experienced insurance attorneys in Tampa can walk you through the whole process. Contact us to get a free consultation if your home has hurricane damage.
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