Than Four Combined Decades
Storm Damage Claims
Storms in Tampa are no small matter. Florida is the lightning capital of the nation. Tampa is in a hurricane zone and even a category 1 storm could wreak huge amounts of damage. Broken roofs and windows, damaged gutters and siding, flooding, damaged personal belongings and more can make it difficult if not impossible for you to resume normal life after the storm has passed; thankfully, at the Morgan Law Group, we have the experienced storm damage lawyers you need to claim compensation from your insurer as quickly as possible.
What to do After a Storm in Tampa, FL
Knowing what to do after a storm can increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation from your insurance agency. Once the storm has subsided, and it’s safe to go outside, be sure to do the following:
- Survey the Damage
Check inside and outside the house for damage. Document all visible signs of damage to your home and even the yard. Take photos from various angles and video the home inside and outside.
- File a Claim
Florida law stipulates that you have three years from the time the storm made landfall to file your claim. However, it’s in your best interest to file your claim as quickly as possible after the storm. If you wait too long, the insurance agency may determine the damage wasn’t caused by the storm and deny your claim.
- Get Expert Advice
It’s a good idea to have a contractor come to your home to assess the damage, as there may be forms of hidden damage you missed on your inspection. A contractor can also give a cost estimate for repairs.
- Compile Documentation
Make sure you have all the documentation related to your home insurance policy in a single location. This should include not just the policy itself but also past appraisals of your home, your contractor’s repair estimate, and documentation related to valuables that were damaged or destroyed in the storm.
- Make Emergency Repairs
You don’t want to start fixing up all the damage from the storm until the insurance adjuster comes out to examine the property. However, you will need to make emergency repairs if the storm damage has made your home unlivable and/or put people in the home in danger. Emergency repairs are also in order if the damage caused by the storm could further damage your home in the next few days. Such repairs include boarding up broken windows, putting a tarp over a leaky roof, and clearing debris and water-damaged furnishings from your home.
- Hire a Tampa Storm Damage Attorney
While you can handle an insurance claims process without legal help, it’s always a good idea to hire a storm damage attorney to represent you during the claims process. Insurance companies look for all possible loopholes to either deny storm damage claims or underestimate the amount they need to pay in compensation. Having an insurance lawyer on your side increases your odds of getting a fair settlement from your insurer.
What to Expect from the Tampa, FL Claims Process
Once you file a claim, your insurance company will put an adjuster on your case. The adjuster will get in touch with you to schedule an appointment to come to your home and survey the damage. Your insurance attorney will be present as the adjuster does his or her work and will ensure the adjuster does not underestimate the damage caused by the storm or seek to blame storm-related damage on other factors.
Once the adjuster has provided the insurance agency with his or her report, the insurance company will make a compensation offer. If the damage is minimal, you may receive an offer in a few days. However, if the damage is severe, it could take a few weeks for your insurer to go over the particulars of the claim and make an offer. Your insurance lawyer will examine the offer to ensure it’s fair and covers all storm-related damage. When warranted, it should also cover alternative living expenses such as hotel rooms and restaurant bills if you are unable to stay in your home due to the nature of the damage. If your insurance agency denies the claim or makes a lowball offer, your insurance lawyer will get in touch with them to negotiate a higher offer or, if need be, file a legal claim against the insurer in court.
Why Do You Need a Tampa, FL Storm Damage Attorney?
While you can handle an insurance agency without legal representation, a lot could go wrong if you do so. Insurance agencies lose money when they make payouts; thus, they often look for reasons to deny storm damage claims or at least minimize compensation. A Morgan Law Group storm damage attorney can increase your odds of getting the timely compensation you need and deserve. Get in touch with us to find out more or to schedule a free consultation.
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