In Lee County, hundreds of people still await a check following a denied or delayed Hurricane Ian insurance claim.
Reports say as of early 2023, there have been 48,344 rejected hurricane insurance claims in Lee County, with a further 30,000 stuck waiting for a forthcoming payment.
If you’re one of these people, you may still have a chance of challenging the situation. By now your patience is probably beyond gone. It is time to call a Florida Property Damage Lawyer.
Lee County Hurricane Insurance Options
If your hurricane insurance claim in Lee County has been denied, you may still have a chance to challenge this.
Obviously, we cannot save a justified denial. But if you’re convinced it was unfairly denied, he’s what you can do:
Prove It Was Wind Damage
The best way to challenge a denied or disputed hurricane insurance claim in Lee County is to prove it was caused by Ian’s strong winds.
Wind damage is covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy. When wind attacks the home it can rip holes in the roof, leading to significant damage inside the home, or even walls being torn from their foundations.
But often, the insurance company will say the roof damage was the result of wear and tear. OR, that it’s actually flood damage.
Flood damage is not covered in a standard homeowners policy. So if you didn’t have the flood policy add-on, then you get a denied claim.
If so, you will need to prove it’s caused by wind damage. This can be done by showing evidence of damage above the water line – such as in your soffits, windows and roof.
Wind. Driven. Rain. These three words can be used to argue the damage was caused by wind. Not flooding.
Read Related: What’s the Difference Between Water Damage & Flood Damage?
We’ve also heard many stories of people having their hurricane claim in Lee County delayed. These cases see the homeowner file a claim and maybe even get a good response but then no follow-up. Whether the company has just ghosted you entirely or never sent the check, then you can take action.
Florida state law requires that insurance companies respond within statutory deadlines.
Our Florida hurricane insurance lawyers can contact them and threaten action if they’ve broken these laws. Which usually makes the insurer get a move on.
These statutory requirements include:
Processing Your Claim and Responding to It
- The response must be sent within 14 days of receiving the claim.
Investigating Your Claim
- Within 14 days of receiving proof of loss documents.
- Must be completed within 90 days of receiving the claim.
Deciding Upon Your Claim
- Must pay or deny (or a portion of your claim) within 90 days of receiving the initial claim notice.
The insurer is allowed 15 days more if factors out of their control trigger delays.
Read our full guide on what to do if your Hurricane Ian Claim Has Been Delayed here.
According to the New York Post, of the 135,086 Lee County residents who have received payouts, a large number have complained that they were lowball offers that have left them significantly.
Insurance companies are for-profit and are notorious for undervaluing claims. If this has happened to you, you may be able to challenge it. You can still reopen an insurance claim. This is especially possible if you haven’t accepted an offer yet or haven’t signed a release.
By contacting a Florida property damage lawyer you can challenge the valuation of their offer.
Using our legal expertise and negotiation skills, we will argue that you deserve more.
This is done by utilizing evidence and is why we always suggest that victims of hurricanes:
- Take photos of all damage to your property.
- Keep receipts of repair work, travel expenses and accommodation expenses since the hurricane.
- Keep all emails, letters, quotes and promises made by insurance representatives.
- List what you’ve lost and determine the values.
- Get several independent quotes from contractors for repair work.
Bad Faith Tactics
Sadly it’s not unheard of for insurance companies to take advantage of claimants through manipulation and bullying. Whether it’s patronizing you, or using pressuring language, the insurer cannot use bad faith tactics such as these.
If you have experienced any of this during your delayed or denied Lee County hurricane claim, please contact our Florida hurricane insurance lawyers.
Bad faith tactics include:
- Delaying tactics
- Manipulation and/or bullying
- Incorrect policy coverage claims
- Slow responses or no responses
- You’re blamed for the damage
- You’re told you don’t have the right to speak to a lawyer.
Use an Independent Adjuster with a Property Damage Lawyer
Our Florida property damage lawyers work for a long-standing and highly-rated law firm, with the resources to provide you with an independent valuation for your property damage.
Insurance company adjusters work for the insurance company, so trusting their opinion alone after a denied or undervalued claim isn’t wise. Their priority is to make the insurance company happy.
Call Our Florida Hurricane Ian Insurance Claim Lawyers Today
Jonathon Douglas leads the property damage attorney team nationally ranked by US News and World Reports as a Tier 1 Law Firm, Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A.
Having previously represented some of the largest insurance companies in the State of Florida, Mr. Douglas uses his inside knowledge and experience to help navigate hurricane insurance disputes.
If you’ve suffered a delayed, denied, or undervalued Hurricane insurance claim in Lee County, you can receive a free consultation today.