If your home has been damaged in a hurricane, you might be wondering what is covered in hurricane damage claims?
Florida has already seen four major hurricanes, two hurricanes and various tropical and subtropical storms in 2021 – leaving many homeowners desperate for insurance payments that can help them rebuild their homes.
It should be noted that your hurricane insurance policy may be very different to your neighbors, making it difficult to give a generic amount of compensation you might expect from a hurricane damage claim.
However, most hurricane damage policies are consistent and will cover the following areas of damage:
Types of Damage Covered in Hurricane Damage Claims
Hurricane Damage Is Not Covered in Basic Homeowner’s Policies
First up, it’s important to know that for most Florida residents, hurricane damage will not be covered by basic homeowner’s policies.
You will need to purchase a separate hurricane insurance policy to make hurricane damage claims. Homeowners’ insurance usually only covers water damage from normal rain showers.
Flood Damages Are Not Covered by Hurricane Policies
Many people make the mistake of assuming their hurricane policy will protect them against flooding. Sadly, that is not the case.
A separate flood insurance policy is required to cover any flood damage, even if a category 3 hurricane causes it. In recent years, many homes have been effectively destroyed due to floods, yet the owners were left helpless as they didn’t buy a separate flood insurance policy.
Note that in most cases, adding flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period. It’s always wise to add it right away and be proactive rather than reactive.
Wind Damage to Your Home
Wind damage is usually covered in hurricane damage claims. Hurricane winds can vary from between 74-157 mph, causing violent damage to homes in a matter of minutes.
Roofs, windows and structures are often hit hard, but there have even been cases where homes are ripped off their foundations entirely.
Emergency Repairs to Prevent Further Damage
If wind damage does cause serious damage, then emergency repairs may be required to prevent it from becoming worse. For example, if there is a large hole in the roof or broken windows, then repairs may prevent flooding and further wind damage.
Hurricanes can cause tiles to fall into the home, tree branches to smash through windows and countless other types of debris to be picked up and land on your property.
Hurricane damage claims can allow you to get professional debris removal when the debris has been caused by hurricane winds.
Replacement of the Damaged Property
If your home has been significantly damaged, your hurricane damage claim may cover you for the actual cash value or replacement value of the damaged property. However, there are an incredible amount of variations in Florida hurricane insurance policies, so speaking to a hurricane damage attorney first is often advised.
If your home’s roof has been ripped off or hit by a falling tree or hurricane debris, it will likely be applicable in a hurricane damage claim.
Similarly, windows are frequently smashed in hurricanes as they either get hit by debris or crack due to the movement of the building. Multiple broken windows quickly stack up in repair costs and should be coerced by your hurricane damage insurance.
Vehicles damaged by hurricanes may be covered in hurricane damage claims, but this will depend on your policy. If not, cars are usually covered by the comprehensive section of an auto insurance policy m
Your belongings, electronics, furniture and your home’s interior structure, may have all been damaged due to strong winds. For example, if a locked door is violently pushed open due to the winds, it can cause havoc throughout the home.
Interior damage is usually included in hurricane damage claims.
Cracked Building Foundations
The foundations of a property are essential to safe living. If the foundations are cracked or moved, it may make the building uninhabitable. It should be covered in a hurricane damage claim.
Uprooted Trees and Torn Apart Gardens
Your yard and its trees are just as much a part of your property as your house. If trees are pulled from the ground into windows, roofs or cars, then you can make a hurricane damage claim.
Outside furniture should generally be tied down or safely stored inside, but decks and balconies that are damaged can be claimed for.
Similarly, swimming pools contain expensive equipment and designs. If your filtration system, pump or pool’s foundations are damaged due to hurricane winds, then you may be able to make a hurricane damage claim.
Your home may be unsafe to stay in immediately after the hurricane until repairs are made. In this case, your hurricane insurer should cover your expenses for relocation, such as hotel or travel to a friend or family member.
What to Do If Your Home Has Been Damaged in a Florida Hurricane?
If your home has suffered hurricane property damage in Florida, then you should contact an insurance company as soon as possible.
However, without a concrete understanding of your homeowners’ policy, you may be exploited or receive an undervalued claim.
By contacting our property damage attorney, we can review your case and communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. This will protect you from being undervalued, denied or delayed in your much-needed repairs.
Our top tips for hurricane damage claims in Florida include:
- Speak to a Florida property damage attorney.
- Investigate the damage, listing all damage from appliances to windows.
- Take photos of your damage to create proof that it was caused by the hurricane.
- Contact your insurance company and inform them of the damage.
- Keep all receipts of damaged items and repair bills.
- Keep records of which insurance adjuster you’re talking to.
- Review all documents carefully to avoid being undervalued.
Florida Property Damage Attorneys Specializing in Hurricane Claims
If your home or property has suffered from hurricane damage in Florida, then contact us today.
Attorney Jonathon Douglas leads the property damage claim 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 you navigate hurricane insurance claims.
Regardless of your situation, you can receive a free consultation today.