Florida has often been compared to paradise, since the weather is so beautiful – most of the year. Unfortunately, paradise can turn pretty ugly from time to time, and that can result in a lot of devastating property damage in Florida. To make matters worse, insurance companies will sometimes deny claims, leaving homeowners with a feeling of helplessness. The Tampa, Florida, property damage attorneys with Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh will be ready if this ever happens to you.
Our team of legal representatives have a deep understanding of how to deal with the often shady tactics that insurers will try to use in an effort to maximize their profits. You’ve already been through enough. The last thing you need to do is to try and fight a deep-pocketed insurance carrier on your own. The attorneys with Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh will be ready to help.
These are the top five reasons that Florida homes suffer property damage.
1. Hurricanes and Heavy Winds
If you’ve lived in Florida for a long time, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve been affected by a hurricane. You might not have been in an area that was directly hit. But you at least caught the fringes of the storm. Even the outer bands can contain powerful winds that can cause a lot of roof damage, as well as other kinds of damage.
No matter what you do to protect your home, if it is hit with the full force of a hurricane, it’s going to be damaged. Insurance companies in Florida have had to pay out so much money in hurricane-related damage claims, they’ve taken some extraordinary steps to cut their losses.
Storm damage policies in our state don’t come with the standard fixed deductible. Rather they have a percentage deductible – and that can make a huge difference in what you have to pay. If your home is insured for $300,000, for example, and you have a 5% deductible, that means you’ll be responsible for paying $15,000 before you get anything from your policy.
On top of that, insurers will sometimes act in bad faith. They might, for instance, say that your roof damage occurred due to wear and tear, rather than storm damage. They may also undervalue your claim. If you have these kinds of problems with your insurer, you’re going to need the help of an attorney in order to make sure you get what you deserve.
Even the typical springtime or summertime thunderstorm can do severe damage. When a storm dumps an incredible amount of rain, that can be the perfect breeding ground for mold development. Once the rain moves out, the hot, humid days that follow can allow mold to spread so quickly, and so extensively, that you’ll need to make an insurance claim to pay for remediation.
Those same thunderstorms can produce astonishingly high rain totals in a short amount of time. And that heavy rainfall easily overwhelms drainage systems, causing destructive floods. Unfortunately, the average homeowner’s policy doesn’t cover flood damage associated from a storm. It will cover flooding due to a burst pipe or a leaking roof, but not rain. You’ll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to make sure you are completely covered.
Florida storms are also notorious for lightning, which can easily cause a fire that becomes very destructive, very quickly. But fire isn’t the only kind of damage that can occur. Firefighters will have to use a lot of water to extinguish the flames. And that could wind up being just as destructive to your home. Smoke and soot can lead to even more expensive damage.
Since there are so many factors that can contribute to your property damage, a Florida fire insurance claim can be very complicated. If your insurance provider is making it hard for you to get the money you feel you deserve, get in touch with a Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh attorney as soon as possible. We have a lot of experience in this area. And we’re ready to put our knowledge to work on your behalf.
Florida doesn’t get as many hail storms as other states such as Texas and Oklahoma. But when we do get them, they can be fierce. The months of May and June are particularly dangerous. You might not think a hail stone of three inches could do a lot of damage, but it can actually destroy a roof, punch through skylights, shatter windows and much, much more.
Hail can damage asphalt shingles so badly that the entire roof will need to be replaced. It can also destroy gutters and crack a home’s vinyl siding. Insurance companies will often undervalue this kind of damage, agreeing to pay for repairs rather than paying for the replacement that’s actually needed.
Don’t Let an Insurance Company Take Advantage of You
There are far too many homeowners who will simply accept the decision of an insurance company and not fight for their rights. They wind up paying tens of thousands of dollars – or even more – out of their own pockets to once again make their homes inhabitable.
Don’t let this happen to you. If you are certain that an insurance company has undervalued your claim – or worse yet, denied it entirely – don’t hesitate to get in touch with Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh. We can conduct an investigation into your claim, looking for evidence that will make your case against the insurer as strong as possible. We can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to make sure you get the full and fair compensation you deserve. If the insurance company still refuses, we’ll be more than ready to take them to court.
Our attorneys know how to deliver results on behalf of our clients. We welcome the opportunity to do the same for you. Learn more by contacting us online or calling (561) 295-5825 for a free case review.