How to Know if Your Homeowners Insurance Covers Hurricane Damage
Homeowners’ insurance typically covers hurricane damage caused by wind and rain. However, where you live and the policies you carry determines what deductibles apply.
Your insurance policy is a contract. Frequently, insurers use ambiguous language to deny coverage and to avoid or decrease claims payouts. Our homeowner’s insurance claims lawyers will help you sift through the confusing language used in all homeowners insurance policies.
If you have questions about your homeowners’ insurance coverage, contact an experienced homeowners insurance claims attorney at Schrier Law Group today for your free case review.
Listed below are a few tips to help you determine if your home is ready for hurricane season in Florida.
Does Home Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage in Florida?
Most homeowners insurance covers your home in the event it is damaged from hurricane winds. However, storm surges and flood damage, after a hurricane, may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.
What is a Deductible?
A deductible is the amount that you pay before your insurer reimburses you for the remainder of a loss. A hurricane deductible is usually a percentage of the total amount of home insurance coverage. For example, a 3% hurricane deductible, on a $100,000.00 policy, would mean that you need to pay $3,000 before your insurer covers the rest of your damages.
If you are unsure where to find your insurance deductible information, look on your policy’s declaration page or contact a homeowner’s insurance claims attorney at Schrier Law Group to discuss the actual coverage that you have paid for.
Types of Homeowner Insurance Coverage in Florida
Hurricane season occurs between June and November in Florida. You can prevent unnecessary stress by ensuring that your policy has the optimal amount of protection for your home’s hurricane risk.
What is Dwelling Coverage?
Dwelling coverage covers all the parts of your home. That includes the structure of your home, your roof, and your built-in appliances. Your dwelling coverage limit should amount to the total cost of rebuilding your home. Many homeowner’s insurance professionals recommend extended or guaranteed replacement cost coverage, for higher coverage limits.
What is Personal Property Coverage?
Personal property coverage covers all the property you own, that is not physically attached to your house. This may include your clothing, jewelry, furniture, appliances, and more. Make sure that all of your belongings are insured at their replacement cost just in case they’re destroyed in a hurricane.
Depending on where you live, it can be beneficial to get additional loss of use coverage. This coverage can help you support yourself while your home is being rebuilt in the wake of a tropical storm.
What Additional Insurance Coverage Should I Consider?
Unfortunately, standard homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover everything. In many cases, there are massive gaps in coverage that could leave you and your family in a difficult situation in the event of a hurricane.
Coverage gaps can be scary. Insurers often rely on them to avoid paying out claims. The following types of insurance can fill in those gaps in coverage:
- Debris removal coverage covers the costs associated with removing fallen trees or power lines after a hurricane.
- Flood insurance insures your home against most types of flood damage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 90% of natural disasters include some form of flooding.
- Water backup insurance protects your house or belongings if your sewage water becomes backed up into your home through your plumbing.
- Windstorm insurance might not be included in your policy if you’re in a high-risk state like Florida. You may require separate windstorm coverage to protect your home from wind damage.
What Are the Benefits of Working with a Homeowner Insurance Claims Lawyer?
Florida insurance laws can be complicated. That’s why we recommend working with an experienced homeowner’s insurance claims lawyer. A homeowner’s insurance claims attorney can be helpful in the following situations:
- You and your insurance company disagree on compensation amounts
- It’s an expensive or complicated claim
- Your claim or coverage is denied
- The insurance company is taking too long to respond to your claim
- Lowball payouts
Negotiating with insurance adjusters is not an easy task. In most cases, it involves extensive paperwork, follow-up, knowledge of Florida’s homeowner’s insurance laws, and a lot of energy.
A lawyer is not required for every homeowner’s insurance claim. However, if a dispute arises, it’s almost always a good idea to at least consult with a lawyer.
Contact an Experienced Florida Homeowners Insurance Claims Lawyer Today
If you’re battling with your homeowners’ insurance company, you don’t have to do it alone. We can help. Our homeowners’ insurance attorneys at Schrier Law Group are prepared to fight for the maximum compensation for your claims. Call 1-800-700-Paul today to schedule your free case analysis.
How to Prepare Yourself and Your Family for a Hurricane in Florida
Floridians experience hurricane season from June through November every year. Thoroughly preparing for hurricanes and the severe weather systems that come along with them could save your family’s lives.
There are many guidelines that are offered to Floridians. Yet, many remain concerned because they are not confident whether they have done enough to adequately protect their family’s from these destructive storms. This is a well-founded fear because devastating hurricanes often cause millions upon millions of dollars of damage to our homes, businesses, to Florida’s Coastline.
For that reason, we have listed just a few tips so that you can begin to get ready for hurricane season in Florida.
Get Homeowners Insurance in Florida
Your home is one of your most valuable investments. That’s why it is so important and often required to have homeowner’s insurance in place. Even the best homeowner’s insurance policies may not cover all storm damage. It is therefore essential to secure the best possible homeowner’s policy to suit your needs.
A standard homeowner’s insurance policy may not cover you in the event that you have a flood in your home. However, you can often purchase flood insurance separately through the National Flood Insurance Program, or you can try to secure a private policy that provides coverage for floods.
Standard homeowner’s policies cover damage caused by wind, but Florida residents may need to buy additional windstorm insurance. If you have questions about your policy and want to review your coverages with an experienced homeowners insurance claims attorney, contact Schrier Law Group so that they can provide you with the information that you need to know for your family’s well-being.
Develop a Hurricane Preparedness Checklist
When a powerful storm system approaches, a clear plan can give your family confidence that they are safe. Knowing what your actions will be and what procedures you will take ahead of time will often prevent family members from acting while they are panicking and lead to more prudent decisions and outcomes. Aside from a good homeowner’s insurance policy, here are some specific steps you can take in your hurricane preparedness checklist:
- Write down your emergency phone numbers and keep them on your refrigerator, as well as near every phone in your residence. It would also be a good idea to save the emergency telephone numbers on your cell phone.
- Choose a few emergency shelters that you can go to and plan multiple routes to each location, just in case one of the routes is not accessible. Save the locations in the GPS application on your phone beforehand to maximize the time and ability that you will have to get prepared.
- Make plans for your pets in the event of an evacuation: Pre-identify shelters, potential pet-friendly hotels, or speak with out-of-town friends or relatives to find out if you can bring your pets & stay with them. Local animal shelters may offer assistance as to what you can do with your pets in the event of a hurricane emergency.
- Keep your electronic devices with backup energy sources as fully charged as possible while still having electricity. Turning your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings could help food last longer in the event that you lose power.
- Prepare an emergency supply and first aid kit, just in case.
Stock Emergency Supplies
A hurricane can cut off your power and water supplies, and it’s obviously important to be prepared. You may not be able to drive because roads often become flooded or blocked by trees or telephone poles and/or lines. Stocking up on the following items can help you become better prepared for hurricane season:
- Emergency non-perishable food and water supply. Plan for at least a gallon of water per day
- Emergency medicine and medical supplies like a first aid kit. It’s a good idea to gather about a week’s worth of first aid supplies.
- Flashlights, extra batteries, and bulbs
- Safety and practicality items like a pocket knife, manual can opener, a whistle, and sunscreen. Also, gather several days’ worth of clothes.
- Important documentation, including your medical documents, COVID-19 vaccine records, wills, passports, and personal identification
- Fire extinguishers: make sure everyone in the house knows where it’s located and how it functions
- Battery-operated or hand-crank radio, extra batteries if needed
- Wet wipes, toilet paper, and other personal hygiene supplies
- Non-electronic entertainment sources, like board games, books, crayons, and cards
- Pet supplies, including food, fresh water, medications, and immunization records
Special Tips for Seniors in Florida During Hurricane Season
Hurricanes may strike without much warning, so it’s crucial for seniors, especially those with chronic illnesses, to be ready for them. If you or a loved one is older or disabled and can’t leave quickly, here’s some advice on what to do:
- Call the hospital, public health department, or the police about your special needs and get their recommendations
- Consider a respite stay at an assisted living community. Senior living communities have hurricane safety protocols in place to protect older adults and are required to have backup power generators.
- Establish designated meeting spots, including ones outside your neighborhood if you can’t return home
- Take photos and videos of your home and possessions just in case you have to make an insurance claim and upload the photos into the cloud for easy access.
Contact Schrier Law Group Today
Remember, any severe storm can be deadly and destructive. One of the best things you can do is to be prepared for the worst-case scenario and then stay up-to-date on what the emergency officials are advising.
It’s vital to keep your home and family safe during hurricane season. Call Schrier Law Group today and learn more about your options this hurricane season. Our experienced homeowner’s insurance attorneys are ready to help you gain peace of mind and compensation in the event that you sustain property damage, and your homeowner’s insurance company refuses to pay, or the insurance company refuses to pay the fare and proper cost to repair or to replace your damaged or destroyed property.
Schrier Law Group takes pride in reading every clause in your insurance policy to determine whether you can enforce the terms and conditions necessary to win your case. Insurance policies are contracts, and ambiguities within your contract or an insurance policy, shall be construed against the drafter of your insurance policy. We also rarely get paid by our clients when we accept a Homeowner’s case because the laws in Florida were designed to permit the prevailing party to get their attorney’s fees and costs paid by the losing party.
All of us at Schrier Law Group arrive at work each day in order to provide a benefit to our clients, and we are here to listen and get you the most possible lawful compensation for your Homeowner’s case. While we never want anyone to sustain damage to their homes, we will be here for you if you need to hire Schrier. Call Schrier Law Group, at (800) 700-PAUL, for a free case evaluation.