Were you affected by Hurricane Ian? You’re not alone. Ian was one of the most destructive storms in Florida’s history. It did tens of billions of dollars worth of damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure.
It can be hard to know where to turn when your home or property has been damaged or destroyed. Fortunately, you have options. Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers can help you understand your rights.
Our legal team has over 300 years of combined experience in personal injury and insurance law. We’ve recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. We can help you maximize your property damage claim after the hurricane
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How Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With Your Property Damage Claim
You may have property or homeowner’s insurance. However, it still won’t be easy to get the money you deserve from your insurer. Insurance companies are flooded with property damage claims from the storm, and they will look for every way possible to deny claims and preserve their bottom lines.
You deserve high-quality representation from an experienced property insurance lawyer to help you navigate the claims process and get the compensation you deserve. Perenich, Caulfield, Avril, & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers can put hundreds of years of combined experience behind your case.
When you hire us, we will:
- Explain your rights and options under state law and your insurance policy
- Send attorneys and investigators to gather evidence of the damage done to your property
- Enlist appraisers and other experts to help us value your losses and strengthen your claim
- Handle all communications and negotiations with your insurance company
- Take your case to court if the insurance company refuses to play fair
What Losses Can a Hurricane Damage Lawyer Help Me Recover?
If your home or personal property was damaged by Hurricane Ian, you may be able to seek compensation for:
- Roof damage
- Water remediation (i.e., the cost to clean up and restore water-damaged property)
- Damage to your home, including the foundation
- Damage to your garage, shed, fence, or other structures
- The cost to replace or repair damaged personal property
- Loss of property, such as jewelry
- Temporary housing accommodations (e.g., hotel) while your property is being repaired
- Travel expenses
- The cost to replace or repair a vehicle
- Reasonable out-of-pocket expenses related to the property damage
Whether these things are covered will depend on what insurance policies you have and their terms. We’ll review your insurance coverage to determine everything you may be able to claim.
Filing a Property Damage Claim Related to Hurricane Ian
Your insurance policy will detail the process for filing a claim after a hurricane damages your house or property.
At a minimum, you should:
- Take photographs and/or videos of the damage the storm did to your property
- Make a detailed list of damaged items, including the make, model, and serial number of the item (if available)
- Contact your insurance company and notify them that your property has been damaged by Hurricane Ian.
The claims filing process can be extremely technical; insurers will be looking for mistakes that will allow them to deny, devalue, or delay your claim.
To avoid errors, you should consult an experienced Hurricane Ian property damage lawyer for help with your claim.
The Property Damage Claims Process for Hurricane Ian Claims
The claims process will begin when you submit your storm damage claim to the insurance company.
After that, the insurer will:
- Advise you to take temporary measures to prevent further damage to your property (e.g., putting up a tarp).
- Send an adjuster to assess the damage to your property.
- The adjuster will create a report for the insurance company detailing the scope and cost of the damage.
- The insurance company will review the report.
- If the insurer approves the report, it will issue you a check to cover the repairs for the property.
Florida insurance companies are reeling after Hurricane Ian. You should expect delays from your insurer. You should even be prepared for it to be uncooperative. It may offer you less than the full value of your damages.
Having an experienced storm damage insurance lawyer can help you move the claims process along toward a prompt and fair resolution. Contact Perenich, Caulfield, Avril, & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review.
What Should I Do After a Hurricane To Protect My Claim?
If you’ve been affected by a hurricane, you should do the following to protect your property damage claim:
- Walk around your property when it’s safe to do so and take an inventory of the damage
- Take videos and pictures of the damage as evidence
- Mitigate any further damage from occurring (e.g., cover a damaged roof or board up broken windows)
- Keep all receipts
- Don’t sign any agreements with your insurance adjuster without speaking to a knowledgeable attorney first
Contact our hurricane property damage attorneys in Florida for help as soon as possible so that we can protect your right to fair compensation.
What Damages Did Hurricane Ian Cause?
Hurricane Ian devastated Floridians, causing over $60 million in private insurance losses in Florida alone. That makes Hurricane Ian the second-largest natural disaster loss recorded, just behind Hurricane Katrina.
It brought high winds, heavy rain, and record-breaking storm surges, which we discuss below.
Hurricane Ian’s wind speed in Florida was around 150 mph in some areas, making it the fourth-strongest landfall speed on record in the Sunshine State.
High winds blew debris, uprooted trees, took roofs off of homes, shattered windows, and brought down power lines. Millions of Floridians were without power, with some going a week or more without electricity.
Water Damage from Heavy Rainfall and Inland Flooding
Hurricane Ian caused historic rainfall levels in Florida, leading to significant and record-breaking flooding. Some areas saw over 21 inches of rain, causing excessive water damage in homes, garages, and buildings. Many vehicles were totaled or floated away. Some homes and structures were washed away and collided with other structures, causing severe damage.
Storm Surge Damage
Hurricane Ian caused unprecedented storm surges of 12 to 18 feet above ground level on the southwestern Florida coast. Images of houses underwater up to the ceiling demonstrate the devastation caused by these intense surges.
They caused extensive damage to homes, businesses, and personal property, including vehicles and boats. Storm surges also washed away or destroyed roads, bridges, and other infrastructure and left many people stranded.
Contact our law office to schedule a free consultation with a property insurance lawyer. We serve clients in Tampa Bay and throughout Florida.
How Did Hurricane Ian Affect Different Cities in Florida?
On September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made initial landfall in southwest Florida as a dangerous Category 4 storm. We discuss how it impacted different cities in Florida below.
People in the Tampa Bay area expected Hurricane Ian to hit them directly and braced themselves for impact. However, the storm made landfall 125 miles south. Tampa received little damage compared to other parts of Florida.
However, Tampa still experienced strong winds and heavy rain, causing downed power lines and trees. Debris filled the roads and landed on houses. Some homeowners experienced damage to roofs, vehicles, and sheds. Approximately 500,000 people were without power throughout Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
Like Tampa, St. Petersburg was spared the significant impact of Hurricane Ian that was felt in more southern areas. However, the city experienced rain and heavy winds, which knocked down power lines and trees and damaged homes and buildings. They also had to clean up debris from the streets, and some people were without power.
Clearwater also experienced strong wind gusts and rainfall, mainly causing downed trees and power lines and light structural damage. The city also had debris to clean up after the storm.
New Port Richey
Hurricane Ian caused strong winds and rain in New Port Richey. However, the area suffered little damage besides power outages, roof damage, road flooding, and fallen trees.
How Much Is My Hurricane Damage Claim Worth?
The value of your hurricane damage claim depends on the extent of your losses and your policy limits. We’ll need to investigate your case and document the property damage you sustained. We also need to review your insurance policy to determine what is covered and the policy limits.
Contact us to discuss your losses and how much you can expect to recover.
Ways The Insurance Company Will Try to Deny or Devalue Your Claim
As mentioned above, insurance companies are inundated with property damage claims after a major hurricane. The Florida property insurance market was already in crisis due to excessive litigation, fraud, and recent natural disasters. Hurricane Ian may push it to the brink.
You should expect your insurer to use any method possible to deny or devalue your claim. Insurance companies typically use a few different strategies to challenge your property damage case:
- Argue you didn’t file your claim within the policy-specified time limits. It may try to use obscure terms and conditions of your policy to accuse you of an untimely claim.
- Challenge your proof of loss and inventory list. Most insurance policies require you to submit a sworn proof of loss to the insurance company at the insurance company’s request. The proof of loss document requires you to get estimates for repairs from contractors and other professionals within a short period of time (usually 30-60 days from the request). If you fail to submit the proof of loss by the required deadline, the insurance company may refuse to pay your claim. If you overstate your damages, the insurance company may accuse you of fraud.
- Allege you failed to mitigate your damages. As a policyholder, you have a duty to try and mitigate the damage to your property after a storm. This means you must lessen the damage if possible or at least not make it worse. You should expect the insurance company to accuse you of failing to mitigate your damages — even if you do everything possible to diminish further harm to your property.
- Ask for unavailable documentation. If your home was destroyed in the hurricane, it’s likely that important documents and information were destroyed with it. Nonetheless, insurance companies will often request a long list of documents, knowing you may not have such information due to the storm. It will then accuse you of hampering the investigation if you fail to submit the required documents.
As you can see, insurance companies use many tricks to undermine property insurance claims. Don’t get caught in their traps. An experienced Hurricane Ian property damage lawyer can help you protect your rights.
How Can A Hurricane Damage Lawyer Help?
A hurricane damage lawyer can help you battle the insurance company to ensure that they issue fair payment for your losses.
Whether you need help filing a claim or are having trouble with your insurance company, a Florida hurricane damage lawyer can help in the following ways:
- Review Your Insurance Policy and Help You Document Damages: We’ll review the terms of your insurance policies to clarify what all may be covered. We can also help you document your damages so that you’ll have the evidence you need to prove the full extent of your losses.
- Protect You from Attempts To Minimize Your Losses: An attorney can help you file a property damage claim, navigate the process, and negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive an amount that’s fair. The insurance company will likely try to minimize your damages to pay you as little as possible. An attorney can protect you from lowball offers and bad faith insurance practices.
- Fight the Insurance Company If They Deny Your Claim: One tactic insurance adjusters may use is to deny your claim, hoping you’ll take their word that it isn’t covered. If your claim has been denied, contact our hurricane property damage lawyers for assistance. We’ll determine the reason for the denial and whether it’s valid.
- Ensure that Your Claim Is Promptly Handled: Insurance companies are dealing with a flood of claims right now due to Hurricane Ian’s destruction. Accordingly, some delays are to be expected.
However, a hurricane damage lawyer won’t let the insurance company get away with intentional delay tactics. We’ll work to ensure that you receive payment as soon as possible so that you can repair or replace your property and move on with your life.
How Much Will It Cost Me To Hire a Hurricane Property Damage Lawyer?
It will depend on the facts of your property damage claim. The hurricane property damage lawyers at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril, & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers will review your claim to give you a better idea of what our attorney’s fees will be.
We can explain this further in a free, no-obligation consultation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Property Damage Claim After Hurricane Ian?
Your insurance policy will specify the exact time limits for filing a claim after your property is damaged or destroyed. If you file a claim under your homeowner’s insurance policy, your insurer must provide you with a Homeowner’s Claims Bill of Rights within 14 days after you notify it of your property damage.
This document will inform you of the time frames the insurer must follow in its communications, investigations, and processing of your claim.
Insurance policies are considered contracts. If the insurance company denies or undervalues your claim, it may be in breach of contract. Florida has a five-year statute of limitations for breach of contract cases.
An experienced property damage attorney can help you determine the deadlines in your case. Contact Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for assistance.
Contact Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers For Help With Your Property Damage Claim
You don’t have to go it alone in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. You have options for obtaining money to repair your home. Our Hurricane Ian property damage attorneys can help you understand your rights.
Let us put our extensive experience and skills into getting you the financial help you need to move forward during this difficult time. Contact Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation, or fill out our online contact form to get started.