Florida’s coastal location makes it highly prone to hurricanes and other natural disasters. Storm surges, high winds, flooding, and other hazards end up causing destructive damage to properties across the Sunshine State. According to Climate.gov, Florida is the second-leading state in total costs suffered from weather and disaster events since 1980. Natural disasters can easily destroy homes and business properties on their path. When it happens, the owner of the property might be able to obtain compensation by filing an insurance claim. However, not every Floridian knows how to file an insurance claim for property damage in Florida. The knowledgeable property insurance claim attorneys at Stabinski Law understand the stress property owners go through when natural disasters wreak havoc and damage their homes and businesses. Our experienced attorneys can advise on the proper steps to take to recover compensation for the costs associated with property damage in Florida. Call (305) 643-3100 to schedule a free consultation.
Causes of Property Damage in Florida
Some of the most common causes of damage to residential and commercial properties in Florida include:
- Toxic mold
- Damage from vehicles
Not all of these causes are considered covered losses. Some insurance companies refuse to cover the costs incurred by property owners whose residential and commercial property were damaged due to excluded losses.
What Losses Are Excluded from Property Damage Insurance Coverage?
The following causes of property damage are typically excluded from insurance coverage dealing with damage to residential and commercial properties in Florida:
- Water damage
- Wear and tear
- Earth movement
- Intentional loss
- Power failure
- Nuclear hazards
The covered and excluded events vary greatly from one insurance coverage to another. For this reason, a claimant needs to review the terms of their insurance policy to understand what is and is not covered.
How To File an Insurance Claim For Property Damage in Florida?
Property owners whose homes or businesses were damaged by covered events need to take the following steps when filing an insurance claim for property damage:
- Notifying the insurance company. The first step is to report property damage to the insurance company. A claimant needs to review the terms of their insurance policy to understand the time limit for reporting property damage. Failure to notify the insurer within a reasonable amount of time may lead to the denial of the claim.
- Filing an insurance claim for property damage. The next step is to file an insurance claim for property damage. A claimant needs to provide supporting documentation to strengthen their claim and preserve their right to fair compensation.
- Working with an insurance claims adjuster. Once an insurance claim is filed, the company will assign a claims adjuster to the claimant’s case. The adjuster’s job is to examine the claim, assess the damage, and determine what amount of money should be paid to the claimant.
- Negotiating a settlement. Finally, the adjuster and the claimant will need to negotiate a settlement before finalizing the payout of the claim. If the claimant does not feel that the proposed settlement amount is fair, they can file a lawsuit.
At Stabinski Law, the experienced and results-driven property insurance claim attorneys help clients understand how to file an insurance claim for property damage and fight vigorously on behalf of clients to help them obtain fair and full compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Property Damage Claims in Florida
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Temporary Arrangements if the Claimant Cannot Live in the Damaged Property?
Some insurance providers cover the cost of temporary arrangements when the owner of the property cannot live in the damaged property. However, proving that the property is too damaged to live there can be challenging.
What to Do if an Insurance Company Denies a Property Damage Claim?
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to deny property damage claims. When a claim is denied, the property owner could appeal the denial. Often, claimants seek legal counsel from an attorney to determine the reason the insurance company refused to pay the claim and understand their options to obtain the benefits to which they may be entitled.
How Long Do Property Owners Have to File Property Damage Claims in Florida?
Under Fla. Stat. § 95.11, property owners have four years to file a lawsuit in order to obtain compensation for the cost of repairing damaged property. The same time limit applies to cases involving real and personal properties. If a property owner wants to sue an insurance company for a breach of contract, they have five years to bring the lawsuit.
How Long Do Insurance Companies Take to Respond to Property Damage Claims?
Not all states require insurance companies to respond to claims within a specified amount of time. Florida is one of the states that require insurance companies to respond to property damage and other claims within a reasonable amount of time. Under Fla. Stat. § 627.70131, insurance companies must acknowledge the receipt of the claim within 14 days of the date of filing.
When Will the Insurance Company Pay a Property Damage Claim?
Once the claimant and their insurance provider reach a settlement, the insurer has 20 days to issue the first payment to the property owner. If the insurance company fails to pay a property damage claim within 20 days, the company may be acting in bad faith.
Experienced Property Insurance Claim Attorneys at Stabinski Law
Many property owners whose homes and businesses were damaged by natural disasters or other covered events choose to hire an experienced attorney to help them recover damages. At Stabinski Law, our property insurance claim attorneys investigate property damage claims and help property owners fight for the fair payout that reflects the full extent of the damage to the property. Our attorneys help property owners understand how to file an insurance claim for property damage in Florida and assist with navigating the insurance claims process. Call (305) 643-3100 to get a free case review.