What to do if wind damages your property
Filing a wind damage claim with your insurance company can be challenging and complicated. Often, your insurer will hire an out-of-state insurance adjuster to help them after a disastrous wind event. However, many of these adjusters aren’t prepared to deal with homeowner’s insurance claims in Florida or are unfamiliar with the state’s building code, even though the insurance companies rely on them to determine whether or not to deny or cover a claim.
Seeking compensation for the damage to your home and property is stressful. Out-of-state adjusters and the hassle of taking on your insurance company make the task even more daunting. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses and will use the claims process and its requirements against you. They try to will use their experience and legal knowledge to deny your claim outright, or not pay it in full.
Wind damage can often cost more than your deductible. This is why you need your insurance company’s support. Unfortunately, due to their for-profit business model, getting that support isn’t always easy. Many insurers will use exclusions in your policy to avoid paying you the money you deserve. Here are some reasons they might use:
- The law does state if a roof is at least 25% damaged, it must be replaced. Because of this, insurance companies will state your roof’s damage was less than this percentage, so they don’t have to pay for a full repair.
- They may claim defects in the roof installation or design. Insurance companies may say the initial damage was caused by a design flaw or improper installation, instead of the wind.
- Insurers will also claim normal wear and tear caused the damage.
- Since homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flood insurance, some insurers will blame the damage on a flood event to avoid paying you what you deserve.
Damage caused by wind can include:
- Damaged roofs, which can include structural damage, shingle lifting and bruising, and roof cracks.
- Broken windows, shutters, or furniture.
- Walls damaged by flying debris.
- Damage to stucco, paintwork, or cladding
- Damaged air-conditioning units
- Trees that have been uprooted or fallen onto your house
- Water intrusion.
If winds damages your property, take the following steps.
- Take photos and videos of all the damage
- Make a list of everything that has been damaged, including furnishings, appliances, and personal belongings.
- Save all related paperwork (like receipts) that document the costs you incurred due to the damaged areas.
- Call your insurance company.
Dealing with wind damage and a denied or underpaid claim is stressful work. At Louis Law Group, we have the expertise to deal with insurance companies and improperly paid claims. If you feel your claim was denied or underpaid, contact us at (954) 676-4179 for a free no-obligation consultation or case evaluation.