Lee County Fort Myers South West Florida Hurricane Claims Attorney Harold Truppman. As those who have weathered Florida hurricanes can attest these storms are some of the most destructive natural disasters that a family or home can undergo. Recognizing this, many Florida homeowners purchase insurance ahead of time to ensure that in the event of a storm, they are able to cover the cost of repairs and severe damage. Unfortunately, even homeowners who pay their premiums every month could be left in the lurch after a hurricane if their insurer refuses to pay a claim due to bad faith or a minor technicality. For this reason, it is in the best interest of those who have hurricane-related insurance claims to speak with an experienced Florida hurricane insurance claim lawyer who can ensure that their insurer does not take advantage of them during this difficult time.
My home was damaged by a hurricane. What is my first step?
Contact representatives of all carriers insuring your home and confirm in a letter to them.
I have to pay a deductible if I file a claim with my insurance company. Why can’t FEMA just help me?
FEMA cannot give money for items that insurance covers, as this would be considered a duplication of benefits. However, FEMA may be able to help with uncompensated losses or unmet needs not covered by your insurance company.
Will FEMA pay my insurance deductible?
No. FEMA does not cover insurance deductibles.
Should I make repairs to my damaged property or wait for the insurance adjuster?
You should make temporary repairs needed to prevent further damage only. The adjuster must see the damages to evaluate your loss. Take pictures of the damage and keep all of your receipts for materials used in emergency repairs. You should not dispose of any damaged property until the adjuster has completed his inspection.
Who is responsible for clearing the debris from my property and is that covered under my policy?
It is your responsibility to have debris removed, although the city or county may offer to clear your property as part of a coordinated debris removal program. Coverage for debris removal depends on your policy’s specific wording.
My home is uninhabitable. Will my insurance company pay for temporary housing?
Homeowners’ policies provide Additional Living Expense (“ALE”)/ Loss of Use (“LOU”) coverage that will pay extra expenses if damage to your home due to a loss by a covered peril prevents you from living there while it is being repaired. The items typically covered – above and beyond normal expenses – include extra costs for food, housing, transportation to and from work or school, relocation and storage, utility installation and furniture rental for a temporary residence. It does not cover your mortgage, groceries or utilities, since you normally pay for these expenses. This ALE/ LOU coverage applies only to differences in expenses. For example, the coverage would apply to the cost of restaurant meals minus normal food expenses. Be sure to check your policy to find out what is specifically covered. Florida law does not require your insurance company to pay ALE/ LOU up-front. For this reason, you must keep receipts for additional living expenses and submit these to your company for reimbursement. Unfortunately, some insurance companies seek to avoid paying ALE/ LOU coverage by decreeing that your home is livable even if it doesn’t have basic plumbing and electricity. If this happens, you should seek professional advice immediately. To reach our office, contact us by email or call 305-374-7974.
Harold B. Klite Truppman, P.A.
28 West Flagler Street, Suite 201, Miami, Florida 33130 – (305) 374-7974