Hurricane Irma has caused billions of dollars in damage to the State of Florida and its residents. What should you do if your property was damaged by a Hurricane?
Author: Attorney Jason Macri
Many people who have homeowner’s insurance believe that they should not make a claim against their own insurance policy unless there is a great deal of damage to their property because they are worried that their insurance premiums will go up. This may be true for non-Hurricane related claims but, when the loss is due to an “act of God” like Hurricane Irma, the claim does not count against you. In fact, some Florida insurance companies are advising their policy-holders to make a claim regardless of how minor the damage.
What are some of the reasons to file a claim when you only have minor damage? The damage may appear to be minor to you but may actually be a lot worse than you think. For example, an object may have slammed into the side of your home where the roof meets the structure of the home but may appear to have only dented a gutter. That may seem like minor damage but how are you able to tell whether the integrity of the roof was compromised by that incident? The only way to be sure is to have a licensed professional take a look under the roof, to see if any internal damage was done. If you ignore the incident and fail to make a claim, you may never know that your roof is not secure until it’s too late.
Another reason to file a claim after a hurricane, regardless of the amount of damage, is the fact that it will help reduce the deductible in the event that you need to make another claim as the result of another Hurricane. Every Homeowner’s insurance policy has a deductible. You will typically need to have damage in excess of your deductible before you will receive money from your Homeowner’s insurance company. If you have a $2,000 deductible and the damage to your home is $2,000, for example, you will receive no money from that claim. But, if you need to make a claim for damage as the result of a second Hurricane, within the same Hurricane season, you would have already met the deductible from the first claim and will no longer be required to surpass the deductible to get paid for the second claim. This law was established in 2004, when 4 Hurricanes hit the State of Florida within the same year, leaving homeowners to pay multiple deductibles.
Homeowner’s insurance claims can be confusing. If you suffered property damage as a result of Hurricane Irma, call the Law Office of Dell & Schaefer. Our attorneys will guide you through the confusion to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.