In September 2019, Hurricane Dorian became the worst tropical storm to ever hit the Bahamas. Because it moved so slowly, the strong winds and heavy rains caused catastrophic damage, destroying thousands of homes and causing over 70 deaths—though the exact death toll still remains unknown.
Although the storm didn’t cause nearly as much damage in Florida, many residents lost power and had their homes or businesses damaged or destroyed. If you suffered property damage in Florida because of Hurricane Dorian and are considering filing a claim, it’s important that you don’t wait too long to do so and that you understand some of the steps involved in the process.
How long do I have to file a claim?
In Florida, you have three years to file a hurricane claim after the storm makes landfall. However, as a rule of thumb, the sooner you file your hurricane claim the better. There may be thousands of people filing claims, and the longer you wait, the further down the line you’ll end up. Also, if you wait too long to file, insurers may question why you waited so long and try to low-ball your claim or deny it altogether.
While waiting to file your claim, it is also important that you make any necessary repairs to your home to mitigate the risks of further property damage or personal injury. For example, don’t leave fallen trees strewn about your yard while you wait for your claim payout.
The steps of filing a claim
Knowing what actions to take before and after a hurricane is an important part of living in Florida. Listed below are some of the steps to filing a claim after Hurricane Dorian:
- Check for damages. It’s recommended that you schedule a home inspection with a Florida public adjuster to evaluate the damage to your property.
- File a claim. Either you, the policyholder or the public adjuster can file a claim with the insurance company. The sooner you file, the more likely your claim will be accepted.
- Wait for your reply. Your insurer will send their own adjuster to inspect your property. Then they will negotiate the claim amount with you.
- Settling. Your claim will be settled through negotiations with the insurance company or in court. When negotiating with your insurance company, it helps to have an experienced insurance hurricane claims attorney on your side.
Before filing your claim, review your insurance policy to determine what is and isn’t covered. For further assistance, we recommend contacting an experienced hurricane claims attorney.
Contact an experienced Florida hurricane claims attorney
Receiving a fair payout from your insurance company after a hurricane is not always as easy as it should be. Insurance companies are notorious for low-balling claims or denying them altogether. However, the legal team at Johnson & Williams P.A. has helped thousands of Floridians receive the compensation they deserve. If you need help filing your hurricane claim, call us today at (407) 245-1268 or contact us online.