Hurricane Property Damage Claim Denials: How an Attorney Can Help
By Preston Dugas on November 17, 2018
Hurricane Michael was devastating. The third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to make contact with the United States. The hurricane claimed 60 lives, 45 of which were in the United States. The damage of Hurricane Michael has been estimated around $14.58 billion across Central America and North America, which includes $3.3 billion in US insurance claims. Even with billions in insurance claims, people in Florida might experience setbacks related to insurance claim denials.
Even though Preston Dugas Law Firm, PLLC is based in Fort Worth, TX, we have helped people in the Gulf Coast receive rightful compensation for property damage following a hurricane or other type of natural disaster. We’d like to consider the appeals process following claim denial, and how our lawyers can help.
Hurricane Damage Insurance: Difficulties for Homeowners
If you are insuring your home for a hurricane, your may need to buy two separate policies to address all of the damage that may occur. Damage from hurricane winds and debris will typically be covered by homeowners insurance; keep in mind that some insurance policies may require homeowners in hurricane-prone areas to purchase additional wind coverage for their property.
However, to cover water damage and flooding, you will need to have purchased a separate flood insurance policy. Many homeowners are not aware of this, meaning that they will have to shoulder the losses associated with flood damage on their own.
Why There May Be a Claim Denial
Even though insurance policies are meant to help homeowners are victims of natural disasters like Hurricane Michael, insurance companies may try to save money based on technicalities regarding property damage and loss of personal property. For instance, homeowners insurance and flood insurance may cover damage to the property itself, but any money, stock certificates, and certain high-value personal items (e.g., jewelry) may not be covered.
We noted above that flood insurance and homeowners insurance are different, and there may be disputes regarding wind damage or flood damage. Trying to claim certain kinds of property damage the result of wind damage or flood damage may lead to denied claims from the insurance company, which can be difficult when personal property has been wrecked by wind and water during the hurricane.
About Insurance Bad Faith
Insurance bad faith refers to cases in which insurance companies do not properly investigate an insurance claim, improperly value the amount of damage to property, or refusal to acknowledge a rightful insurance claim. In the case of Hurricane Michael, this could mean undervaluing the amount of damage to a home or personal property, or denying that the insurance policy covers the damage related to the hurricane.
Bad faith may apply to homeowners insurance and flood insurance in these cases, particularly in the assessment of wind damage vs. water damage.
How a Property Damage Attorney Can Help
If your insurance claim has been denied, a property damage lawyer can go over the evidence in your case. The attorney can help determine wind damage and flood damage based on photos and expert assessments. If a claim has been denied in bad faith, your attorney can help you seek rightful compensation from the insurance to help you move forward, rebuild, or start again somewhere new.
Because we know the damage done by Hurricane Michael, we can provide a free case review and help you make a good decision concerning your case with the insurance company.
Learn More About You Legal Options
If you are rebuilding your life after Hurricane Michael or know someone who is trying to movie forward after this tremendous storm, we encourage you to contact a property damage attorney. We are here to listen and to help. Preston Dugas Law Firm, PLLC can be reached by phone at (817) 945-3061.
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“Preston won my trust. He kept in close contact with me throughout the entire process. He went above and beyond to make sure that I understood everything that was going on. I am so pleased with his work and without a shadow of a doubt, I think he is one awesome attorney. I would refer my family and friends who live in Texas and the surrounding areas to his practice.” Jacqueline S.