Hurricane season is officially underway, and it’s time to prepare. In fact, hurricanes can be devastating, especially if your insurance policy doesn’t cover the full extent of hurricane-related property damages or if you don’t take certain steps after a storm strikes. Floridians should be aware of the damage that hurricanes can cause to their homes and businesses, and also understand how to fully recover their property and business losses from their insurance companies.
Common Types of Hurricane-Related Property Damage
If you are aware of what damage to expect from a hurricane then you can ensure that you have the appropriate property insurance coverage. According to the National Storm Damage Center, the primary causes of hurricane property damage are high winds, heavy rain, storm surges, large waves and mudslides.
Wind damage comes in many forms, including:
- Roof damage — High winds can knock down trees, which can then fall onto your roof. High winds might also dislodge shingles and blow debris into your gutters.
- Window damage — A falling tree (or a falling tree branch), or other debris, might go straight through a window. High winds might also tear the siding off of your house.
There are also several types of water damage you can expect after a hurricane, including:
- Flooding — Heavy rains, storm surges and large waves often cause flooding, which can damage both the exterior and interior of your property. Garages are particularly susceptible to flooding, but water levels may rise to all the levels of your home. Additionally, water damage is likely if you have broken windows, missing roofing materials etc.
- Mold — If the interior of your home or business sustains water damage then your property is also susceptible to mold.
- Sewage Backup — If storm water enters sanitary sewers then it can cause backups into a house or business.
Common Issues That Prevent Policyholders from Recovering Their Losses
An insurance policy isn’t a blank check in the event of property damage. In fact, there are certain things you should not do as that would prevent you from recovering what you are owed under your policy, including:
- Throwing away damaged personal property before the damage has been documented. If you throw something away then how can you prove that the damage actually happened?
- Not taking steps to remedy damage or to prevent additional damage, like covering a broken window and damaged roofs with a tarp after the storm. Not having accurate information on the value of your property and how much it will cost to repair it.
Remember, before any storm approaches there are reasonable steps you can take before a hurricane:
- Take “before” pictures to aid in any insurance claims.
- Protect areas of your home where wind can enter.
- Secure your windows and doors with either County- approved storm shutters or with 5/8-inch plywood.
- Prune your trees and shrubs
Contact Us Today
If you have experienced an insurance loss from a hurricane, tropical storm or other major weather event, contact us today in Florida for a free consultation. The Insurance Litigation Group (ILG) will walk you through the terms of your insurance policy and represent you in any dispute in Florida where the insurer is not paying what it should. Experience the benefits of having a team of aggressive and knowledgeable insurance law attorneys and former public adjusters stand up for your rights and help you recover the full extent of your covered losses. With ILG you are not alone.