Understanding Florida Property Insurance Laws After a Hurricane

Published September 27th, 2022 by Claim Help Lawyers

Your home is insured in Florida and we are in the middle of Hurricane Ian. You know that you have a good policy, the question is whether or not there is appropriate coverage for the damages from the natural disasters like Hurricane Ian coming your way? Even if you have the perfect homeowner insurance policy, you might not get the payout needed to repair your Florida property damage after a hurricane; you may get a denial based on policy language you don’t know is in your policy.  There are pages of exclusions that allow insurance companies to deny or delay claims.

Read on to learn about Florida property insurance laws and what they mean for you during hurricane season.

Hurricane Insurance Coverage

Your hurricane insurance policy should cover the repairs for the original structure of your home. It can also cover other structures on your property, including sheds, garages, and fences (depending on policy language). Coverages may include contents that are damaged as a result of the loss and for time away from your home if necessary to move out.

Homeowner's insurance covers the hurricane damage to the property's interior and your personal belongings. It can even cover the cost of living while your home is being repaired after a hurricane.

Florida law may require hurricane windstorm coverage in residential property insurance policies. Most insurance policies have endorsements and a separate  deductible for "hurricane insurance". It should already be a part of your existing policy.

Policyholders may be eligible for discounts on their insurance premiums. How? By giving their homes a more robust defense against hurricanes. To do this, policyholders can take additional steps to install wind-resistant features on the outsides of their homes and have a home inspection done to provide to your carrier. 

In order for you’re the deductible and coverage specific to the hurricane damages in your policy to take effect, the National Hurricane Center must declare the storm as a hurricane; which has been done for Ian.

Florida Insurance Laws

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation prevents insurers from canceling a policy during a hurricane. In fact, insurers must wait up to 90 days following the hurricane after repairs have been made to insured properties. If you have any questions please contact Linda Knoerr. 

Part of Florida's Senate Bill 76 states that making or reopening a Florida property damage claim must be done within two years after the damage occurred. This new timing is crucial and you should contact us after a storm to file a claim immediately to avoid any unfair prejudice to insurance companies that will be used against your available amounts needed as a result of Hurricane Ian.

Florida property damage laws also have several programs in place for hurricane season. This includes the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, the Florida Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program, and the Task Force on Long-Term Solutions.

Hurricane Preparedness

Everyone regularly affected by hurricanes should have a plan in place for hurricane season. Hurricane preparedness includes gathering emergency supplies and being ready to leave at a moment's notice when it's time to evacuate.

However, you should also take some time to compile all of the important insurance documentation to take with you.

Your homeowner's insurance policy should explain how it covers hurricane damage. If it doesn't, you will want to contact your insurance agent right away to get it figured out before the next hurricane hits. 

Insurance companies will do whatever they can to delay or completely avoid a payout. They might say that the damage was already there before the storm. You have to be able to prove that the damage was the result of the storm. 

Take pictures of the interior and exterior of your home before the start of hurricane season. Keep these pictures and a printed copy of your policy in a safe, dry place (and a digital copy in the cloud). When you have to evacuate, take the documents with you. 

Facing Hurricane Damage?

Florida insurance laws may be difficult to navigate on your own. Thankfully, you don't have to face your hurricane damage claim by yourself. Our Florida property damage attorneys have 50 years of collective experience and a track record of success with insurance claims.

Contact Knoerr Law Group today to schedule a consultation.

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