Hurricane Ian devastated many parts of Florida, from the western coast to inland areas, leaving thousands without power and with varying levels of property damage. In total, Hurricane Ian may be the most expensive storm in Florida’s history, causing an estimated $47 billion in insured losses. The effects of this category 4 storm are widespread and include:
- Damage to residential houses, apartments, condominiums
- Damage to commercial businesses and public buildings
- Windstorm damage to porches, garages, fences, and sheds
- Trees falling on cars, buildings, and other property
- Lost roofs or roof shingles
- Damaged flooring, siding, or landscaping
- Storm surges resulting in water damage to homes and property
If your residential or commercial property was damaged by the severe weather from Hurricane Ian, Tighe P.A. can help you navigate your insurance claim to get the compensation you need to repair your property. Call our property damage lawyers at 1-855-LOSS-PRO (567-7776) for a free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll discuss your case free of charge.
Get Help with Hurricane Ian Insurance Claims
Did you sustain property damage as a result of Hurricane Ian? You’re entitled to compensation if you have homeowner or flood insurance.
If you need help filing a claim, our property damage lawyers are ready to assist you with claims related to the following:
- Wind damage
- Storm surge/rising tides
- Roof damage
- Water damage
We can help you navigate the claims and appeals process, so you have the best chance possible of getting the compensation you deserve.
Call Us Today
If your home has sustained damage due to Hurricane Ian, contact Tighe P.A. today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can help you file your initial insurance claim, appeal denied claims, and even litigate if your insurance company is acting in bad faith.
Talk to an experienced property damage attorney about your insurance claim today—call 1-855-LOSS-PRO (567-7776).
What to Do If Your Property Has Been Damaged by Hurricane Ian
If Hurricane Ian has damaged your property, you should create a clear record of all damage and associated expenses. Doing so will support your insurance claim. Below are the steps to take as recommended by our Florida property damage lawyers.
1. Take Photos or Video of the Damage & Keep a List/Inventory
Record visual evidence of all damage to your property and items. This includes the inside and outside of your house, buildings on your property, furniture, electronics, and any other property you own.
Take thorough photos and videos of the damage panorama style by holding your device horizontally and panning it over the damage to clearly record how extensive it is. Then, take still photos of each item or damaged area and back up these files to ensure they’re safe.
2. Collect Pictures and Video of Your Property Pre-Damage
Build a portfolio of photos and videos of your property as it looked before Hurricane Ian. These records will help confirm the damage was caused by the storm and that your insurance company is liable for them.
3. Collect Property Invoices and Receipts
Gather property invoices and receipts, including what you paid for the property and any improvements made at your expense. You’ll also need a record of items or materials purchased to replace damaged items. These records will help you confirm the replacement value of damaged property and appliances, furniture, etc.
4. Keep Track of Alternate Living Arrangement Expenses
If water damage, flooding, or other property damage makes your home temporarily unlivable, keep thorough records of living expenses, including:
- Hotel or rental costs
- Mitigation costs (tarps, tree removal, etc.)
- Laundromat expenses
- All other out-of-pocket expenses you incur
Your insurance company may reimburse you for these expenses.
5. Know Your Insurance Policy
Review your insurance policy thoroughly so you’re aware of loopholes and technicalities the insurance company may use in an attempt to deny or delay your claim. Knowing your insurance policy gives you a better chance of compiling an airtight claim.
6. Make a Claim With Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve prepared all the materials needed to file a claim, be sure to do so as quickly as possible. Though the insurance company is obligated to pay your claim, any delay could cause them to deny your claim on “late notice defense.”
To be certain your claim has gone through in a timely fashion, make sure to call the insurance company and make your claim in writing. Include copies of all of your photos, documents, receipts, estimates, and any other helpful information.
7. Point Out Damage to the Insurance Adjuster
After you file a claim, the insurance company sends a claims adjuster to inspect your property, survey the damage, and provide an estimated cost for repairing the damage. Be sure you point out every instance of damage on your property. This ensures the adjuster considers all possible expenses when making their estimate.
8. Keep Records of Correspondence with the Insurance Company
Make and keep copies of correspondence between you and your insurance company. This correspondence could later be used as evidence that the company acted in bad faith if they attempted to deny you compensation. Print emails and make scanned copies of paper letters.
9. Keep Quotes of Property Damage
Be sure to keep a record of any and all estimates or quotes of property damage. These quotes can be used to challenge the insurance company if they attempt to deny or underpay your claim. Whether they’re from the insurance claims adjuster or a third-party assessment, make sure to keep them where you can access them easily.
10. Have Your Property Tested for Mold
In Florida, ever-present humidity fosters rampant mold growth, especially if you’ve sustained water damage due to Hurricane Ian. Before filing an insurance claim, have your property inspected for mold so you can add that to your claim now rather than having to file a separate claim later when the mold has spread.
What If Your Insurance Company Denies Your Property Damage Claim?
You’re legally entitled to compensation when you file a property damage claim with your insurance company. However, insurance companies lose money when they honor insurance claims, so many attempt to deny these claims.
The insurance company may take advantage of loopholes or technicalities, including claiming that:
- Damage was pre-existing and not associated with Hurricane Ian
- Your property wasn’t built to code, and it was poor construction—not the storm—that caused such severe damage
- Your claim was filed improperly—they may demand additional information, photos, or other evidence of damage
If you find your insurance company is refusing to compensate you, tries to underpay your claim, or delays communications, they could be acting in bad faith. In these cases, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your insurance company that may end in a trial. A jury would then decide how much compensation you receive.
Tighe P.A. handles cases involving numerous insurance companies and lenders throughout the State of Florida. If you’ve filed a claim that’s been denied, or processing has been delayed, contact our team of dedicated attorneys today.
Other Hurricane Ian Property Damage FAQs
Will a homeowner’s insurance policy cover property damage related to Hurricane Ian?
Yes. In fact, in the State of Florida, most lenders require hurricane or storm damage insurance when you purchase a home. So, if you own a home and have homeowner’s insurance, property damage caused by Hurricane Ian should be covered.
Will a homeowner’s insurance policy cover windstorm damage?
Yes. If winds from Hurricane Ian caused damage to your property, standard homeowner’s insurance should compensate you for that damage. The State of Florida requires that windstorm damage be included in homeowner’s insurance. The only exception is if the insured party opted out of windstorm coverage when they purchased the policy.
Will a homeowner’s insurance policy cover flood damage?
Flood damage may or may not be covered, depending on several factors. The first is whether or not you have flood insurance. These policies are usually purchased separately from homeowner’s insurance policies. If you don’t have flood insurance, then you’ll have to pursue litigation against your homeowner’s insurance company to collect damages.
If you have a flood insurance policy, flooding may be covered if it was directly caused by Hurricane Ian. For example, flooding from active rains or water wind-blown into your home should be covered. However, insurance companies frequently attempt to deny these claims by saying the flooding occurred after the hurricane subsided. Tighe P.A. can help you appeal such denials.
If my home is unlivable due to Hurricane Ian, is my insurance company responsible for my alternate living arrangement?
Yes—if your home was damaged during Hurricane Ian, forcing you to seek shelter in a hotel, you may be entitled to insurance reimbursement.
The definitive answer to this question depends on how your insurance policy is worded. Our lawyers can review your insurance policy and recommend options for filing a claim.
What if my business lost money because of property damage due to Hurricane Ian?
There are several circumstances under which you can file for damages if your business has lost profits during Hurricane Ian, including:
- Disruption of business due to property damage
- Being forced to rent a temporary business space
- Having to lease equipment temporarily
- Loss of business income due to the interruption
Insurance companies often try to fight and underpay these claims, so it’s vital to have thorough records of lost profits and extra expenses incurred due to property damage.
What is the statute of limitations for a Hurricane Ian property damage lawsuit in Florida?
According to Florida Statute 95.11, the statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit after a windstorm or hurricane is five years. This gives you only five years to file a lawsuit after sustaining property damage.
However, Florida Statute 627.70132 states that the claim must be reported to your insurance company within two years of the weather event, or you will be permanently barred from filing the suit.
Have Additional Questions? Call Tighe P.A. at 1-855-567-7776 for Hurricane Ian Property Damage Legal Help
If your home or property sustained damage during Hurricane Ian, let Tighe P.A. help you weather the storm. Contact us today to discuss your case and start the process to claim the damages you deserve.