Thousands of Florida Residents Have Had Their Roofs Replaced Through Insurance Proceeds – Most Didn’t Even Know They Had Hurricane Irma Damage Before a Professional Inspection
From September 9 through September 12, Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc across the state of Florida. Widespread damage was reported across nearly the entire state, damaging all types of properties and roofing systems.
Over two years following the strongest hurricane ever observed in the open Atlantic, we are still seeing new claims reported every day. A large swath of the State of Florida experienced severe damaging winds.
Tighe, P.A. has Successfully Resolved Property Damage Claims Throughout Florida
Our firm has been successful in resolving claims in Southwest Florida, Southeast Florida, Central Florida, the Florida Keys, Tampa, and More. With our help, Community Associations and Homeowners throughout the state have had roof replacements funded through insurance proceeds.
When a hurricane or other covered storm causes damage to a roofing system, an insurance policy may provide coverage to fund the repairs or replacement of the damaged roofing system.
You may have seen some roofs with obvious damage replaced right after the storm, but others, like those made of concrete or clay tile, can stand up for years with damage until finally giving way to the relentless pressure of water from Florida rainstorms.
If you suspect your roof was damaged, or if your home or community was located in part of the state that experienced hurricane force winds, you should have an inspection for damage from a licensed, local roofing contractor.
If your roofing system has the right type and extent of damage, your insurance policy may cover a complete replacement of the roofing system and repairs to any other damage from the storm for just your out of pocket deductible, typically saving tens of thousands of dollars on the overall cost.
Inspecting Your Roof for Damage
An honest roofing contractor can identify damage or give your roof a clean bill of health, and should agree in advance to give you a photo report from their inspection that you can keep for your records. Be wary of anyone who will not provide this, or anyone who appears out of the blue offering to handle your claim or sell you on giving up your rights through an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) contract.
Even if you’ve had repairs as a temporary measure it is wise to get an inspection. A patch or partial repair may have worked as a temporary measure, but those repairs typically aren’t to code and won’t last, and additionally may lead to your property being dropped by your insurance company.
Time is of the Essence
In Florida, an insured must report the claim within three years of the date the storm makes landfall or causes damage to property. If your claim is filed three years and one day after the damage occurred, your insurance company could raise a statute of limitations defense and have the suit dismissed.
Additionally, most property insurance contracts include an obligation to provide prompt notice of the claim to the insurance company. If you fail to give notice of your claim in a reasonable timeframe, there is a presumption of prejudice against the insurance company which can lead to a denial of the claim despite the evidence of damage and the right coverage. Hurricane damage is often noticed for the first time months or even years after the storm, which makes it imperative to act quickly following the discovery of hurricane damage.
Act Now to Preserve Your Property and Your Rights
As a property owner or manager you have a duty to maintain your property. Bringing in a professional to examine your property following a major storm is the prudent thing to do and will help you meet your obligations under your insurance policy. It will give you an honest assessment of the condition of your roofing system, and provide you documentation of that condition in case you have any subsequent leaks or damage. If you fail to act now you may create a more serious problem for your property in the future.
If you have any questions regarding roof damage, the insurance process, or anything else referenced in this discussion, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at the contact information below.