There are a lot of ways property damage can occur in Florida other than car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other types of collisions that happen on our roads. Millions of homeowners across the state have to deal with damage due to storms, fires and other catastrophes.
If you own a home and suffered property damage, the attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm may be able to help if you’re having problems with your insurance company. We’ve taken on – and defeated, some of the nation’s leading insurers, helping our clients get the money they deserve to rebuild their homes.
The following are five of the most common reasons Florida homeowners have to make property damage claims. You’ll also learn how we may be able to help if an insurance company is making it hard for you to collect on your claim.
1. Hurricane and Wind Damage
Our state has way too much experience with hurricanes, which have hit us with frightening regularity in recent years. Homeowners have had to make millions of insurance claims, and they don’t all go smoothly, to say the least.
But we also have severe thunderstorms that pack fierce winds, and we also have to deal with tornadoes every year. If you’re new to the state, make sure your homeowner’s policy covers wind damage. If it doesn’t, you might have to purchase separate coverage.
2. Water Damage
Homeowners also routinely have to make claims due to water damage, usually due to issues such as burst pipes, or other types of plumbing failures. While our temperatures rarely get below freezing, there are parts of the state that can do just that – dipping well below 32° F for several days in a row. People who aren’t used to this kind of weather can suffer severe damage when pipes thaw and rupture.
Probably the biggest reason water damage occurs in Florida is flooding. We’re not strangers to tropical storms, which can bring days of torrential rains. When too much rain falls too quickly, the ground simply can’t absorb the water fast enough. Streams and rivers will also fill rapidly, with water spilling over their banks as a result. This can all lead to disastrous flooding.
Unfortunately, most home insurance policies won’t cover water damage due to weather-related flooding. They will pay for plumbing problems, but not so-called “acts of God.” A lot of homeowners find out the hard way that they need to purchase separate flood coverage for these types of instances.
3. Fire Damage
Maybe the most devastating type of claim is a fire damage claim. A fire can destroy a home – and everything in it – in a matter of just a few minutes. A fire can also result in added expenses, such as needing to stay in a hotel because the home is no longer compatible. Fires can also destroy buildings that house businesses, of course, resulting in interruptions that can last for days, weeks or even months.
A horrible fire can take place for a number of different reasons. An older home, for instance, might have faulty wiring. Someone could accidentally knock over a candle. Even a neighborhood child setting off July 4th fireworks could accidentally cause a fire.
Homeowner’s insurance will typically cover fire damage, but that doesn’t mean they’ll make it easy for a policyholder to get their claim approved. There are some insurers that will automatically assume the property owner did something to cause the fire. Some will go so far as to assume the policyholder set the fire on purpose.
This is just one of the reasons why it will be so important to hire a homeowners insurance attorney if your insurer is making it complicated to obtain money for your claim. It’s bad enough to lose everything in a fire – if your insurer basically accuses you of arson, that makes things even worse.
4. Falling Object Damage
We have an incredible number of beautiful trees in Florida, of course. But when we get powerful storms, many of these trees simply can’t handle the winds. When they fall, they often do so on nearby homes. But tree damage doesn’t just happen due to weather. As trees age, they can lose branches that can crash into a roof. Tree roots can even cause damage to driveways, or a home’s foundation.
While you would think filing a tree damage claim would be easy, far too many homeowners find that it’s anything but. You may need an attorney to help cut through the confusion and frustration that your insurance company could cause.
5. Lightning Damage
No other part of the world has as much lightning as Florida, as you have no doubt experienced during one of our average afternoon thunderstorms. Most people associate lightning with fire damage, and for good reason. But lightning can also ruin a home’s electrical system, with surges damaging computers and other electronics, as well as wiring. There are even instances where lightning can damage plumbing.
You might think your home would have to take a direct hit from a lightning bolt for damage to occur, but that’s not necessarily the case. It could strike a tree in your yard or a neighbor’s yard, causing it to fall on your home. A tree could also catch fire, which could spread to your house.
Hire a Property Damage Attorney ASAP
At The Eberst Law Firm, we can’t stand it when people who have suffered extensive property damage have to deal with insurance company roadblocks. You’ve been paying for homeowner’s insurance for a long time – you would think your insurer would be there for you when you need them the most. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case.
Please contact our law firm if your insurer either refuses your property damage claim, or it is refusing to pay what you deserve. Call 1-888-CALL-JON or use our online form to learn more about how we may be able to help.