Although Florida is home to some beautiful beaches and thousands of miles of shoreline, our proximity to the ocean also leaves us vulnerable to hurricanes. Florida has such a long history with tropical storms that most lenders don’t just advise that homebuyers purchase hurricane insurance, they require it. This kind of insurance is meant to prevent homeowners from becoming financially devastated if a hurricane does damage their property, but unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always make it easy for homeowners to recover the money that they need to rebuild and move on.
If you find that your insurance company is delaying or denying your claim in the wake of a hurricane, you need to work with an attorney who has experience going up against large insurance providers. Ben Murphey of the South Florida law firm of Lawlor, White & Murphey is a seasoned trial lawyer who has handled many bad faith insurance cases and is passionate about protecting the rights of Florida homeowners. When you contact Attorney Murphey, he will listen to the details of your case to determine the best course of legal action, whether that means reaching a settlement with the insurance company or going to trial to obtain a favorable verdict.
With a 10/10 Superb rating from Avvo and recognition as a Super Lawyer of 2014, you can rest easy knowing that Ben Murphey is well-qualified to handle your hurricane and property damage case.
The crashing waves, pouring rain, and debris carried by high winds during a hurricane can all wreak havoc on coastal homes. Some of the most common types of hurricane damage that are typically covered by Florida insurance companies include:
All of these types of damage can end up costing homeowners thousands of dollars if their insurance company tries to claim that the damage isn’t covered under their policy. In some cases, homeowners may simply be unable to fully rebuild their home because they can’t afford the out-of-pocket repair costs.
Advertisements for insurance companies often make them seem like kindly organizations who are only interested in protecting their policyholders, but at the end of the day, insurance companies are businesses that are trying to make a profit, and if they paid out for every claim they received, they would have a hard time staying afloat. In some cases, they may be denying hurricane damage claims because the type of damage legitimately isn’t covered in the policy, but in other cases, they may be looking for loopholes and hoping that policyholders don’t challenge them after finding out that their claim was denied. Below are a few ways that home insurance companies may attempt to deny a claim.
By saying that water damage occurred after the hurricane. Flood insurance policies are often separate from hurricane policies, so some insurers will try to claim that any water damage to your home occurred after the hurricane and technically falls into the category of “flood damage.” Work with an attorney to show that the water damage to your home was a direct result of a hurricane.
By saying that the building wasn’t up to code. An insurer may try to reduce the amount of the payout by claiming that an older home wasn’t up to Florida’s current building codes and can therefore only be rebuilt the way it was before.
By saying that the homeowner was living in unsafe conditions. “Unsafe conditions” doesn’t have to mean you were living somewhere extreme, like the side of a cliff. It may just mean that you were living close to the ocean—something that’s incredibly common in Florida.
By saying that the damage existed before the hurricane. While it might be hard for an insurer to say that something like a window broken by falling debris was in that condition before the hurricane, there are other types of damage, such as mold, that they may try to claim existed in your home before the storm ever hit. You’ll need to work closely with your attorney to prove the insurer wrong.
Home insurance premiums have been soaring in recent years, but as a homeowner, you’re likely still biting the bullet and paying that premium in order to know that if something horrible does happen during the next hurricane, your property will be covered. It’s understandably infuriating when you pay for your insurance policy every month and your provider tries to claim that your type of damage is not covered or that you can’t receive the full payment necessary to make repairs. Don’t just get angry when this happens to you—do something about it. Contact civil attorney Ben Murphey.
Ben Murphey will listen carefully to the details of your case and go over both your insurance policy and the actual damage to your home to determine whether your insurance company is failing to live up to their duty to you. If he believes that you have a valid case, he will work diligently to gather evidence and will keep you informed every step of the way. He’ll fight to ensure that you actually get the compensation necessary to complete repairs, not just the minimum amount the insurance company can get away with paying.
If you want to learn more about Ben Murphey and see if you have a case, schedule a free initial consultation today. Contact Ben Murphey today at any of the following numbers:
South Florida: 954-587-9873