Homeowners’ insurance is often required by the lender, but what if something really does happen to harm your home? How do you know when to file a claim?
In this post, we’ll go over the top reasons why Florida homeowners file insurance claims – and how a skilled insurance claim lawyer can help.
Many Floridians file claims each year due to theft. It’s wise to install a home security system, keep doors and windows locked, refrain from hiding spare keys outdoors, and having a neighbor or friend check your home while you’re away.
Wind and Storm Damage
Florida has its share of strong winds, especially during hurricane season. Roofs can experience significant damage from wind, storms, or hail. One of the most expensive replacement costs is due to hail, because an entire roof must be replaced.
Your homeowners’ insurance policy needs to list roof coverage to protect you from major repair and replacement costs. Check your policy and make sure that you have roof coverage before the next hurricane season begins.
Damage from Flying or Falling Debris
In a storm, it’s common for tree limbs or power lines to topple and cause serious damage to your home. A fallen tree can damage your roof, break windows, and cause flooding, all valid reasons to file an insurance claim.
Your home can also experience damage from other flying objects in a storm. For example, your neighbor’s lawn chair could fly up and crash into your window.
Other scenarios such as kids playing ball and vandalism can cause damage. If your home is damaged by flying or falling debris, it’s important to file a claim to cover the replacement costs.
Flooding is a serious threat in several parts of Florida. Since much of Florida is considered swamp land, heavy rainstorms can easily flood areas that already have poor drainage. You’ll need to make sure your homeowners’ policy covers flood damage, and you may need to purchase it on the side if you are in a high-risk area.
Water damage can also be caused by other man-made problems, such as leaking pipes. Plumbing and appliance issues are the most common reason for water damage insurance claims.
Older homes are at a greater risk of water damage. You need to conduct regular inspections of the plumbing and appliances. Washing machine hoses and water heaters should be replaced every 10 years or so. You may benefit from installing a sump pump if you live in a flood-prone area – it can even get you a deduction on your insurance premium.
Damage from fire can be particularly extensive. The average loss due to fire is close to $20,000, which is why homeowners’ insurance is so important. Faulty electrical systems and appliances, as well as cooking mistakes, are the top reasons fires start. It’s crucial to use proper safety techniques and keep wiring up-to-date to prevent fires. Additionally, you should have a fire extinguisher nearby every time you cook.
When someone is in your home or on your property and becomes injured, you can be held financially responsible for medical costs. This can happen to a visiting family member or friend, a contractor working in your home, or a stranger who gets attacked by one of your animals.
If you have filed a homeowners’ insurance claim and aren’t getting the results you know you deserve, contact an experienced Florida insurance claim attorney today to discuss the details of your case.
About the Author:
John K. Lawlor, a South Florida personal injury attorney who focuses his practice on complex personal injury, wrongful death, and professional malpractice, founded the law firm of Lawlor, White & Murphey in 1998. Since 1995, Mr. Lawlor’s trial advocacy and litigation skills, as well as his wide-ranging legal expertise, have provided plaintiffs and their families with a distinct advantage when seeking financial compensation and justice for injuries caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Lawlor is an EAGLE member of the Florida Bar Association and an active member of the American Association for Justice, the Broward County Justice Association, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and several professional associations.