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An experienced insurance claims lawyer serving the Tampa Bay area and across Florida.

Tampa Property Insurance Disputes Blog

Florida sinkholes and the Neutral Evaluation Program

If you are a Florida homeowner, you are in prime sinkhole territory, and you may have purchased sinkhole insurance.

However, a claim for sinkhole damage can become complicated and is not always successful. If your insurer denies your claim, you have other options to pursue, among which is the Neutral Evaluation Program.

How to prepare your business for hurricane season

Florida is well-known for its many perks, such as warm weather all year and lots of tourist attractions to visit. However, one aspect of Florida is undesirable: hurricanes. These natural disasters are such a fact of life in the Sunshine State that you need to prepare not only your home, but your business, as well.

Insurance is already challenging enough with the likelihood of hurricane damage so high. Do your part to help minimize the harm and increase the success of your insurance claims with these tips from the National Hurricane Survival Initiative.

Who pays when one condo leaks into another?

It is vital for every condo owner to have comprehensive liability coverage. Occasionally, the HOA will provide this, but if you own the unit, then it is likely you will need to get your own. Even if the HOA does provide it, you want to review the terms carefully to know conclusively what you will get if a leak ever develops

Unfortunately, few insurance situations are cut-and-dry. The insurance agency will try to pay you as little as possible. The situation can worsen if the leak came from another tenant's unit. Someone else's plumbing fixture may have sprung a leak, and you do not know what to do when that water makes its way to your condo. 

How major hurricanes may damage your home

Your home is one of your most valuable assets and deserves sufficient protection from hurricanes, natural disasters that can wreak havoc on your property. One storm can destroy entire homes, depending on its severity.

You may hear about different categories of hurricanes but have some confusion about what they actually mean for you and your house. Here are some explanations of how Category Three, Category Four and Category Five hurricanes can harm your home:

Does my homeowners policy cover water damage?

As a Florida homeowner, you undoubtedly have a homeowners insurance policy to protect you in case your home suffers damage requiring a substantial outlay of cash for repair costs. Given the amount of rain Florida receives every year, not to mention the all-too-frequent hurricanes, you may believe that your policy covers all types of water damage.

Unfortunately, however, such comprehensive coverage seldom is the case. Most homeowners policies cover only the following types of water damage:

  • Leaky roofs
  • Broken or burst pipes
  • Mold

Do Florida homeowners need to worry about foreign drywall?

As you know, Florida homes are highly likely to sustain damage from hurricanes and tropical storms. Even mild water damage can wreak havoc on your house, especially if mold begins to grow inside your walls or along the baseboards where you may not immediately notice it. Mold, wood rot and other forms of water damage could make it necessary to replace the drywall inside your home. If your home underwent renovations in the past and that included new drywall, you may want to find out if it was imported from China.

What is so bad about Chinese drywall, you may wonder? USA TODAY cautions that much of the drywall imported from China contains hydrogen sulfide, which, reports say, corrodes metal and impacts residents’ health. Chinese drywall is prevalent in homes throughout the South, especially in Florida, that sustained damages during the 2004-2005 hurricane seasons or underwent renovations between 2001 and 2009. This is because, during those times, American-manufactured drywall was in short supply. Contractors and builders had to use drywall imported from out of the country, particularly China.

Did your insurance company deny your property damage claim?

When you took out homeowner's insurance on your property, you likely expected that if the time should ever come to make a claim, your policy would cover the damages. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Sometimes, an insurer will deny the claim or underpay the value of property damage. This may leave you feeling helpless. However, there are solutions, and you do have options. Here is some more information if you are dealing with a property damage claim with your insurance company.

2017 is an expensive year for hurricane damage claims

The whole nation watched this year as one of the most expensive hurricane seasons in the U.S. hit Puerto Rico, Texas and right here in Florida. After the winds have died down and the dust has settled, these regions are left to clean up the damage.

This season's damage is currently estimated to be worth $202.6 billion. This is just behind the 2005 season, which reported $211.2 billion in damage, according to the National Weather Service.

What to do if your property damage claim is undervalued

Insurance is always a touchy subject for homeowners. Every month you make payments, just in case, hoping that you’ll never have to file a damage claim. After all, nobody wants their home in disrepair. If something doesn’t happen, then you have to go through the red tape to determine a value of compensation. For most people, insurance issues are a maze and you don’t know where to turn.

For those who have filed a claim, what happens when it’s not enough? Whether the roof was damaged in a storm, the basement flooded or a tree branch took out a window and your dining room table, there may be more damage than first meets the eye. Home repairs are almost always more complicated than they first appear.

An insurance void in sinkhole coverage

Property owners in Florida are well aware of the natural hazards of hurricanes, floods and high winds. Storms that bring these disasters are especially dangerous because they often come with little warning. However, another concerning risk for landowners can come with no forecast at all. What is this unseen threat to property owners?

Sinkholes, depressions in the ground caused by a collapse of the earth's surface layer, are appearing around the country at an alarming rate. Locally, a report of sinkhole activity has down an events venue in Spring Hill as owners evaluate a solution to "the instability of the ground," according to Tampa Bay Times.

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