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Pekar Law, P.A.
An experienced insurance claims lawyer serving the Tampa Bay area and across Florida

Tampa Property Insurance Disputes Blog

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.

Citizens Post Losses After Non-Weather Related Claims Soar

What is contributing to the spike in water damage claims in South Florida?

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. recently announced that it will post a $27.1 million loss for 2016. The company attributed the loss to rising legal costs and soaring claims stemming from nonweather-related water claims such as burst pipes and sudden dishwasher leaks.

Prepare for Disaster by Documenting Your Property With Video

How can video evidence help my homeowners' insurance claim?

If your home has been damaged by a fire, flood, windstorm, accident, or any other disaster in Florida, it will be critical for you to provide your homeowners' insurance company with a detailed inventory of your losses. For many homeowners, this is an overwhelming task. With some advanced planning, you can make the inventory process a breeze through the use of video evidence. Our Tampa, Florida property claims lawyers provide a step-by-step guide to documenting your property with video and offer a look at how video evidence can help substantiate your homeowners' insurance claim.

The Continued Debate Over Assignment of Benefits Insurance Reform

Q: Is Assignment of Benefits abuse leading to a downgrade in insurers' financial stability ratings?

Florida property claims attorneys have squared off against Insurance companies and watchdog groups in a long-standing battle over assignment of benefits reform. Especially with respect to the high volume of non-weather related water emergency claims which are driving insurance rates upward.


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