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

Ana Signals the Start of Hurricane Season Do you know exactly what your property insurance policy covers?

In early May, Subtropical Storm Ana became the first named storm of the 2015 hurricane season. While Ana did not cause any damage in Florida, it is a good reminder that now is the time to prepare for the coming storm season.

It only takes one storm to change your life forever because tropical cyclones, the strongest of which are hurricanes, are one of nature's most powerful and destructive phenomena. Unfortunately, Florida is one of the areas of the world most frequently hit by tropical storms and hurricanes, so it is critical that all Florida residents prepare for each storm season.

In its Tropical Cyclone Preparedness Guide the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recommends people review their insurance coverage and make sure it matches their expectations each storm season. There is always "fine print" in an insurance policy that may leave you with inadequate coverage. An experienced attorney knows what language to look out for, and which insurance companies are likely to have it hidden in their policies.

One of the items that should be carefully considered in your insurance assessment is water damage coverage. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the storm surge is the most deadly and damaging aspect of tropical cyclones. What exactly is storm surge? Storm surge is basically a wall of water that is pushed on shore by the storm's winds. It can reach over 20 feet in height and impact hundreds of miles of coastline.

Nearly half of all tropical cyclone related deaths in the United States since 1963 have been caused by storm surges. A lot of property damage is the result of the surge as well, but whether it is covered by an insurance policy depends a lot on the language of the policy.

After storms with a storm surge, it's not uncommon to find homeowners in disputes with their insurance companies over whether the damage caused by the surge is covered. Flood damage is generally not covered by homeowners or property insurance (that's why flood insurance is sold as a separate product), but wind damage is covered. In many disputes, homeowners will argue that storm surges are caused by wind, so it is not technically flood damages, and thus should be covered.

If you want to make sure you are properly covered before a storm hits, or you are in dispute with your insurance company over a previous claim, contact the experienced insurance law attorneys at Pekar Law today. Call (813)712-8762 to schedule an initial consultation at the firm's Tampa, Florida office.

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