Florida made it nearly eleven years without a single hurricane making landfall until Hurricane Hermine hit the state as a Category 1 hurricane in Florida’s Big Bend area. The storm, which brought with it tremendous rainfall and damaging winds, caused widespread damage. It killed one person in Marion County and impacted thousands more. Severe damage has been reported in Taylor County, and over 253,000 people were left without power, many in the Tallahassee area. Flooding forced some to evacuate their homes and shut down schools across the West Coast of Florida, including in the Tampa area. Many home and business owners lost everything due to flood waters, falling trees, and strong winds.
As the state of Florida cleans up and repairs after this storm, homeowners are reminded of the importance of hurricane insurance. In Florida, standard homeowners’ insurance policies exclude coverage for hurricanes and floods. If a hurricane hits and you do not have hurricane insurance, you could be forced to bear the burden of storm-related damages alone.
Florida is considered a high-risk state for hurricanes and flood damage. You will need to inquire with your insurance company whether you currently have coverage for either hurricanes or floods. Both of these policies must generally be purchased separately, and you will have options based on the cost to set a deductible. While adding storm coverage will come at an additional cost, it is important for Florida homeowners to protect themselves with this coverage. Florida had a long streak without hurricanes, but as Hermine demonstrated, the state is still at considerable risk, and uncovered homeowners may find themselves paying tremendous out of pocket expenses.
Follow the tips below to protect your legal rights after a hurricane in Florida:
Contact your insurance company
Take pictures of the damage
Make a list of damaged property
Do not throw away damaged property until an adjuster has arrived
Do not make permanent repairs, but you can make temporary remedial repairs to prevent further damage
For assistance with your hurricane or flood-related insurance claim, call the Tampa property insurance claims attorneys at Pekar Law P.A. by calling us.