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Hurricane Ian Damage and Insurance Claims

Pekar Law, P.A. Oct. 10, 2022

Hurricane Ian recently ravaged Florida from Sanibel Island, Fort Myers, and Cape Coral, up through the middle of the state all the way up to Orlando and Daytona Beach. It is an unprecedented event that has left many homeowners facing substantial damage. 

What Do I Do if I Have an Insurance Claim from Hurricane Ian Damage? 

First, if you have damage that you think might be covered by insurance, you should immediately contact your insurance company and report a claim. Insurance policies require an insured to promptly notify their insurance company if they have a loss that might be covered under the insurance policy. Additionally, if you do not make an insurance claim within two years from the date of the initial loss, your claim is forever barred. Section 627.70132, Florida Statutes

Once you call in your insurance claim to your insurance company, the insurance company will likely send an adjuster to your property to inspect the damage that you reported. The adjuster likely will walk around your house and may take measurements. You should closely monitor the adjuster’s inspection to make sure that he is inspecting every area that may have been damaged. You may also want to take notes of this inspection for your benefit in case your claim is later denied so that you do not forget important details regarding the adjuster’s inspection. 

If you suffered roof damage due to Hurricane Ian, the adjuster should go up on the roof and closely inspect the roof for damage. If the adjuster simply “inspects” the roof by looking at it from a ladder, it is important to document through notes, video, or pictures that the adjuster did not actually go on the roof. 

If you have any questions about the initial insurance claims process for Hurricane Ian damage, please contact us. Pekar Law provides free initial consultations. 

How Long Will It Take for the Insurance Company to Make a Decision? 

Insurance companies should pay or deny any claim within ninety (90) days unless the failure to pay is caused by factors beyond the insurance company’s control. Section 627.70131, Florida Statutes

What Happens Once the Insurance Company Accepts Coverage? 

Many people think that when you purchase homeowners insurance, the insurance company will fix your home or property for you. However, many insurance companies and policies will just pay you for what it will cost to fix your home or property.  This payment will be after the insurance company subtracts the deductible and recoverable depreciation. 

The deductible may be a flat amount or it may be a percentage of the coverage limit, such as 2%, 3%, or 5%. So, for example, if you had $100,000 in insurance coverage on your property and a 5% hurricane deductible, your hurricane deductible would be $5,000. With such large deductibles, it is common for insureds to receive a letter saying that they had covered damage but the cost to repair the damage was less than the hurricane deductible. If you receive a letter saying that your property damage from Hurrican Ian is less than your deductible, please contact us. Pekar Law is available for a free initial consultation. 

Please also call us if you think that the insurance company has missed parts of your claim or has underpaid your claim. 

What About Managed Repair Programs? 

Some insurance companies have a Managed Repair Program where it will undertake repairs using a preferred vendor. It is important to review your insurance policy and the contract of any company sent by the insurance company to repair the damage so that you know your rights under the insurance policy if the insurance company refers you to their managed repair program. If you have any questions about your insurance policy or your rights under the insurance policy, please feel free to contact us. Pekar Law provides free initial consultations. 

What if the Insurance Company Denies My Hurricane Ian Claim? 

The insurance company may deny your roof claim if the insurance company thinks that your roof is too old. It may still be covered despite what the insurance company thinks.  

The insurance company may deny water damage to your home by claiming that it was the result of a flood, surface water, or tidal waves, which are often excluded. The insurance company may also tell you that storm surge is not covered.  However, it may still be covered under your insurance policy despite what the insurance company thinks. 

The insurance company may also deny mold or microbial growth. However, your insurance policy may still provide coverage for mold or microbial growth. 

If your Hurricane Ian insurance claim was denied, please contact us. Pekar Law provides free initial consultations and we can discuss if your claim may be covered.