Fort Lauderdale, FL – With Hurricane Irma just days away from hitting Florida, make sure you know how to avoid an insurance claim denial.

While it is still unclear if Hurricane Irma will hit Fort Lauderdale this weekend, Vox reports there is a huge possibility this “‘potentially catastrophic’ category 4 or 5 storm will impact Florida.” Irma is one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded, and evacuations have already begun in Monroe and Broward County.

Use the next couple of days wisely to prepare for Hurricane Irma. The size and strength of this storm means there is a very good chance Fort Lauderdale homes will be damaged. If this happens, the Law Office of Michael M. Raheb, P.A. want to make sure you know how to avoid a homeowner’s insurance claim denial after Hurricane Irma.

Know what your Florida homeowner’s insurance policy covers. 

A general homeowner’s insurance policy in Florida will cover wind damage. This means if hurricane winds ruin your roof the damages will be covered. However, Florida has a separate deductible for hurricane damage. Depending on the value of the policy, this deductible is set at a fixed percentage and must be met before your insurance company starts paying for hurricane damage.

With the surge of people filing homeowner’s insurance claims right after a hurricane, insurance companies will try to pay as little as possible. Since they will issue lower offers and deny claims (even though they shouldn’t), it is incredibly important you are clear on what is covered and what requires a separate policy. For example, awnings, boat lifts, carports, docks, fences, and pools are often damaged during hurricanes, but are not covered in general insurance policies.

Familiarize yourself with insurance company tactics. 

Remember, insurance companies are looking for reasons to deny your homeowner’s insurance claim. Common tactics they use to make getting money for hurricane damages difficult include:

  • Claiming your hurricane damage was actually pre-existing, and as a result not covered under the terms of your policy.
  • Taking advantage of the fact that it is hard to tell the difference between water damage caused by wind and flooding damage. Since flooding is not covered in many homeowner’s insurance policies, they could argue that wind damage is actually flood damage, and therefore not included in your policy.
  • Requiring a written release of any additional claims as part of the terms of payment, or using terms like “final” or “full” on the settlement check they send you.

Reduce the risk of an insurance company taking advantage of you by knowing what to keep an eye out for when filing a homeowner’s insurance claim.

Get help from a Florida insurance claims attorney. 

If your insurance company employs any of the above tactics to either lowball you or flat-out deny your homeowner’s insurance claim, dealing with them on your own can be incredibly difficult. An experienced insurance claims lawyer in Fort Lauderdale will handle your dispute to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Florida insurance claims attorney Michael M. Raheb understands how insurance policies, companies, and the law work, and will hold insurers accountable for paying you the money you deserve. If your home is damaged by Hurricane Irma, the Fort Lauderdale insurance claims lawyers at the Law Office of Michael M. Raheb are waiting to help.