Homeowner Sues Insurance Company for Failing to Cover Hurricane Damage
With 2018 hurricane season upon us, it is appropriate to consider a recent lawsuit filed in Orange County Circuit Court. The plaintiff, Idejair Pereira, alleges that his insurer, Heritage Property and Casualty Insurance Company, failed to pay a claim for damage as a result of Hurricane Irma in 2017.
If your home is damaged by a hurricane this year and your insurer refused to pay, then you might have a legal claim for compensation. Speak to an experienced attorney right away.
The Facts of the Case
As reported in the Florida Record, Mr. Pereira’s home in Orlando suffered damage when Hurricane Irma made landfall in early September. According to the plaintiff, he gave his insurer timely notice of the loss he suffered to an appropriate agent.
However, the defendant insurance company refused to pay the full amount of Mr. Pereira’s loss in spite of admitting liability. For this reason, the plaintiff had no choice but to sue his insurer in court. He is seeking more than $15,000 in damages, including court costs, interest, and attorney’s fees.
Reasons for Denials
Unfortunately, Mr. Pereira is not alone in having his timely claim denied. Insurance companies routinely deny claims, often claiming that:
- The damage your structure suffered was pre-existing and not caused by a hurricane.
- You did not file a claim in a timely manner.
- You did not pay your insurance premiums.
- You did not prevent additional damage by taking reasonable preventative measures.
- Your claim contains falsehoods or misleading information.
After a hurricane causes serious damage, you can expect a claims adjuster to look at your file with a very critical eye. He or she is searching for reasons to deny your claim, even if it is legitimate. Insurance companies make money by gladly accepting premiums while being very stingy about the claims they pay out.
Document Your Damage
To strengthen your case for compensation, you need to thoroughly document the damage on your property. To do this, remember the following:
- Take video walking through your home or take photographs.
- Remember to document the damage before you attempt any temporary repairs.
- If you have mold damage, you can hire someone to measure the level of mold in your property. Any damage that is hard to see needs to be documented using non-visual means.
- Write out an inventory of belongings that were damaged in the hurricane.
- If you attempt repairs, keep receipts for all materials you purchased.
You should also cover any damaged areas that are exposed to the elements. This will prevent your property from suffering additional damage. Remember to remove water-logged furniture and other items, which can contribute to mold growth.
Contact Bundza & Rodriguez Today
After surviving a hurricane, you might be homeless and confused about what to do. Adding insult to injury, your insurance company decides to play hardball. Now is the time to hire the best Daytona Beach hurricane lawyer you can find.
At Bundza & Rodriguez, we will look out for your best interest and work to get you the compensation you deserve. To find out more about our services, please schedule a free consultation by calling 386-252-5170.