Davie Property Damage Attorney for Help with Your Claim
For most of us, our homes are our biggest investment and if we live in one long enough it can become the foundation of our retirement nest egg. It makes sense to protect this investment with homeowner’s insurance in case a weather disaster occurs and you have to make repairs or replace damaged clothes, furniture and belongings. Many mortgage companies require that a homeowner carry a comprehensive homeowner’s policy as a condition of getting a loan to buy your home. But the problem with homeowner’s insurance is that it doesn’t always cover every possible contingency for weather damages or the loss of certain possessions, and there is the potential your insurance company will deny your claim. When that happens you’ll need an experienced and knowledgeable Davie property damage attorney, one who knows the ins and outs of South Florida living, to sue the insurance company to pay you for your damages.
What is Covered in My Florida Homeowner’s Insurance?
It’s important that you know exactly what your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover and what it won’t and plan accordingly. If you read your policy, your eyes will glaze over trying to interpret all the definitions, conditions and exclusions.
The most frequent types of homeowner’s property damage are fire damage, water damage, plumbing breaks and backups, wind damage, and roof water damage. Sinkhole damage is relatively infrequent, however, smaller sinkholes caused by ground erosion are more common and can cause structural damage to a portion of your home. Your insurance policy should also cover you for vandalism, robbery and burglary.
Call your homeowner’s insurance company representative and ask him or her to point out the specific clause in the policy he or she sold you, where each of these contingencies is spelled out. Make sure that you understand the legalese and don’t take for granted that you are covered. And if you can’t get a straight answer out of your insurance agent or company, call a Davie property damage attorney at the Maus Law Firm.
Is a Roof Leak Covered Under My Homeowner’s Insurance?
To make a long story shorter, repairs to your roof are usually excluded under your property insurance. But the damage that occurs inside your house as a result of a roof leak, may be covered. This type of damage is known as ensuing damage. And under more recent property homeowner insurance policies, some ensuing damage may not be covered.
Florida homeowner insurance policies used to cover roofs, and would pay for the replacement of your roof if it was damaged or destroyed by a storm. That all began to change when Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, and roof replacement coverage was virtually eliminated after Florida was hit by Hurricanes Wilma and Katrina in 2005. Most homeowner property insurance policies no longer cover damage caused to a roof. However, the damage to a roof could be covered under your windstorm coverage depending on the cost of repairs and your deductible.
But even though repairs to your roof are not normally covered by your homeowner’s policy, if the leaking roof and the water that comes through the leak causes damage to your house or the contents of your house, your homeowner policy may provide coverage. Speak to the best Davie property damage attorney to review your policy and determine how much your insurance provides.
Do I Need to File a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim or a Flood Insurance Claim?
If your home has been damaged in a hurricane or any other circumstances, you will need to file an insurance claim. But, do you need to file a homeowner’s insurance claim, a flood insurance claim or both?
The answer to this question depends on how exactly your home has been damaged. A Davie hurricane claim attorney can help you determine which claim (or claims) you should file.
Flood insurance generally covers damage that is caused by inundation. If the water level rises and water enters your home, you will most likely have a flood damage claim. But, if your home suffers water damage due to falling rain entering through the roof or windows, or if a burst pipe causes water damage, then you will need to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance company.
In many cases, homeowners will need to file both homeowner’s insurance and flood insurance claims. For example, let’s say your street flooded and the floodwaters entered your house. Let’s also say your home’s siding and roof were damaged by hail and wind. To secure full coverage for all of the damage to your home, you will most likely need to file claims under both policies. These can be complicated scenarios, and it is best to work with an experienced Davie flood damage lawyer to make sure you utilize all of the coverage you have available.
Can I Choose the Contractors that Will Repair My Home?
Another common question we get from homeowners is whether they can choose the contractors who will repair their homes. To answer this question, our Davie hurricane damage lawyer will need to review the terms of your insurance coverage.
Some insurance policies allow homeowners to choose their own contractors. Under these policies, homeowners receive payment from their insurance companies directly, and then they manage the repair process themselves. This generally includes choosing the contractors who work on their homes.
However, many insurance companies now try to sell homeowners on “managed repair” programs. Under these programs, the insurance companies have the right to choose the contractors that make repairs, and they pay these contractors directly. While the insurance companies promote this as a benefit for policyholders—since it takes the burden of managing the repair process off of their shoulders—the reality is that it limits homeowners’ options and often makes it more difficult for them to ensure that they receive the amount of coverage and quality of repairs to which they are entitled.
If your insurance policy includes a “managed repair” clause, you will want to work with a Davie hurricane insurance attorney during your claim. Your attorney can make sure your insurance company complies with the terms of your policy. If you run into issues during the repair process, your attorney can handle these issues for you, and your attorney can take legal action against your insurance company if necessary.
Can a Davie Hurricane Damage Lawyer Help Me if My Claim is Denied?
If you are struggling to secure homeowner’s insurance or flood insurance after a major storm or hurricane, you are not alone. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common occurrence in South Florida. Even when homeowners are clearly entitled to coverage, insurance companies will often deny claims without justification—hoping that homeowners will simply go away.
A Davie hurricane lawyer can help if you are struggling to obtain insurance coverage. Your lawyer can determine why the insurance company isn’t paying and determine what next steps are necessary. If there are issues that need to be handled, your lawyer can address them. If your insurance company has denied your claim in bad faith, your hurricane lawyer can take your insurance company to court.
Regardless of how your home was damaged and the extent of the damage that has occurred, hiring a Davie hurricane claim lawyer is the best way to protect your legal rights. If you wait too long, your insurance company may try to argue that you have waived your legal rights. If you make other mistakes, this could create additional challenges for your homeowner’s insurance or flood insurance claim as well.
Water Damage Attorneys in Davie
Torrential rain as well as fierce winds are an almost daily occurrence during the summer months in Davie, Florida. These winds can loosen roof tiles allowing rain to leak into the ceiling drywall and cause continuous damage to your ceilings requiring them to be replaced.
Floods occur when city sewer systems are overflowed or reservoirs dams are breached, and these can cause water damage to your home, business or vehicles. Heavy rains can flood a backyard and ruin landscaping and the contents or outdoors storage sheds and other structures.
When leaks go unfixed indoors or outside, toxic mold can take hold in leaky ceilings, air conditioning vents and around window panes — even if the water dries up temporarily. Mold can grow wherever there is moisture like in bathrooms and under water faucets in the kitchen and laundry room.
Flood damage can lead to you having to perform expensive repairs or replace entirely your home’s ceiling and walls, carpeting or tiles and other home fixtures and you will be left relying on your property insurance to cover the cost. Often however your property insurance policy comes up short or declines your claim entirely leaving you with a hefty property repair and replace bill.
If you have had damage to your property and your property insurance company has failed to completely cover the costs you’ve incurred to repair and replace damaged items, you can sue the insurance company to make good on their contract. At the Maus Law Firm, our Davie flood and water damage attorneys help South Florida residents recover the damages they’ve incurred to their property when severe weather strikes and their insurance companies fail to live up to their promises.
Fire and Smoke Damage
Many people immediately think of hurricanes in connection with property damage in Davie, but a surprisingly large percentage of damage is caused not by water and wind but by fire and smoke. According to the most recent statistics released by the National Fire Prevention Association, fire departments in the U.S. respond to a call every 24 seconds, all day long, every day of the year. Fires in the home cause the majority of civilian deaths, injuries, and property damage.
A Davie property damage attorney knows that while the flames attract the most attention, often the damage from smoke and ash can be just as devastating. Most property owners carry insurance that is supposed to protect them from loss in case of fire damage. However, insurance companies often try to use a variety of excuses to devalue claims or avoid paying entirely.
The Cause of a Fire Can Affect Your Ability to Recover
When you pay for insurance to cover fire damage, you expect the insurance company to pay if a fire damages your property. However, many times insurers will deny claims based on the cause of the fire. If they believe arson was involved, they may refuse to pay. If they suspect illegal activity occurred on the property, they may refuse to pay. If they think electrical work was done without proper permits or inspections, they may refuse to pay. When that happens, it is wise to contact a Davie property damage attorney who could help demonstrate why the damage should be covered.
A property damage lawyer could also assist if an outside party’s actions contributed to the cause of the fire. It might be possible to pursue a claim separately for third party liability.
Common Causes of Fire Damage in Florida
While wildfires pose a significant danger in certain parts of Florida and lightning can start a fire anywhere, most fires are caused by indoor activities. Common causes of fire in Florida include:
- Heating units (particularly portable heaters)
- Faulty electrical equipment and wiring
- Appliances (particularly dryers)
Property owners can minimize fire damage by never leaving a hot stove or heater unattended and by turning off the dryer before leaving the house. Prompt detection of a fire can enable it to be extinguished before damage becomes excessive.
Types of Fire and Smoke Damage
After a fire, a Davie property damage attorney knows charred property is not the only type of damage the owner will have to deal with. Smoke can cause four distinct types of damage, and there is a different method of restoration used to abate each type.
- Dry Smoke damage caused by high-temperature, fast-burning fires leaves a powdery texture that can easily seep into porous materials or cracks.
- Protein residue created during a low-heat fire when organic material evaporates can permanently discolor finished surfaces and leaves an intense odor.
- Petroleum residue caused by burning fuel or oil can cause damage around a furnace even without a fire if the furnace doesn’t ignite properly, releasing soot into the area. This dense, sticky residue is difficult to remove and leaves a strong odor.
- Wet smoke produced from smoldering low-heat fires burning plastic or rubber is thick, black, and very smelly, and it can leave a dense sticky residue over all surfaces in a building.
Very often, attempts to repair different types of smoke damage can do more harm than good unless the property owner works with a professional (and very expensive) restoration specialist.
Speak with a Davie Property Damage Attorney for Free
Do you need help with your property damage claim? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with Davie property damage attorney Joseph Maus in confidence, call 855-999-5297 or tell us how we can reach you online now.