Living in Florida is a unique experience that can cause our neighbors to the north to turn green with envy. Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks of our seemingly endless summers and sunny skies is the very real threat of tropical storms and hurricanes. Florida homeowners must be prepared to deal with significant home repairs and damages caused by Florida hurricanes.
Florida Hurricane Frequency
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that each year, about 10 tropical storms develop near the Florida coast region; and on average, 6 of them will strengthen into a Florida hurricane.
Depending on the intensity of the hurricane that hits your region, a number of homes and buildings may be damaged or completely destroyed by tropical storm hazards.
When a Florida Hurricane Results in Damage to Your Home
A tropical storm in Florida can wreak havoc in a number of ways, including:
- free-flying debris that can break windows and doors;
- high-velocity winds that can cause cracks in your home;
- storm surges that can cause flooding in your home; and
- many other devastating effects.
A hurricane insurance claim may address hurricane damages to your home that resulted from the Florida hurricane. In order to facilitate a smooth claims process with your insurer and increase your odds at a fair settlement that fully addresses your losses, certain steps should be taken to inspect damages to your home after a Florida hurricane.
Inspecting Your Home after a Florida Hurricane
The following are some useful hints when inspecting your home after a Florida hurricane:
- Take photographs of the interior and exterior view of your home. Make sure you include images of any flooding (including the water level), damaged belongings, cracks, damage to the property and so on;
- Contact your insurer to report the damages and intent to file a hurricane damage claim. If you have flood insurance in addition to your Florida homeowners insurance, contact that agent as well.
- Organize the damaged property separately from the undamaged property to make the process more streamlined for the examiner assessing the damages to your home;
- Do not dispose of damaged materials, unless they pose a health risk or danger to neighbors or members of the household (if this becomes necessary, first document the item with photographs and/or videotape and a written description);
- Conduct an inventory throughout the entire house, making notes of items missing/damaged, product information and prices. It would help if you could retrieve the receipts or any proof of purchase for these items, particularly big-ticket items such as appliances and electronics.
In some cases, you may need a professional inspector to come in and evaluate hurricane damages to your home, such as leaking pipelines, gas leaks and other structural damage. Be wary of electrical system damage, which may necessitate you turning off the main switch to avoid fire or sparks caused by frayed wires. When inspecting your home after a Florida hurricane, you should take extreme caution to protect your safety and prevent further damage to properties.
Contacting a Florida Hurricane Insurance Attorney
A Florida hurricane can amount to thousands of dollars in hurricane damage. If your home has been damaged as a result of a Florida hurricane, you may want to consider filing a Florida hurricane insurance claim to recover damages. An experienced insurance attorney can advise you on how to do an inventory of the damages and work to secure a fair settlement for your damages. Call now to schedule a no cost evaluation of your case – 863-533-5525.