With hurricane season underway, it is important to be prepared for filing homeowners insurance claims in case of storm damage to real and personal property.
In Florida, flooding and wind damage can often be only the beginning of a homeowner’s financial and time expense.
Post-loss obligations added to the initial expense of large premiums for homeowners insurance coverage on a home is an additional out-of-pocket cost sometimes misunderstood by a homeowner.
Homeowners insurance claims denied, underpaid, or substantially adjusted after a natural disaster causes damage to a home or other property can require the expertise only an experienced attorney can provide.
Federal and State Policy
In response to declarations of disaster by some Florida counties after Hurricanes Irma and Harvey in 2017, federal and state relief involved the Florida Department of Revenue, the Internal Revenue Service (”IRS”) Tax Filing and Payment Relief to Hurricane Victims for individuals and businesses located in these major disaster areas, and expedited funds to repair and replace damaged housing through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME); HUD Section 203(h), Department of Veterans Affairs, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae 90-day forbearance and foreclosure relief programs for Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages; and property inspection cost reimbursement (Freddie Mac, Bulletin 2017-14; VA Circular 26-17-23).
The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (“FHCF”) is the public-private partnership set up as a state-administered reinsurance program in 1993 for oversight of its property insurance coverage mandate.
The FHCF acknowledges that private individuals are the primary risk-bearers in circumstances of hurricane disaster, as evidenced by the common requirement of a separate deductible level for such claims by homeowner’s insurance policy coverage providers in the state.
Notice of a Hurricane Claim
Title XXXVII Insurance, Chapter 627 Insurance Rates and Contracts, 627.70132 Notice of windstorm or hurricane of the Florida Statutes, specifies that claims made on a property’s insurance policy as defined in Section 624.604, for “loss or damage caused by the peril of windstorm or hurricane” are prohibited unless “notice of the claim, supplemental claim, or reopened claim” has been given to the insurer in accordance with the terms and conditions of the policy within the three-year limitation period after a hurricane.
Preparation of a homeowners hurricane insurance agreement with an experienced attorney provides a client insight into each step of the claim process, as well as the reporting process, pre-suit settlement process, and in some cases, litigation.
Contact a Licensed Florida Attorney
The cost of home repairs and replacement of structures, landscapes, and personal property after a hurricane disaster is often daunting.
FL Legal Group is a licensed Florida attorney practice specializing in insurance law.
Contact FL Legal Group for a free consultation about assistance in filing a hurricane claim.
The 2018 Florida Statutes, Title XXXVII Insurance, Chapter 627 Insurance Rates and Contracts, 627.70132 Notice of windstorm or hurricane, Online Sunshine (last visited July 13, 2018), http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0600-0699/0627/Sections/0627.70132.html
Landry, Joseph Z., State Tax Relief for Hurricane Victims, The National Law Review, July 16, 2018, https://www.natlawreview.com/print/article/state-tax-relief-hurricane-victims