Frequently Asked Questions About Property Damage And Insurance Claims
When it comes to property insurance, navigating the details of claims and coverage can be complicated. Many policyholders are understandably overwhelmed when it comes to making informed choices and pursuing claims for damage. While you may be tempted to rely on your insurance agent for help with these issues, remember that they are ultimately not looking out for your best interests. They are focused on their own business. For that reason, having a lawyer who is advocating for you – and 100% committed to your interests alone – is essential when it comes to dealing with your insurance claim.
At Stockham Law Group, P.A., representing policyholders in property damage claims is a major part of our practice. We ONLY represent policyholders – never insurance companies. Here, you will find loyal, knowledgeable and truthful guidance on all things property insurance.
Read on for answers to common questions people have about property insurance and damage claims.
How much property damage insurance do I need?
The answer depends on numerous factors, including:
- The type of property involved (whether residential, commercial or marine)
- The value of your property
- The type of construction, including improvements
- The age and location of your property
- The amount of financial risk you’re comfortable with
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, it’s wise to consider opting for greater coverage than the bare minimum, especially in southern coastal states where hurricanes and storm damage are a real possibility.
What type of property damage is covered by insurance?
Property damage coverage typically includes:
- Fires and smoke damage
- Hurricane damage
- Storm damage, including lightning, wind and hail damage
Some things that aren’t typically covered under homeowner or commercial property insurance policies include:
- Business interruption expenses
- Theft by employees
- Damaged business equipment
Coverage for these items may be available through more comprehensive policies or riders.
What should I do before a Hurricane?
Before a Hurricane you should thoroughly document the condition of your property and its contents, including:
- Take a video of the outside of your home or business
- Take a video of each room inside your home or business
- Take a video of all your furniture and contents inside each room of your home or business
- Take photos of the outside of your home or business
- Take photos and video of your roof, if possible
- Take an inventory of your personal belongings
- Take your insurance policy and all important and irreplaceable items with you if you evacuate.
What kind of damage should I look for after a storm?
After a storm – whether a bad thunderstorm or hurricane – you should thoroughly inspect your property for damage, including:
- Broken windows and shutters
- Damage to the roof and siding
- Water and moisture intrusion, including water-stained ceilings
- Damage to soffits and fascia
- Broken gutters and awnings
The sooner you identify the damage, the sooner you can start pursuing the insurance claim process, avoiding possible delays or unwarranted denials.
What if my insurer delays or denies my claim?
Unfortunately, property insurance disputes are far too common. Insurers are motivated to delay, deny and minimize claims whenever possible. It may be necessary to take legal action to enforce your rights under the policy and hold insurers accountable for the full scope and amount of your damages plus bad faith delays or denials. Our attorneys have a wealth of experience handling this kind of insurance litigation on behalf of policyholders.
Get Answers To Your Property Insurance Questions
For guidance on your situation, please reach out to our firm. Based in Tampa, we serve clients throughout Florida, with multiple office locations. We also handle property insurance claims in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas. We have an additional office in Houston, Texas.