At least 10 major hurricanes have hit Pensacola since 1936, or about one every decade. Hurricanes, if course, are deadly and incredibly destructive. If you are like most people, you simply cannot afford to rebuild your life every 10 years or so. If you have purchased hurricane insurance, it is probably because you realized what might happen and wished to take steps to put your mind at ease.
Once a hurricane strikes, however, you might find your mind anything but at ease. Your insurance company, overwhelmed with a sudden influx of claims, is highly likely to turn adversarial on you just when you need them the most. They may reject your claim outright, for example, or they may offer a pittance that cannot even begin to compensate you for your losses. When it’s time to get tough, contact a Pensacola hurricane insurance lawyer.
Following are some of the most common excuses offered by insurance companies when they deny a claim:
In some cases, the insurance company’s unreasonable denial of your claim can be characterized as a civil offense that would justify a lawsuit against the insurance company.
The terms of your hurricane insurance policy depend on your living situation and what you are trying to protect. Following is a description of how some of the most common insurance policies work in the aftermath of a hurricane.
A typical homeowners’ insurance policy will cover damage to the home itself (structural damage, for example) as well as its contents. Most policies will also cover:
Unfortunately, your homeowners’ policy might not cover some of the major expenses that might arise, unless you purchased supplemental insurance separately. Examples of such expenses include windstorm damage, stormwater damage, and food spoilage.
If your condominium was damaged, you might need to deal with two hurricane insurance policies—one protecting your personal unit and one protecting public areas.
Beware of “pass the buck” strategies used by insurance companies where each one tries to assert the liability of the other company.
When your business is damaged, you face the difficulty of not only repairing the physical damage but also protecting your income stream. Indeed, your business might need to close for weeks or even months, and your customer base might not return until the economy of your entire area has recovered.
Business insurance policies usually cover structural damage, damage to personal property, and lost business income. However, insurance companies are likely to offer particularly stiff resistance to your calculations of lost business income.
Whether your insurance company is acting in bad faith or is simply being stubborn, you will probably need some help. This is especially true if you suffered physical injury or major psychological trauma that can prevent you from acting independently. We can help take the burden off you by:
As a last resort, we can file a breach of contract or bad faith lawsuit against your insurance company, should it become necessary. Hopefully, it won’t. Even if it does, however, your claim will not necessarily go to trial.
A successful hurricane lawyer can set up their fee structure so that their interests are aligned with yours. That doesn’t mean charging you by the hour, which would only incentivize slow work. Instead, it means charging you on a contingency basis.
At Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon, we charge you no upfront fees. Your total legal bill will be precisely $0.00 unless we win your case and you actually receive compensation. If we win, our bill will amount to a percentage of the total compensation you receive from the insurance company. Further, there are statutory mechanisms in which you can recover all or part of your attorneys’ fees and cost from the insurance company.
If you have suffered damages in a hurricane, you must insist on full compensation. To get it, you are going to have to either negotiate with the insurance company or file a lawsuit. We can help you with both of these options. Contact the Pensacola hurricane insurance lawyers at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon for a free consultation by calling us or by contacting us online.