Disaster Recovery Attorneys Helping Disaster Victims in Florida
Natural disasters result in some of the costliest and most contested types of claims in the insurance industry. Property and casualty policies are often complicated documents with highly technical language that open the door for disagreements over whether a particular claim is covered. The disaster recovery attorneys at Ellis, Ged & Bodden have experience helping disaster victims deal with insurance coverage disputes, denials, and underpayment of claims. When Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey, our lawyers helped thousands of disaster victims recover the compensation that was due to them to help them pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives. With headquarters in Boca Raton and offices across the state of Florida, we help people throughout Florida with insurance claims brought on by hurricanes and storms, floods, fires and other disasters.
Know Thy Policy
When dealing with an insurance dispute, it is important at the outset to be sure you understand the terms of your policy. Sometimes the type of disaster the area is most prone to is specifically excluded from the policy. For instance, floods may be excluded in a flood-prone area, and tornado damage may be excluded from a policy covering property in the Midwest. It is usually possible to obtain special insurance to cover that particular type of event, but it is generally more costly and often contains so much fine print and so many exclusions that the additional insurance is basically worthless and can’t be counted on. If you do have specialized insurance, it is common for the special insurance carrier to claim that the damage is covered under your general liability policy, while your general liability carrier tries to pass off the liability to the specialty insurer, leaving you stuck in the middle fighting for coverage.
It is therefore essential to know what your policy covers and what it doesn’t. Our disaster recovery attorneys understand insurance policy language and can help you determine whether your claim is covered under your existing policy. If it is, we can intervene on your behalf and force the carrier to hold up their end of the bargain and honor the policy they issued. Our lawyers help with claims under a variety of different types of policies, including:
- Homeowners Insurance
- Condo/Renter’s Insurance
- Commercial Insurance
Even when you know what your policy covers, the cause of the damage may still be disputed by the insurance carrier. The damage to your home or business may be obvious, but the cause may be hotly contested by the insurance company. For example, water damage is typically covered while flood damage is not (unless you have flood insurance). High winds in a tornado or hurricane may generate a storm surge, and wind-driven rain from a hurricane’s landfall may flood an area or lead to a burst sewer pipe and consequent flooding. Was the damage created by covered wind and water damage, or excluded flood damage?
Our lawyers are knowledgeable and experienced in representing policyholders with these types of claims. We stand toe-to-toe with the insurance companies and make sure the facts are properly presented that substantiate your claim. We help insureds with all types of property and casualty claims from disasters such as:
- Fire Damage
- Water Damage
- Windstorm Damage
Talk to an Attorney About Your Disaster Recovery Claim
When disaster strikes, you find yourself in an emergency situation with your home or business and have immediate needs and expenses. Insurance companies know this and may offer a quick cash settlement to cover your most pressing expenses. However, accepting and cashing that check may waive your rights to collect the full amount due to you on your policy. It may be tempting to accept a quick offer when you have immediate needs, but it is likely that the full amount of your damages have not been adequately assessed at that stage. Before accepting any insurance company money, talk to an attorney to secure your rights.
In Boca Raton and across Florida statewide, contact Ellis, Ged & Bodden to speak to an attorney when your disaster recovery claim has been denied or is otherwise in dispute. We have helped thousands of disaster victims recover what is due to them, and we appreciate the opportunity to help you too.