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Destin Insurance Disputes Lawyers

Fighting to get home and business owners the insurance proceeds they deserve

If you own a home or a business in Destin, one of Florida’s popular tourist attractions, you want to protect your property and your investment. One of the most traditional ways of buying protection is through the purchase of an insurance policy. In return for monthly premiums, you should be covered for any damages and events covered by the policy.

At Warhurst Law, our business is the resolution of insurance disputes. If you have been denied fair compensation for your losses, our Destin insurance dispute attorneys want to help. Warhurst Law has recovered millions of dollars for clients throughout Florida. Call today to learn if we can help you too.

Types of insurance coverage

Homeowners and property owner’s insurance covers damage to the exterior and interior of your home. Every policy is different, but typical homeowners’ policies will cover damage to:

  • Roof
  • Basements and floors
  • Electrical, air conditioning, and plumbing
  • The foundation, walls, ceilings, and rooms
  • Appliances, furniture, clothing, and all personal items (called “contents”)
  • Damage to outside structures and landscaping
  • The cost to move to a new residence while repairs or rebuilding takes place

Business interruption insurance should cover:

  • The loss of income due to having to put your business on hold
  • Damage to inventory, tools, and equipment
  • Damage to computer systems including the data and customer accounts
  • Damages due to the inability to enter or exit the property
  • Destruction of any other physical business assets
  • The cost to move to a temporary location
  • The cost to rent or lease equipment and other business essentials
  • The cost to have IT professionals bring the business back online
  • The expense to notify customers, clients, and vendors that the business is suspending/resuming operations

Churches, synagogues, and other religious institutions, along with charities and nonprofits, can also purchase business interruption insurance. Business interruption is usually separate from property insurance protection for buildings and other business property.

Our Case Results

$11 Million Hurricane
Hurricane Katrina property damage of New Orleans apartment complex settled pre-suit.

Katrina Settlement

$2.4 Million Settlement in Commercial Tornado Claim
Warhurst Law secured $2.2 million in additional recovery for a lumber mill damaged in a tornado.

Tornado Claim

$2.226 Million Fire Loss Settlement
Warhurst Law secured more than $2.226 million in additional recovery for a Baptist Church

Fire Loss Settlement

$1.3 Million Car Crash Settlement
Client was in a car accident resulting in severe brain damage.

Car Crash Settlement

$26 Million Hurricane Katrina Settlement
Hurricane Katrina loss of New Orleans Apartment complex previously offered $3 million.

Katrina Settlement

Florida’s supplemental claims rule

Typically, a property owner has one year to file an insurance claim. But Florida has a special rule for claims that are denied. Basically, if you submit your claim and the insurance companies denies it, you can actually file a breach of contract lawsuit against the insurance company – and the statute of limitations on that is 5 years from the date of the loss.

Florida also allows you to reopen claims if you have additional damage. You get an additional 3 years for a supplemental claim for losses during windstorms and/or hurricanes:

627.70132 Notice of windstorm or hurricane claim.—A claim, supplemental claim, or reopened claim under an insurance policy that provides property insurance, as defined in s.624.604, for loss or damage caused by the peril of windstorm or hurricane is barred unless notice of the claim, supplemental claim, or reopened claim was given to the insurer in accordance with the terms of the policy within 3 years after the hurricane first made landfall or the windstorm caused the covered damage. For purposes of this section, the term “supplemental claim” or “reopened claim” means any additional claim for recovery from the insurer for losses from the same hurricane or windstorm which the insurer has previously adjusted pursuant to the initial claim. This section does not affect any applicable limitation on civil actions provided in s. 95.11 for claims, supplemental claims, or reopened claims timely filed under this section.

If you were already paid out for your claim, but you have additional damages, you may be eligible for a larger compensation package. Warhurst Law has been very successful in obtaining additional compensation under Florida’s laws for supplemental claims, often securing millions of dollars for businesses and churches, and hundreds of thousands for individuals and residential claims.

About Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael was the most recent natural disaster in Florida, striking the Florida Panhandle in October 2018. Michael was a Category 5 hurricane – the first to hit the contiguous US states since Hurricane Andrew. Nearly 60 Americans were killed. The economic damages were record-breaking.

Claimants may still have time to file claims with the insurance companies. Our skilled insurance dispute lawyers are ready to help verify your right to file a claim and to help you properly document and claim all your damages.

Common insurance coverage issues

Generally, there are two types of insurance policies: An all-risk policy (all-peril policy) covers every type of property damage from natural disasters and other causes – unless there is an exclusion. A named peril policy only covers risks that are specifically listed in the policy.

Most every policy has a deductible which is either a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the overall claim.

Both homeowners’ and business interruption insurance should cover damage due to:

You’ll need to check with your insurance agent or an insurance lawyer to see if your property/business is covered for flood insurance – or whether you need to buy separate flood insurance.

Why was my claim denied?

The type of coverage you have will determine what kind of payout you can receive. If your policy specifically covers damage from hail, and a hailstorm caves in your roof, then you should be paid for that. If, however, the policy excludes a certain type of event (like flooding), and you suffer losses from that type of excluded event, then your claim can be denied.

It’s not always that simple, though: what if you have hurricane insurance, but not flood insurance, and your home, business, or church is damaged in a hurricane? You probably assume that the damage will be covered – and that’s a fair assumption. But the insurance company might try to claim that the damage to your home was caused by flooding waters or storm surges, so that it can deny your claim. If this happens, call our Destin insurance dispute attorneys right away.

Special rules for Florida claimants

There are time limits for filing a property claim. Often, a dispute arises when a claimant finds hidden damage after the initial inspection of the property. Florida has a special claims rule that allows claimants more time to file if they do file an original claim, but the insurance company denies the claim. They also have a special rule that extends the time for claims due to hurricanes or windstorms provided certain formalities are met that your Florida insurance dispute lawyer can explain. Warhurst law has been successful in helping clients get a larger damage payment by filing supplemental claims on their behalf.

Florida owners whose property or business was damaged by Hurricane Michael may still have time to file an insurance claim.

Our Florida clients

In addition to representing owners of single residences, we also represent:

Common insurance disputes

Our experience in the insurance industry and as legal counsel helps us anticipate and respond to many of the issues involved with insurance claims. Some of the more common issues we handle are:

  • Should your home or property be repaired, or must it be rebuilt? Are you, for example, entitled to a new roof or do just a few shingles need repair?
  • Who should do the repair work or rebuilding?
  • How do you anticipate hidden damages?
  • Are you entitled to cosmetic damage (how the property appears) or are you limited to structural and functional damage?
  • Will you be paid to stay in a hotel – and can you receive an advance payment?
  • Are you entitled to the replacement value of damaged items or just their fair market value?
  • Do any other insurance policies provide coverage?
  • Do any exclusions apply? A few common exclusions are that the loss is due to normal wear and tear, the loss should be paid by a different carrier, and the policyholder contributed to the loss.

An experienced Destin insurance dispute lawyer will guide you through the legal and practical issues.

What’s the role of the public adjuster?

In Destin, some claims adjusters can earn certification as public adjusters. These adjusters can help negotiate your claim for you for a percentage of any settlement. In most cases, however, the best course of action is to hire an experienced lawyer. Public adjusters may be able to handle some simple issues, but an insurance dispute lawyer can handle legal disputes which public adjusters cannot. Lawyers also tend to have more experience with complex claims.

We’ll explain the key steps to take after a hurricane, any natural disaster, or a fire such as taking videos and photographs, protecting your property from further damage, and direct you to the latest software to help document your claims.

Get a Destin insurance dispute attorney on your side

At Warhurst Law, we understand how natural disasters change your life, your property, and your business in just minutes. Our fundamental aim is to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible with all the funds you deserve. To schedule a consultation, please call 251-694-1932 or fill out our easy to use contact form. We represent homeowners and property owners throughout Florida, including Destin, Panama City, Apalachicola, Pensacola, and Port St. Joe.

* Warhurst Law cannot and does not guarantee an outcome to any case.