Tornado Insurance Dispute Lawyers in Florida
Helping homeowners, businesses, and churches repair and rebuild in the Gulf Coast, the Panhandle, and across the state
According to the Florida Climate Center, “Florida has the dubious distinction of having a higher frequency of tornadoes per 10,000 square miles than any other state, including Oklahoma.” It’s hard to predict when and where a tornado will strike a town or community, even though technology and radar are improving. A tornado can form, strike, and then leave within minutes. Intense tornadoes can leave a wake of destruction in their path, mainly due to their high winds. Fortunately, tornado losses are compensable in most homeowner and property insurance policies.
At Warhurst Law, we work aggressively to investigate the full extent of the damage. We then negotiate strong settlements to pay for the costs to repair your home and the value of any damaged contents. We also fight to have the insurance company pay for the full value of your home or building if the damage can’t be repaired. We have secured millions of dollars for our clients, including an additional $2.37 million for a commercial policyholder who was originally offered $50,000. Let us help you, too.
Types of tornadoes
A tornado is normally generated by a severe thunderstorm. It’s shaped like a funnel. The intensity of a tornado is rated by using the “Fujita scale.” The lowest Fujita scale is an F0 tornado which has winds of about 40-72 mph. F5 tornadoes have winds that can reach up to 318 mph. The scale rating is often used by the insurance adjusters, public adjusters, and defense lawyers to validate the extent of the damage to your home.
The analysis, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, runs as follows:
- F0 tornado. The expectation is that this scale of tornado will cause light damage “to chimneys and sign boards”
- F1 tornado. Roof surfaces peeled off; mobile homes overturned
- F2 tornado. Roofs torn off buildings, mobile homes destroyed
- F3 tornado. Roofs and walls torn off buildings
- F4 tornado. Buildings leveled and some structures blown a considerable distance away
- F5 tornado. Homes leveled and swept away
The scale is not conclusive. Each home and building should be evaluated by professionals, building inspectors, and contractors to determine and validate the full extent of the structural damage. Appraisers are qualified to generally place a value on any damage to the contents of the home.
Common damages due to tornadoes
When tornadoes strike, they can wreck homes, streets, and entire communities. It’s no stretch of the imagination to say that tornadoes can cause homes and cars to fly in the sky and land far away from their original site. In most cases, tornadoes don’t uproot the building or vehicles. However, the damage does often require the need for significant repairs including:
- Shingles, gables, blown-off roofs, and siding
- Interior and exterior walls, floors, and carpets
- The foundation of the house
- Windows, gutters, shutters, and screens
- Chimneys, garage doors, landscaping
- The electricity and plumbing
- Every other part of the home or building
Standard home and property owner policies should cover tornado damage and the damage to the contents of the home or building. The policy should also cover damage due to wind, rain, and lightning.
If a tornado was the result of a hurricane, the hurricane damage should also be covered in a standard policy. (Even after Hurricane Michael stopped dumping water all over the Panhandle, policyholders still had to worry about the tornadoes that formed in its wake.)