Hurricane Matthew is bearing down on Florida. St. Johns County has issued a mandatory evacuation for Zone A and portions of Zone B. Coquina Law Group will be closed on Thursday (October 6th) and Friday (October 7th). We send prayers to all involved and hope everyone the best.
Hurricane Matthew is expected to bring substantial rain and extremely high winds to the east coast of Florida. Properties along the Atlantic coastline of Florida will most likely experience property damage. In addition to supplies, you should locate a copy of your insurance policy or declarations page. This will provide you the proper information in the event you need to make an insurance claim. The insurance companies are organized and have been preparing for the aftermath of this storm to help their insureds get through the process quickly. If you cannot locate your insurance papers, contact your insurance agent for help.
Your insurance company will have adjusters to inspect your property as soon as possible after you report your claim. Take pictures of any damage observed before making repairs and temporary fixes. You will also have a duty to mitigate damages to the best of your ability. The insurance company will provide payment based on their estimate minus your deductible and depreciation. You will likely be entitled to the depreciation after you have the repairs completed. In the event your contractor cannot make the repairs at the same costs of the estimate and payment, you can call them directly or have your contractor call them and discuss the necessary repairs.
Many roofing contractors and companies will be out in force to get your business. Please research this companies prior to hiring and signing any documents. Make sure the contractor is licensed in the State of Florida. Some of these contractors will request that you sign an Assignment of Benefits (AOB). This is not recommended as you will be assigning your insurance claim away. An AOB assigns your insurance claim to the contractor. The contractor can negotiate or dispute the insurers adjustments without any input on control by you. Many times, the work will not be completed until after the claim is adjusted, even if that takes years of litigation because the contractor is inflating the prices or scope of work. Public Adjusters will also likely call on you, however again they get 20% of your claim. Do not hire a contractor that offers to waive your deductible or to provide cash bak as that is considered Insurance Fraud.
MOST IMPORTANTLY! Abide by mandatory evacuations, stay in shelter, keep water and food near by. Coquina Law Group wishes everyone the best and prays that everyone remains safe during this time. We will be providing updates to the blog as soon as the weather clears.