Attorney Andrew Norden
Hurricane Damage & Civil Trial Lawyer
Leading Florida Hurricane Damage & Property Damage Lawyer
Andrew Norden is a trial attorney at Osborne & Francis with more than 13 years of experience. Since the start of his legal career, Andrew has been litigating all aspects of insurance coverage matters. This experience includes time both on behalf of claimants and the insurance companies.
He now only handles cases for insureds who are in need of advice or representation against the insurance companies. Mr. Norden’s experience includes pre-suit handling of insurance coverage claims, civil remedy notices, mediation, litigation of insurance coverage matters including summary judgment proceedings, and trial where insurance carriers fail to provide coverage that insureds believed they paid for.
• Hurricane Irma was the largest and most powerful storm in US history, causing billions of dollars of residential and commercial property damage in the state of Florida alone.
• Buying your homeowners or commercial insurance policy is for the most part an easy exercise until Mother Nature unleashes the fury of a weather event like a hurricane and you have to make a claim to repair the damages your property has suffered. Then it can become one of the most difficult situations you may have to face in your lifetime.
• Understanding your legal rights as outlined in your policy is critical.
If you have suffered damage to your home or commercial property then you may decide to call a public adjuster licensed by the Florida department of insurance. Like attorneys, public adjusters are allowed to represent the rights of the insured during the property insurance claim process. Public adjusters are licensed professionals that can legally charge a percentage of the settlement or payout that the insured is awarded. Public adjusters provide a service to assist insured such as estimating damage and negotiating with insurance companies in presentation of claims.
If your public adjuster is unable to settle your claim you will need the assistance of an attorney who specializes in property loss cases and understands all of the complex legal defenses and strategies to successfully litigate your case. The original contract with the public adjuster will still be in effect and you are obligated to pay your public adjuster a percentage of the settlement if this scenario arises.
Attorneys in Florida are entitled to be paid their fees directly from the insurance company when there is a dispute about coverage for a claim or the value of a claim. In cases where the insurance company has acted improperly under the law, and fails to uphold their contractual obligation you may have grounds for filing a lawsuit against your insurance carrier. Only a lawyer licensed in the state of Florida can represent you in civil court in your property insurance dispute claim. If the attorney you hire is successful with your case then the insurance company is responsible for payment of your lawyer's fees. The attorney's fee is separate and distinct from the indemnity amount you are owed.
There are no out-of-pocket costs or expenses if you hire our firm to handle your disputed insurance claim. If your claim has not yet been denied or underpaid we are here to answer any questions you may have. History has shown us that when there are potentially thousands of claims being filed because of major weather events insurance disputes become a common occurrence. Attorneys will advise you and help you through the process so that you can make an informed decision that best serves your financial interest and needs, even if you never have the need to file a lawsuit against your insurance carrier.
Call Now: Attorney Andrew Norden
Who To Choose
Public Adjuster OR
Insurance Damage Lawyer
From Other Law Firms
- Dedication To Clients
- Proven Track Record Of Success
- Extensive Litigation Experience
- Hurricane Damage
- Storm Damage
- Roof Damage
- Other Structure Damage
- Personal Property Damage
- Water Intrusion
- Underpayment of Claim
- Claim Denial
- Alternate Living Expenses
- Copy of insurance policy
- Itemization of items damaged
- Any estimates obtained for damage to your house
- Receipts of personal property damaged
- Photographs property before and after damage occurred
- Video of property before and after damage
- Receipts for any money spent out of pocket for temporary repairs
- Receipts for any money paid for alternate living expenses
- Damage to or the loss of your home
- Damage to other buildings or structures on your property such as detached garages, decks, fencing, swimming pools and pool cages
- The contents of your home
- Loss of the use of your home if you are unable to live there
- Payments to third parties for liability or medical expenses
Hurricanes damage nearly anything in their path and are known to cause billions of dollars in property damages. Wind and water damage are two of the primary causes of damage and lead to thousands of claims each year. Maintaining a full and complete insurance policy is meant to provide a sense of security for homeowners in the event of a devastating tragedy. Unfortunately, homeowners are often left with more questions than answers after a natural disaster.
By law, insurance companies are required to investigate and settle insurance claims in a timely manner. Delayed payments from insurance companies often lead to additional expenses that the homeowner must cover during an already financially emotionally stressful time. The Statute of Limitations regarding property damage claims resulting from a hurricane requires that the insured provide notice of the claim to the insurance company within five years from the date the hurricane made landfall or caused the damage. Trust our South Florida insurance claims attorneys to work diligently to help you get the support you need as fast as possible.
- Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Company
- Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
- Security First Insurance Company
- Federated National Insurance Company
- Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Company
- American Integrity Insurance Company of Florida
- United Property & Casualty Insurance Company
- St Johns Insurance Company
- Homeowners Choice Property& Casualty Insurance
- Tower Hill Prime (a Tower Hill Insurance Company)
- People’s Trust Insurance
- ASI Preferred (an ASI Company)
- United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
- Florida Peninsula Insurance Company
- First Protective Insurance Company
- Castle Key Indemnity Company
- Florida Family Insurance Company
- American Bankers insurance Company
- Ark Royal (an ASI Company- related to #12 also)
- Tower Hill Signature Insurance Company
- Olympus Insurance Company
- Safe Harbor Insurance Company
- Castle Key Insurance Company
- Safepoint Insurance Company
- Cypress Property & Casualty Insurance Company
- Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE)
- Palm Beach (Palm Beach County)
- Pinecrest (Miami-Dade County)
- Coral Gables (Miami-Dade County)
- Naples (Collier County)
- Marco Island (Collier County)
- Bal Harbour (Miami-Dade County)
- Golf (Palm Beach County)
- Aventura (Miami-Dade)
- Coral Springs (Broward County)
- Palm Beach Gardens (Palm Beach County)
- Boca Raton (Palm Beach County)
- North Key Largo (Monroe Count)
- Tequesta (Palm Beach County)
- Oak Point (Broward County)
- Jupiter (Palm Beach County)
- Pelican Bay (Collier County)
- Sanibel (Lee County)
- Sea Ranch Lakes (Broward County)
- Fisher Island (Miami-Dade County)
- Manalapan (Palm Beach County)
- Captiva (Lee County)
- Ocean Ridge (Palm Beach County)
In Florida, you must review your policy and determine if there is windstorm coverage. Often times, the damage caused by a hurricane is due to high, sustained winds. If your policy indicates a premium was paid for windstorm coverage, your next step is to look and see what the deductible is applicable to a hurricane claim. It is common that a hurricane deductible is higher than other covered losses on the policy. Flood damages, even when they are caused by a hurricane, usually must be covered in a separate insurance policy.
It depends on the coverage you purchased and how much coverage you purchased. The answer depends on the language of your policy. Typically, a home insurance policy does provide coverage for additional living expenses, or loss of use. This coverage may reimburse you for rent, hotel rooms, meals out of the house among other items. Keep in mind that if you are going to be displaced from your home for an extended period of time, you may want to consider leasing alternate housing. Before signing a lease, we suggest you communicate with your insurance company and get an answer on how they intend on reimbursing you for the lease.
Keep receipts for everything you spend and intend to ask for repayment. Without proof, you lack the necessary evidence to prove your request for reimbursement.
- Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. This starts the process of your claim, and the sooner you get started, the sooner you will receive your claim check.
- Prevent further damage. Do your best to cover any damage (broken windows, holes in the roof, etc.) that if left uncovered, will cause more damage. You, as the insured, have a responsibility to minimize further damage to the insured property. Failure to do so may result in the insurance company fighting about the extent of damage it is responsible for versus what further damage you allowed by not taking appropriate steps to protect the property.
- Document everything. It’s important to have a record of all damage that has occurred. Take photos and/or video of all structural damage, standing floodwaters, and objects that were damaged or destroyed.
- Provide a Proof of Loss statement. This is a document with your signed and sworn statement of the damages you sustained. It needs to be comprehensive and as accurate as possible.
Unfortunately, insurance companies often make it difficult for policyholders to get their claim money. Here is a list of some of the tactics they employ, so that you can recognize whether your insurance company is acting inappropriately:
- Denying that you have coverage
- Denying your claim and stating the claim is partially or completely excluded under your policy
- Delaying the processing of your claim unreasonably
- Refusing to pay your claim under one coverage, or attempting to force you to settle under other coverage
- Lowballing you with undervalued estimates
- Requiring you to provide a written release of any supplemental claims as a condition of payment or settlement
- Telling you that you do not need an attorney to resolve the claim
- Using terms like “full” or “final” on claim checks
- When failing to fully pay a claim, not providing you with a written explanation of the factual basis and incorporating language of the policy.
It would seem that hurricane damage is just that – hurricane damage, whether it was done by wind or water. However, the distinction is important because your homeowners may cover wind damage, but not flooding. Flood insurance is separate and distinct from your homeowners policy. Often, insurers in these situations will try to pawn off your damage to one another so that they do not have to pay the entire claim.
You pay a premium for valuable coverage and should expect to receive what you pay for. Many lawsuits with insurance companies result from alleged delay, undervaluation, underpayment or claim denials. With that in mind, you need to be very attentive in your interactions with your insurance carrier. You should get your own estimates separate and distinct from what your insurance company tells you something is worth. Arming yourself with your own information gives you the knowledge to know if the insurance company is dealing with you fairly and offering full value for your claim.
The faster you get your claim in, the faster you will receive compensation. However, when there is a natural disaster such as Hurricane Irma, it could take anywhere from weeks to several months to see any financial help.
You have to be very careful when your insurance company makes an offer on your claim – don’t just automatically accept that it’s the best they will do. Sometimes these things take negotiations, especially if your insurance company is undervaluing the cost of your repairs and property damage.
If you receive a check for your property damage claim that says “Full and Final Settlement,” on it, or something similar, it means that you will not be able to make any other claims that may result from the damage done to your property in the future. Basically, it is releasing the insurance company from any further liability. Be sure that you understand what portion of your claim it is referring to, and if you don’t agree, do not cash the check.
If you encounter any of the above issues, or have other dispute with your insurance company, it may become difficult to handle things on your own. Your best course of action is to contact an experienced property damage attorney who will work with your insurance company and ensure that you get the financial help that you are entitled to. You do not have to be at the mercy of the insurance company as you are putting the pieces of your life and your property back together.