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Be Prepared: Tropical Storms Can Cause Millions In Damages

Every year storms of all types wreak havoc in our country. Florida is especially vulnerable. Last year's Tropical Storm Isaac, which became a hurricane when it hit the Gulf Coast, caused an estimated $72 million in damages in Palm Beach County alone. The Miami Herald reports that the $72 million figure included damages to local businesses, public infrastructure and individual homes. Due to the vulnerability of Florida to hurricanes and other storms, having storm and/or flood insurance is essential. If you are not insured adequately, now, before the next storm is a good time to check your policies and fix the situation. You should also, if you have contents insurance, make a list of all property in the home or business

If you have experienced any damages resulting from Isaac your next step would be filing a claim with your insurance company. However, dealing with insurance companies is notoriously difficult. The best route to take to ensure you receive everything you are entitled to is to hire an attorney. The other thing to keep in mind is that Florida has a law that requires insurance companies to pay attorneys fees to people who sue under their own insurance policy. So, if you hire a lawyer there is a chance you won't have to pay any attorneys fees, as fees will be paid either in whole or in part by the insurance company. Freidin Brown, P.A. has spent decades in litigation with insurance companies, and in large cases we will typically charge a percentage of the recovery on a contingent basis (this often depends on the amount claimed) but deduct the fee that the insurance company pays from our total charges. In all cases we are open to discuss other arrangements.

Here are some tips to ensure you get the most from your insurance company:

•· Know your insurance policy. Understand what is covered and what isn't under your current insurance policy and be sure to make any necessary changes.

•· Talk to an attorney prior to the insurance company, if possible.

•· File the claim as soon as possible.

•· Take pictures. Be sure to take pictures not only of the damage, but of your property before the storm. Even snapping some shots on your camera phone before a storm will help prove damage in fact occurred.

•· Try to get an adjuster to the property as quickly as you can.

Remember an insurance adjuster's job is to save the insurance company money, and they will be skeptical of your claimed damage if you cannot prove it.

Please contact us if we can help.

Source: The Miami Herald, "Damage from Isaac floods estimated at $72 million in Palm Beach County," Aug. 31, 2012

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