This week marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael. Many businesses and homeowners are still working to recover from the devastation left by the Category 5 storm. You might have filed one or more of the many types of property insurance claims to recover from your losses. Or you might have been focused on recovery efforts and under the impression that you have three years to file a claim or file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, that may not be the case, depending on your policy.
The Statute of Limitations for Filing a Hurricane Michael Claim
Under Florida law, you have three years after your loss occurs to file a hurricane-related claim. However, property insurance policies specify that you must promptly file a claim when you have damages. If you wait three years to file a claim, your insurance company will deny the claim, leaving you with the burden of explaining why you waited so long. In other words, if you haven’t filed a claim yet, you should do so now.
The Statute of Limitations for Filing a Lawsuit on a Hurricane Michael Claim
Under Florida law you have five years from the date of loss to file a lawsuit against an insurance company. If your insurance company denied your claim or is dragging its feet on paying you your damages, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. There are exceptions to the five years, though.
Some surplus lines policies include a clause that only allows lawsuits for one or two year after your loss. Some policies are also “made” in other states, and they fall outside the requirements of Florida law. This means your policy could include a shorter statute of limitations.
What does this mean for you? If you’re considering a lawsuit, look at your policy’s language and contact an attorney. Even if you have five years to file a lawsuit, you should consider the detriments to your claim and case by waiting so long to begin the process. If your claim hasn’t been resolved by now you should contact an experienced property insurance law firm that can advise your of the process and your rights.
Danahy & Murray are specialist in handling hurricane-related property damage claims. We are a statewide Florida law firm, and we understand the challenges everyone has faced from Hurricane Michael. We can review your claim free of charge and advise you of your statute of limitations. Don’t wait for another anniversary to come and go. Call a Danahy & Murray attorney today at 1-855-969-5100. We’re here to help.