How Long After a Hurricane in Florida Can You File an Insurance Claim?

Every article that you read on filing insurance claims talks about how important it is to file your claim as soon as possible after the event. Not only does this guarantee a better chance of getting the outcome you deserve, but it ensures that you aren’t dealing with the claims process for months or years after the storm. 

What happens, though, when a hurricane strikes in Florida and you can’t file your claim right away? How long do you have, and what else should you know? The public insurance adjusters at On Target Claims have you covered. In this guide, we’ll look at the timelines involved in filing a hurricane claim so that you know what to expect and how to proceed. Plus, if you need extra help along the way, we can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure that things go as they should. 

The Standard Claims Timeline

Before we get into all the exceptions and circumstantial details, let’s discuss the basics of an insurance claim in Florida. There’s a “typical” timeline involved, as well as statutes of limitations on how long you have to file, how long the insurance company has to settle, and so forth. 

In Florida, the rules and guidelines are as follows:

  • Homeowners have just one year from the date the hurricane made landfall or the covered damage was caused. This is found under Chapter 627 of the Florida Statutes, officially known as Section 627.70132
  • This includes supplemental claims and reopened claims, so prompt filing is important in all regards. 
  • The statute used to give homeowners up to three years, but that changed as of 2023, and most sites still list outdated information. 
  • Insurance companies have 90 days from the official filing of your claim to settle. There are also timelines they must follow regarding acknowledgment of the claim, adjusting and underwriting, settlement offers, and so forth. 

There may be extenuating circumstances in your case, but you’re best suited to file your claim as soon as possible. Especially if you’re dealing with a hurricane claim in Florida, you’re probably one of millions getting ready to inundate insurers with claims. The sooner you get yours in, the better. 

What to Do if You Can’t Return Home in Florida

Sometimes, storm damage is so catastrophic that you aren’t able to go back home. It might even take days or weeks before you can get in to see how severe the damage is. The good news is that as long as you know there was damage, you can notify your insurance company immediately, even if you can’t actually start the claims process just yet. 

Let them know the circumstances of the situation. Ask them how to proceed and when they want you to reach back out. Of course, be mindful that they’re looking out for themselves first, so it will be up to you to ask the questions and ensure that you’re covered, even if you can’t file right away. 

If you can get into the area or even to your property to do a walkthrough with the insurance company’s adjuster, that will expedite the process. However, you shouldn’t do that until it is safe to. If that means you have to wait a week, or even more, to file your hurricane insurance claim in Florida fully, you should be patient. 

In the meantime, you can contact our public insurance adjusters to learn more about these claims and what to expect. We can even help you through the process once you can return home and start the claim filing. 

Hurricane Insurance and Your Home in Florida

In Florida, all homes must have protection from the elements. Home insurance policies come standard with coverage that handles nearly everything. However, in a state like Florida, where hurricanes and tropical storms are common, you will probably also have to buy separate coverage to protect your home from named storms. 

This is commonly known as “named storm coverage,” but may also just be called hurricane coverage or hurricane insurance. Some policies have a hurricane deductible that differs from the standard deductible but includes everything in a single policy. You’ll need to review your coverage and see what you have. 

If you live in Florida and you don’t check to make sure that you have hurricane coverage, once the storm hits, it will be too late. In fact, many insurance companies even stop selling coverage when a storm is coming to prevent people from last-minute emergency purchases and encourage smarter insurance use. 

A windstorm deductible will cover wind damage caused by storms other than hurricanes. Other damages will be covered under the “All other perils” clause in the insurance. Make sure that you know your policy. If you want help understanding the terms and details, ask On Target Claims for a policy review. 

Where Things Can Go Wrong

While you do have time to file a hurricane claim, you shouldn’t wait any longer than necessary. You should also get back into your home as soon as it is safe and make temporary repairs or put protections in place to prevent further damage. Homeowners have “due diligence” to ensure extraneous damages don’t occur after an event like a hurricane. 

Essentially, this is an opportunity for insurance companies to deny your claim, either part or entirely. They can decide that you didn’t move fast enough, so they don’t want to cover the claim in full because of the extra damage that occurred. Perhaps they’ll cover everything except the mold damage that resulted. There are all manner of ways they can avoid paying your claim. 

The best thing you can do is to reach out to the experts at On Target Claims. We can review your claim and see where we can help you maximize the chances of getting the outcome that you deserve. Our experienced public insurance adjusters know the law, and we know how to keep insurance companies accountable. Contact us now to get started or learn more. 

Related Content: What Your Florida Insurance Company Doesn’t Want You to Know About Hurricane Claims

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