How to File an Insurance Claim for Maximum Payout After Wind Damage in Florida

Wind damage is a common claim in Florida. With tropical storms, summer thunderstorms, and hurricanes, the state is no stranger to winds and the damage that they can cause. Because of this, however, home insurance companies continue to get more and more creative in finding ways to reduce the number and value of claims filed for wind damage. For homeowners, that can make getting the maximum payout a challenge. 

At On Target Claims, our public insurance adjusters have years of expertise in dealing with wind damage and other home insurance claims. We know how to work with insurance companies to get a fair settlement that covers your damages in full. We can ensure that your claim is handled properly throughout every step of the process and even educate you about the process along the way. 

To that end, let’s take a closer look at how to file a wind damage insurance claim in Florida to get the maximum payout. 

Know Your Insurance Coverage in Florida

First and foremost, you have to know what coverage is included in your home insurance policy. While home insurance is not required by law in Florida, many mortgage lenders require it for borrowers. It also makes smart financial sense to purchase insurance for your home. Unless you have the full replacement value of your property to rebuild or do your own repairs, insurance is a must. 

Windstorm coverage doesn’t usually require a separate insurance policy. However, on most policies, it will have its own deductible. It will also usually be spelled out that wind damage from all other events is different from hurricane wind damage. If the winds are caused by a hurricane, your hurricane deductible will usually go into effect. This also varies by policy, so be sure to understand how yours works. 

If you have questions, ask. If your insurance company isn’t transparent and helpful, it might be time to consider shopping for a new one. You can also reach out to On Target Claims and let us review your policy for coverage to ensure there are no gaps or missing elements that could cost you dearly. 

File Your Wind Damage in Florida Claim Promptly and Properly 

One of the biggest and easiest fixes for claim denials is improper filing or filing errors. The statute of limitations is one year from the date of the damage or the event that caused it, but you should file your claim as soon as you can. If you can get the claim filed, or at least notify the insurer that it’s going to be filed, within the first 24 to 48 hours, you’ll be on a good course. 

If something is preventing you from filing the claim (such as damage so severe that you can’t return home), you should at least call the insurance company and notify them that a claim will be coming. This will allow them to start the process on their end and inform you how to proceed. 

Other tips when filing your claim (and purchasing insurance) include:

  • Take photos and videos of any damage to document it fully. The more documentation you have, the more likely your claim will be paid at the maximum amount. 
  • Purchase replacement value coverage, not just actual cash value (ACV). ACV covers the property’s depreciated value at the time of damage or loss, while replacement value gives you enough to replace the items at today’s cost. 
  • Ask the insurance company if there are any specific requirements or guidelines to follow. This will ensure that you don’t miss anything crucial. 
  • If you live in coastal areas more prone to windstorms, you may have to purchase a separate policy through the FAIR plan offered by the state. Check this when you buy insurance so you don’t get denied when you file a claim. 
  • Don’t let the insurance company push you around. This can be a stressful time for you, and they know it. Some insurance companies are trained to take advantage of that and talk you into a lower settlement. Don’t let them. 

Of course, the ultimate tip is to let On Target Claims handle everything for you. That way, you can focus on returning to your life and trust that you’ll get the maximum payout for your windstorm claim, no matter what damage you sustain. 

Wind Mitigation Credits 

Not all homeowners are aware, but Florida law offers wind mitigation credits for homes that have protections in place. Any home with hurricane-resistant or wind-resistant features in place, such as roofing, windows, doors, garage doors, hurricane shutters, etc., can get credits that add up to discounts on windstorm insurance coverage rates. 

When you have an inspection for this, the inspector may even offer advice on other ways to add to your protection to increase the credit. Make sure you take advantage of this so you’re not overpaying for your insurance. Plus, you’re also better at protecting your home, so it’s a win-win for everyone. 

Spending a little more now to make these upgrades can save you a lot of money and potential hassle in the future. You can find out more by asking your home insurance provider for information about an inspection and how to get one. 

The Bottom Line – Don’t Go It Alone in Florida

Planning and preparedness go a long way in maximizing insurance claim payouts. However, there is definitely something to be said for also having the assistance of professionals working on your behalf. The public insurance adjusters at On Target Claims have spent years helping homeowners like you fight back against insurance companies that try to deny claims or pay lower settlements than what is deserved. 

Contact us to discuss your wind damage claim and how we can help. We’ll walk you through the process, review your claim, and help you decide on the best course of action. When dealing with the insurance company, we’ll take care of it all. Call us today at 954-266-0541.

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