It’s not surprising that our outdoor activities will start to change as we enter the hot, humid months of spring and summer along the Central Florida Gulf Coast. What may come as a surprise, though, is the number of property and casualty insurance claims that also go up in relation to the rising temperatures.
According to industry records for this part of Florida, insurance providers are likely to see an increase in homeowners and auto insurance claims, particularly along the coastal areas. Farmers Insurance has released a list of claims that are most likely to rise during the warmer months, which include:
- Vandalism claims: You’ve heard it said that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. As students fill the region’s beaches for spring break and local colleges begin to end their school years, young adults and minor-aged teens often find themselves with more time on their hands. Weekend parties and late evening gatherings often mean more alcohol-related acts of mischief and vandalism.
- Theft claims: Visitors from out of town fill the coastal communities for the beaches and fresh gulf breezes. Many make the mistake of leaving their rental units and cars unlocked, or just leave items unprotected in plain sight, leading to theft of specific types of valuables.
- Boat damage claims: There is a direct relationship between rising temperatures and the number of boats crowding our inland waters and coastlines. Not everyone with a boat knows how to operate one correctly and many passengers don’t understand the dangers and resulting accidents and injuries that can happen suddenly without warning.
- Car accidents due to tire blow outs and mechanical failure: According to a 2014-15 traffic survey conducted by the Urban Institute, American drivers drive an estimated 30 miles per day during the warm days of spring and summer. Because tires and brakes begin to fail slowly over time, many drivers don’t give enough thought to preventive maintenance.
- Motorcycle accident claims: Even bikers along the Gulf Coast ride less over the winter months. As April weather begins to heat up, more bikers of all experience levels pull their cycles out of storage and onto crowded streets.
- Falling asleep at the wheel: Even with fully air conditioned cars, the steamy heat of summer makes us drowsy. After a long day at the beach or on the golf course, many drivers aren’t aware of just how tired they have become.
Insurance companies are quick to doubt and deny claims
Insurance companies are well-aware of the types and causes of accidents related to rising temperatures. They investigate thoroughly and are often quick to “blame the victim” for not taking proper precautions to avoid injury, property damage or loss. To ensure you have a valid claim for payment, make sure you are up to date on premium payments and know what is provided for in your policy coverage. Many people don’t bother to read the fine print but it is a good idea to spend some time with it. There may be some language that provides the insurance provider some relief under certain conditions related to weather or other factors.
If you file a claim and are denied or delayed due to reasons that don’t appear valid, it makes sense to discuss the matter with an experienced insurance litigation attorney in your area.