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.
If you sustain property damage in West Central Florida as a result of windstorm damage along with other causes (such as flooding and fire), and your insurance policy does not cover damage related to all of those causes, will your insurance policy have to provide coverage to repair your home? For instance, let us imagine that a strong thunderstorm strikes in West Central Florida. The storm has very strong winds, but it also produces heavy rains and lightning. A bolt of lightning strikes near your home, and during the storm, your house sustains serious damage as a result of fire from the lightning, flooding from the heavy rains, and wind damage from the strong winds. It is difficult (if not all but impossible) to determine which of these elements caused which particular damage to the structure.
Based on a 2014 study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), the Insurance Information Institute estimates that 1 in 8 drivers are uninsured in the United States. In Florida alone, the IRC estimates that Florida has some 3.2 million uninsured drivers, which places us as one of the top five states across the nation.
Since its establishment in 1972, most drivers in Florida have been able to turn to their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to collect up to $10,000 (on a typical policy) to cover medical costs and lost wages caused by a crash. That was until 2012 when the law was reformed by House Bill 119 (HB 119) in an attempt to cut down on fraud.
Even though Hurricane Matthew has been downgrade to a category 3 hurricane, the storm is still expected to cause considerable damage all along Florida's east coast. With winds expected to reach 120 mph and a storm surge that has already caused flooding in northeast Florida, says one Weather Channel article, it's already starting to look bad for home and business owners in our state.
If you were injured in a car accident, you may have more immediate concerns, such as medical bills and lost wages. Some of those costs may be covered by your own insurance, but justice also requires the negligent driver to be held accountable.
As a resident of Florida, you are not required to purchase a home insurance policy. Your mortgage holder, however, will require insurance on the property, and if you fail to obtain proper coverage and add it as an additional insured, it will likely "force place" coverage for its own protection. Forced place coverage usually provides coverage up to the value of the lien, which leaves you uninsured for any damage to your property and belongings in the home. While some people with no mortgage look at this as a way to save money, most realize it is a risk they should not take.
On this blog, we often discuss the fact that victims of car accidents in Florida often have various options when it comes to getting money for damages stemming from the crash. This compensation can be available through insurance companies, other drivers and automotive manufacturers who have engaged in negligence, fraud or recklessness.
Florida has more flood policies than any other state in the country. However, it appears that coverage in the aptly named Sunshine State is dwindling -- more than 13 percent this fall when compared to six years ago. That equates to almost 300,000 policies. The loss in flood insurance policies during the same time across the country is around 8 percent or over 400,000 policies.
House fires can happen for a number of reasons, from lightning during a storm to grease fires on an unattended stovetop. In a matter of minutes, these fires can spread and completely destroy a home and everything inside it.