Articles Posted in Hurricane Season

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Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc across much of South Florida last month, leaving many residents with the monumental task of rebuilding their lives in the wake of the storm. Some Floridians were lucky and were able to avoid the storm for the most part, making their transition to post-hurricane life smooth. However, for others, fallen trees, damaged roofs and windows, and extreme water damage caused significant property damage, requiring tens of thousands of dollars to rebuild, if not more.

StormFor most affected homeowners, their South Florida property insurance policy should cover much of the damage they sustained in the storm. Indeed, according to a recent news report, there have been approximately 562,000 insurance claims filed related to Hurricane Irma damage. Added up, these claims represent about a $3.6 billion loss, and that figure is expected to increase with time. Most of the claims came from Miami-Dade, Orange, Broward, and Lee Counties.

Given the number of claims filed in South Florida last month, one may expect that a homeowner will face significant delays when waiting for their claim to be approved. In addition, if the insurance company does not agree with the homeowner’s claim amount, it may offer a reduced figure in hopes of a quick settlement. A desperate homeowner in need of financial assistance to rebuild their life may be tempted by such an offer; however, an insurance company’s initial offer is rarely non-negotiable.

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Now that Hurricane Irma has come and gone, it’s time for Florida to start the rebuilding process. While the wrath of Irma may not have been what many news outlets claimed it would be, the storm was still severe, displacing hundreds of thousands and leaving millions of Floridians without power.

Storm at SeaFlorida nursing homes were also affected by the storm, as well as the subsequent power outages. In fact, according to a recent news report, one nursing home is currently facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the surviving loved one of a resident who died in the aftermath of the storm.

According to the report, the plaintiff in the case is the daughter of a 94-year-old woman who was a resident in a South Florida nursing home where eight residents died after the nursing home was left without power while Irma passed. The plaintiff claims that the nursing home’s failure to prepare for the power outage showed “negligence and reckless indifference” toward the residents it was charged to protect.

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Hurrican-Photo-225x300As Hurricane Irma approaches we encourage our friends and clients to prepare for the storm and wish for everyone’s safety.

Following are some important numbers to keep with you during and after the storm:

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS:

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Hurricane-Horizontal-300x225Hurricane Irma continues to threaten Florida in the upcoming days. As many of us run around trying to get our home and families ready for the storm, it’s equally important to have your hurricane insurance matters in order.

This is the time to review your policy and prepare in case you need to file a claim. Following are some important reminders:

•Take still pictures or videos of your house and personal belongings to insure there is no doubt as to what you owned before the storm.

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Erick Santana & Michael CecereThis year’s Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be the most active since 2012. In light of this, attorneys at Cecere Santana, which focuses on cases relating to property damage and personal injury, stress people be prepared to protect not only themselves, but their assets.

“People need to prepare now,” said Erick Santana, a founding partner at Cecere Santana. “First and foremost, have a plan to protect you and your family. Don’t wait until it is too late to secure water, food and safety supplies. Once a storm begins, stay inside and ride it out.”

In regards to insurance and protecting assets in the event property is damaged or destroyed by a storm, attorney Michael Cecere lists the following three tips:

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First and foremost, have a plan to protect you and your family. Don’t wait until it is too late to secure water, food and safety supplies. Do it now. Second, your home and personal property are important and cherished assets. If you have done all you can to protect your property before a hurricane, you have little control over the damage that is done by the storm. Therefore, once the storm begins, stay inside and ride it out.

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Following is a list of things you should do to protect your assets in the event your property is damaged or destroyed by the storm:

1. Be prepared to document a claim before it occurs.

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