Property owners can receive damages to their property that could require repairs or replacement. Usually, this means filing a home insurance claim to recover compensation. Property can receive damage through weather events like heavy rain, hail, and hurricanes, as well as incidents involving negligent behavior such as car accidents, criminal behavior, or poor plumbing. Whether a person was responsible or the weather caused the property damage, every property owner has the right to pursue compensation for property damages.
A property owner can pursue compensation for property damage by filing an insurance claim with their own insurance company or a liable party’s insurance company. These claims require settlement negotiations with insurance companies trying to limit your potential settlement, which a property damage lawyer can use their experience in handling negotiations to help with. The property damage lawyers at The Russo Firm have experience helping those who incurred property damage pursue fair compensation to pay for the repairs and replacement costs.
What is Property Damage?
Property damage is harm to personal property caused by negligence, willful destruction, or natural forces. This damage usually happens because of bad weather causing damage to homes, vehicles, or other pieces of property.
Most pieces of property will have insurance that the property owner can purchase to pay for property damage. If the property receives damage, the insurance policy may pay for the repairs or replacement up to a certain insurance limit. Property damages that exceed the insurance coverage limit can leave property owners without compensation to pay for the damages. In that case, they can file an insurance claim with their own insurance company and the at-fault party’s insurance company to pay for property damages.
Negligent Behavior Can Lead to You Incurring Property Damages
Negligence can also cause property damage. It is not as common, but it does still happen. The most common type of negligence that can cause property damage is car accidents. A negligent driver who drives distracted, drunk, or drowsy might crash their vehicle into your property, such as a home, restaurant, or other owned property.
Criminal behavior that intentionally causes property damage can leave a person liable to pay for the damages they cause. Some examples of property crimes that can cause damages include theft, vandalism, home invasion, and intentional destruction of property. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a property crime occurred about once every five seconds in 2019.
Property Damages Caused by Natural Forces
Property damage can happen outside of human control by natural forces. In most cases, these natural forces have to do with weather events that can harm personal property, such as hurricanes, heavy storms, and tornadoes. Weather occurrences with heavy winds can cause damage to homes and also pick up objects that can smash into personal property.
Natural forces can cause property damage that can affect a building’s exterior, plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, roof structures, walls, etc. You can pursue compensation for property damage caused by natural forces by filing an insurance claim with the insurer of your damaged personal property.
The following are some of the natural forces that can cause property damage:
- Lightning strikes
- High winds
According to the Insurance Information Institute, wind and hail damage is the most common homeowners claim.
How Can You Recover Compensation for Property Damages?
Recovering compensation for property damages involves filing an insurance claim. Who the insurance claim is filed with depends on how the property damage occurred, whether by a person through negligence or outside of human control by natural forces. If a person caused the property damage through negligent or intentionally harmful behavior, you could file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company to pursue compensation for property damages.
However, property damages caused by natural forces could require you to file a claim with your own insurance company. Most personal property, like houses and vehicles, require insurance that can cover damages. Each insurance policy will have a limit to what you can receive compensation for. If your property damages exceed the limits of your insurance, you can file an insurance claim with your insurer to attempt to recover compensation.
Is Property Damage Covered by My Home Insurance?
Understanding what caused the damages to your home or property and whether that damage is covered by your home insurance policy is key to determining whether you should file a property insurance claim.
Your insurance policy will outline what is covered and to what extent, so you should read your policy carefully.
Once you understand how the damages were caused and if that cause is covered in your policy, you can explore filing a claim. This is usually where things get a little questionable because it is not always clear what is covered.
Usually (and this is not true for everyone), wind, hail, theft, fire, vandalism, and burst pipes are covered. Typically, flood, normal wear and tear, and earth movement are not covered by a standard homeowners policy.
It is also possible that hurricane damage will not be covered unless you specifically buy a separate hurricane policy. This depends on the insurance company.
How Can a Lawyer Help You Recover Compensation for Property Damages?
Negotiating a settlement with an insurance company can be difficult. They need to keep their profits high, so they will usually do everything they can to deny, delay, or devalue your claim.
An experienced property damage lawyer will have negotiated settlements with insurance companies before and can use that experience to help with the process. They can also assist in reviewing your insurance policy to see the extent of your coverage, assessing the full cost of your property damage, conducting an investigation into the cause of the property damage, and gathering documents and evidence to prove you require compensation for property damage.
Contact The Russo Firm for Help With Recovering Compensation for Property Damages
At The Russo Firm, our property damage lawyers have experience helping victims of property damage calculate the repair and replacement costs and pursue compensation from insurance companies. We understand how difficult it can be to live with property damage, especially severe property damage that forces a person out of their home.
Our property damage lawyers will listen to your story and shape a personalized legal counsel plan around the specifics of your case. The best chance you have for recovering fair compensation for the full cost of your property damages is by hiring a property damage lawyer like the ones at The Russo Firm.