240 N. Washington Blvd., Suite 530, Sarasota, Fl. 34236 941-491-3444
223 Lithia Pinecrest Rd, Brandon, FL 33511 813-654-3444
Carman, Bevington & Finegan Blog

Weather-Related Vehicle Damage and Insurance Claims

Every year, insurance companies earn over $1 trillion. TV commercials imply that these well-funded companies quickly issue checks to compensate vehicle owners when their vehicles sustain weather-related damage. The reality is different. Quite simply, insurance companies earn money by collecting premiums and lose money when they pay claims. As a result, most adjusters look for ways to deny claims, either entirely or in part.

Denials and delays could violate Florida’s bad faith insurance laws, which are outlined below. If that happens, a Brandon personal injury lawyer can obtain compensation in court, as well as treble damages in some cases. Policyholders faithfully pay premiums month after month to protect their motor vehicles and other property. The insurance company has a legal obligation to step up to the plate in times of need.

Kinds of Auto Insurance

All three major kinds of car insurance in Florida (collision, liability, and personal injury protection) could involve weather-related damage claims.

Comprehensive collision policies cover most new cars. Lenders usually require such policies if they have a security interest in the vehicle (i.e. the owner has not paid off the car). These policies usually cover storm-related vehicle damage, such as wind-related damage.

Collision insurance policies might also cover ordinary weather-related that is not storm-related, such as:

When vehicle owners file such claims, insurance companies almost always deny them or increase the policyholder’s rate, citing the policyholder’s negligence.

Usually, a Brandon personal injury lawyer can challenge this finding if the policyholder’s neglect did not substantially cause the damage.

Liability insurance covers damage to another vehicle in the event of a collision. Weather frequently contributes to vehicle collisions.

The substantial cause rule usually applies in these situations as well. If the weather, as opposed to a driver’s negligence, substantially caused the wreck, insurance usually does not apply. These wrecks usually include extreme and unpredictable weather events.

PIP insurance covers losses in collisions that do not involve serious injury. Once again, bad weather often affects these claims.

Bad Faith Insurance Practices

No insurance company, however rich it might be, is above the law. Lawmakers in the Sunshine State closely regulate insurance company practices, mostly because so many violent storms hit or pass through Florida. Common storm-related bad faith issues include a failure to:

Furthermore, the insurance company must make good on the entire insured value of the property, not its current fair market value, after it depreciates.

Reach Out to a Diligent Hillsborough County Car Accident Lawyer

Bad weather and auto insurance often affect each other. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brandon, contact Carman, Bevington & Finegan, P.A. Virtual and after-hours visits are available.