What Coloradoans Need To Know If They Own Property In Florida After Hurricane Irma

September 11, 2017



Colorado has long since had a connection with Florida. Many people own homes or vacation homes in both Florida and Colorado. Weather catastrophes occur in both states.


Right now, most of our nation is tuned in to Hurricane Irma, her path and the damage being done as she moves over the state. It may be tough and confusing as to where you can turn to look for guidance and assistance if you own property in Florida. 


After any natural disaster, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) lists up-to-date resources and information. Their website is www.fema.gov. The Emergency Declaration extends from September 4 to October 1, 2017. Their website will list areas   that have approved for individual assistance money for Irma. 


The Disaster Assistance Improvement Program (DAIP) can provide information, services, support and a way to access and apply for disaster assistance. Their website is www.disasterassistance.gov.  You can enter your address to see if your area has been declared for individual assistance. Registering on this website is the quickest way to register for FEMA assistance. You can also call: 800 621-3362.


If your needs are more immediate, the Red Cross can help you find aid and shelters and help with your most urgent needs.


If you have damage to your property, home or car, call your insurance company. Review your insurance policy. If you don’t have a copy of your policy, ask for an electronic copy. If at all possible, take photos or video of the damage.


If your home or property was damaged, this does not stop your responsibility to pay your mortgage payment. Some lenders, however, may be willing to work with you. This also applies to your paying credit card debt and your other obligations. 


If your property is damaged to the point you can’t live in it, make sure to contact your utilities (electric and water). Ask them to suspend your service.


Typically, your insurance company will release a portion of your settlement money before the work begins so you can hire a contractor. When the work is halfway finished, typically the insurance company will release more money. The remainder will be released once the job is finished and your home passes inspection.


Hiring a contractor can be extremely difficult. Get bids from local, established contractors. Avoid the ‘door-to-door’ contractors, or ones that won’t provide identification and required licenses. You can check with the state licensing agency website to ensure the license is valid. Check too, for any complaints against the contractor. Never pay in cash, and never pay in advance. Never give your checking account information, credit or debit card information to help speed up repairs. Lastly, never sign anything before carefully reading and/or having your attorney review.


Your insurance policy is basically your contract with the insurance company. It may be filled with pages of fine print and gray areas. An experienced and qualified attorney can help you by reviewing and explaining your policy to you. It’s widely known and recognized that many insurance companies take months to pay a claim and may fight the homeowner on issues.  Your attorney can also help by dealing directly with your insurance company.  


If you live in Colorado and own property in Florida, and need assistance after Hurricane Irma, Gantenbein Law Firm may be able to help. Contact 303-618-2122 for more information.


Gantenbein Law Firm is a law firm located in Denver, Colorado. Their attorneys practice Real Estate Law, Business Law, Tax Law, Probate, Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning, Foreclosure Defense and HOA Defense. For more information regarding these areas of practice, or their lawyers, visit www.gantenbeinlaw.com.

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