Property Damage 101

As a property damage lawyer in Tampa, our team understands how confusing and frustrating it can be when damages occur to your property. 

That’s why we want to educate you on the basics so you can confidently file a property damage claim to get the compensation you deserve. 

In this blog post, we discuss the following:

  • What is property damage?
  • Common types of property damage claims
  • Property damage laws in Florida

What is property damage?

Simply put, property damage is when a person’s property is either damaged or destroyed.

There are two overarching types of property damage: real and personal. 

An easy way to understand the difference between real property and personal property is real property refers to things that cannot be moved, while personal property encompasses anything you can physically move.  

Real property involves land and anything that’s permanently attached to the land. Personal property is anything you can take with you including clothing, electronic devices, jewelry, and vehicles. 

Real and personal property is subject to property damage caused by either the weather or the acts of another person. 

Common types of property damage claims 

Property damage claims commonly fall into five categories:

  • Wind and hail damage
  • Water damage
  • Fire Damage
  • Burglary
  • Vandalism

Let’s learn more about these five different types of property damage. 

Wind and hail damage

High-speed winds and pelting hail can cause significant damage, especially in hurricane-prone areas like Florida. 

While most homeowners insurance policies protect the homeowner against wind damage caused by a storm, there’s a gray area in determining if the wind actually caused the damage. 

This is where our team of property damage lawyers in Tampa can help you get the compensation you deserve. 

Water Damage

Water damage is a common form of property damage in the state of Florida. Water damage can lead to other adverse results such as structural damage and mold growth. 

Causes of water damage include:

  • Blocked drains
  • Heavy rain
  • Burst/leaking pipes
  • Sprinkler system malfunctions

Fire Damage

Fire damage is the damage caused by burning. These damages can be caused by the actual fire or smoke.  


According to the FBI, each year around 2.5 million burglaries happen in the United States.

A burglary occurs when a person illegally enters another person’s property with the intent of breaking the law and stealing property. This includes trespassing and breaking and entering. 


These are intentional acts to damage and/or destroy someone else’s property. Examples of vandalism include but aren’t limited to:

  • Breaking windows
  • Graffiti
  • Slashing a vehicle’s tires

Property damage laws in Florida

Florida Statute 806.13 states that a person can be charged with criminal mischief if they maliciously or willfully destroy another person’s personal property. 

There are varying degrees of punishment.

The person is charged based on the value of the damage caused to the property. For example:

  • Damage is $200 or less (Misdemeanor of the second degree)
  • Damage is greater than $200 but less than $1,000 (Misdemeanor of the first degree)
  • Damage is $1,000 or greater or there is interruption or impairment of business operation or public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas or power, or other public services which costs $1,000 or more in labor and supplies to restore (Felony of the third degree)

Are you ready to file a property damage claim? Contact us today and book your free case evaluation.