After you have been through a disaster such as a fire or a flood, the next worst thing is getting a denial of your Universal Property and Casualty property claim. But this is not the end of the road for your claim.
You may want to consider hiring a property claims attorney, who can assist with the process of disputing your claim and negotiate on your behalf for a better settlement. Start by calling the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine: 1-800-747-3733.
Our team will conduct a complimentary review of your specific case and advise you about your next steps.
Common Reasons for Claim Denials
It is in the insurance company’s best interest to minimize the amount they pay in claims. After all, they are in business too, and high payouts ultimately affect their bottom line and result in premium increases. They will do what they can to find a reason to deny a claim. There are several things policyholders do that can result in a denied Universal Property and Casualty Property claim.
Not paying premiums: If you failed to make your payments, your insurance company has the right to deny your claim.
Providing false information: In the wake of your disaster, your insurance company will send an adjuster to investigate your claim. The insurer could deny your claim if the adjuster uncovers anything dubious or strange about the current claim.
Incomplete documentation: You are responsible for proving your claim to the insurance company. If you have vague or unclear claims, it will be difficult for the insurance company to accurately estimate your loss. They will not simply “take your word for it.”
Insufficient prevention: After you suffer a property loss, it is your responsibility to take precautions to prevent further loss. For example, you should secure your property, or take reasonable steps to reduce the extent of the damage or loss. If you fail to do so, the insurer will likely claim you made the damage worse and refuse to cover it.
Untimely filing: You must promptly notify your insurance agency of any loss. Each policy will have requirements for how soon after a disaster you must file and document a claim.
Exclusions: Perhaps the most important fine print in your insurance policy is the part that describes what it does not cover.
However, just because the insurer denied your claim does not mean you cannot successfully appeal it.
Your Rights as a Homeowner
In Florida, you have certain rights according to the law that protects your claim from unscrupulous insurance companies. The Homeowner’s Bill of Rights stipulates the specific time limits insurance companies have to process your claim.
If you believe they are not upholding your rights, you can file a complaint with the Florida Division of Consumer Services, part of the Department of Financial Services, either online, by mail, or phone.
The insurance company must respond to the complaint within 20 days.
What to Do After You Receive a Claim Denial
If you feel your insurance company should be paying you more than they have said they would, or you believe your claim has been wrongfully denied, there are steps you can take. You do not have to give up and simply take it or leave it.
Sometimes it is just a matter of providing more information, such as more documentation of your damage or loss. You might need to provide more photos or videos of the damage — before and after if possible. You might have old photos or videos that include views of your home and property in their original condition. It may be necessary to obtain additional estimates of repairs from other contractors or vendors. Additional professional opinions on your damages or loss may help provide leverage for a higher settlement amount.
If you are unable to reach an agreement on a revised claim with your insurance company, you may want to hire a property attorney to file a lawsuit on your behalf. Bear in mind, according to Florida law, the insurance company is required to pay your legal fees if you file a suit and win.
In addition to handling the headaches of appealing your claim, a property attorney can:
- Fill out the necessary forms, comply with time requirements and compile evidence of your loss.
- Carefully review your current insurance policy and help you understand the fine print and technical jargon.
- Make calls to your insurance company and its adjusters and negotiate on your behalf.
- File a civil suit on your behalf and represent you in court, if a new settlement cannot be negotiated with your insurance company.
After you have received a denied Universal Property and Casualty property claim, there are probably many things going through your mind — not the least of which is how to get the full payment you deserve. We can help.
How to Begin an Insurance Claim Appeal
If you have exhausted all your other avenues in attempting to increase your insurance payout from Universal Property and Casualty, your next step should be calling the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine.
We have the resources to assist in reversing a denied insurance property claim including negotiating on your behalf with Universal Property and Casualty, or representing you in civil court.
If you were denied Universal Property and Casualty Property claim, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 for a complimentary case review. As part of the review, we will discuss any concerns you have, and go over the details of your case to date.
If you have suffered property damage or loss that your insurance will not cover, let the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine fight for you.
We Can Help.