After you receive a denied USAA property claim, you may feel as though you have hit a brick wall. But it is not the end of the road for you, and you do not need to fight alone. A Florida denied USAA property claim lawyer could help.
The property attorneys at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine have extensive experience in appealing denied insurance claims. Call 1-800-747-3733 to get a complimentary case evaluation from our team and learn more about your options for appealing.
What You Will Need After a Denied USAA Property Claim
When an insurance company denies a property claim, it may be because the information you submitted initially was insufficient to prove the extent of your loss. In some instances, simply providing more information may help strengthen your case and could possibly change the insurance company’s decision.
Make sure you can thoroughly document your loss with:
- Photographic evidence. If you have a smartphone, you may have taken photos or videos at the exact moment the damage or loss occurred. It will also be helpful if you have photos of your property before the damage occurred. These images will be important to show proof of ownership, and they will also help adjusters more accurately estimate your claim.
- Expense receipts. After your damage or loss, you may have had a number of emergency expenses, and you will want to have receipts for those purchases. For example, you may have needed tarps, plywood, or temporary fencing. If your kitchen was destroyed, you will have lost all your food and any way to prepare it. You may be able to claim the cost of eating in restaurants, among other related costs. You may need to seek short-term lodging if you cannot stay in your home. Long story short: be sure to retain all receipts.
- Inventory lists. Either on paper or electronically, you will need to have a comprehensive inventory of your damaged or lost items. In fact, it is a good idea to have an updated list of your property in any event. For larger, more valuable items, you should write down their descriptions, where you purchase these items, and their serial numbers. If you are a business owner, you will want to include records of your inventory and purchase orders.
Finally, it may seem obvious, but make sure you have a full copy of your existing insurance policy. It is the first thing you will need to produce if you are appealing a denied USAA property claim in Florida.
Florida’s Division of Consumer Services accepts complaints from homeowners regarding insurance claims online, by phone, or by mail. It will investigate your complaint and communicate with your insurance company, but it will not negotiate for a settlement or assist you in filing a lawsuit. A lawyer from our team can help with that.
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Reasons for a Denied USAA Property Claim
Getting a denied USAA property claim can feel like a punch to the gut, particularly after you have been through a disaster or another traumatic event. Unfortunately, it is not as uncommon as you might think. Like all insurance companies, USAA will endeavor to pay out as little as possible to protect its profit margins and maintain low consumer premiums (relatively, anyway).
You may have received a denied USAA property claim in Florida because:
Your Deductible Is Greater Than Your Claim
Check your policy. You will have a deductible which represents the amount you must cover out of pocket before the insurance benefits kick in. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly payments will be.
But with a higher deductible, you may not be eligible for any compensation, depending on the amount of your claim. For example, if your damages add up to $1,100, but your deductible is $1,500, your claim will be denied.
Your Losses Are Excluded
In the fine print, you will find the true details of your coverage. “Exclusions” are a common part of most insurance policies. This includes special or valuable items not covered in your standard policy. If you do not have them specified in a “rider,” they will not be covered. For example, expensive bicycles, art, or collectibles might not be covered.
The Specific “Peril” Is Not Covered
Each insurance policy describes the particular event or “peril” it covers. Hurricanes, tornadoes, the weight of snow on a roof, or a burglary are all examples of perils. If a tree falls on your house and damages your roof, it may be included in your policy. However, a tree falling on your lawn is probably not. Similarly, if your washing machine leaks and damages your floors, it may be covered, but water damage from a flood most likely will not be (unless you have flood insurance in addition to homeowners insurance).
Having property insurance does not mean you have a right to receive compensation. You do have certain rights as a homeowner in Florida regarding how quickly your insurance company responds to you, however. They cannot leave you in the dark if your claim is denied.
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What to Expect from a Property Insurance Attorney
If you have received a denied USAA property claim in Florida, you may be wondering what a property claim attorney will be able to do for you.
Our team will help reduce your stress and anxiety about the whole process. Appealing a claim with an insurance company is time-consuming and can feel overwhelming if you have to do it yourself, particularly if you have a full-time job already—not to mention parenting duties.
A property attorney from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine will be able to:
- Speak directly with your insurance company
- Complete the required paperwork
- Help collect the receipts and other information needed to prove your case
- Negotiate a settlement for you
- Represent you during litigation
Should a settlement be impossible and your case against the insurance company is decided in your favor in court, your insurance company will be responsible for your legal expenses, according to Florida law.
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Pitfalls to Avoid on Your Property Damage Claim
You do not want to inadvertently give the insurer any excuse to pay you less money than you deserve. Every case is different, and you should always do what makes sense in your situation. Here are a few suggestions you might want to consider:
- Notify your insurance company as soon as possible when you have property damage. If you wait too long to notify your insurance company, it may deny your claim. It is best to contact your insurer on the same day as the event.
- Keep copies of everything you send to the insurer. You do not want to send the insurance company the only copy of a certain document. If it loses a piece of information, this could make it hard to get a fair resolution.
- Talk to a property claim attorney right away. Time can be of the essence with insurance claims.
- Stay off of social media. We know how tempting it can be to post photos and comments on social media to let your family and friends know what has happened, but everything you place online could get used against you. Taken out of context, it is easy for pictures and statements to present an inaccurate portrayal of reality.
- Keep all of your documentation until your claim is over. You might want to appeal some aspect of the claim. Without your evidence, an appeal could be challenging.
These are but a few of the situations you might want to avoid while you have a pending property claim.
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We’ve Helped Florida Claimants Since 2006
Our law firm is personally involved in the community. We are proud to support these charities:
- The Broward Sheriff’s Foundation
- Family Fun Day
- The Children’s Science Museum
- Dolphins Cancer Challenge (founded by the Miami Dolphins)
- Jewish Federation
- Kids in Distress
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
We work hard to help our community and make it a better place for our clients and everyone to live.
What Our Clients Say About Us
Most people today check out online reviews to find out about a business or professional before deciding to hire them. Here is what our clients say about us:
- “My wife and I lost our home to a catastrophic fire just before Christmas last year and we were helpless. The insurance carrier refused to take our claim seriously until this outstanding law firm got involved.” – Jeffrey G.
- “I was very pleased with the service I received from the law firm of Anidjar and Levine. I was glad I picked this law firm to represent me.” –Viviana J.
- “What unbelievable professionalism. If you have to hire an attorney to represent you during a difficult time, there is no other choice than Anidjar and Levine. Everyone I dealt with was great.” – Charles L.
You can read many more glowing reviews from our clients on our website.
What You Can Count On When You Become Our Client
Going the extra mile is how we treat our clients every day. Our clients know that they can relax, knowing that we are taking care of their legal matters. We will answer your questions, provide frequent case updates, and respond to your telephone calls and emails. When you become one of our clients, you will receive your attorney’s personal cellphone number.
Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine
If you are dealing with a denied USAA property claim, you do not have to face it alone. Our property claim team is ready to help you.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine to learn about the options you have, and how you may be able to get compensation for your losses due to a hurricane or another peril. Call 1-800-747-3733 for a free case review today.
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