If you suffered a severe property loss due to weather, a fire, or another accident in your home, you may feel overwhelmed and not know where to start to receive compensation from your insurance company.
The property claim lawyers in Fort Pierce, FL, at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can provide you with responsive legal care with your next steps. Our Fort Pierce property claim lawyers can help you calculate your damages, file your claim, and negotiate a fair settlement for your losses.
Common Causes of Property Claim Damage in Florida
Florida is no stranger to severe weather events that can cause property damage. The state experiences lightning storms, hurricanes, flash floods, high winds, sinkholes, and wildfires. The potential for weather damage may be why Florida has the third-highest homeowners’ and renters’ insurance premiums nationwide, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).
The III reports that some of the most common property claims include:
- Wind and hail damage
- Water damage
- Medical payments for bodily injury
If you have damage caused by severe weather, theft, or an accident, your insurance may cover your losses. Our attorneys can help you understand your policy and seek the compensation owed to you.
Filing a Property Claim
You must first notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident or weather event that causes property losses. After notifying your insurance company, you should attempt to prevent further losses by using reasonable means to protect the property. For example, if you have a hole in your roof due to storm and wind damage, it would be reasonable to cover it with a tarp.
Once you notify your insurance company and have taken steps to prevent further losses, you then need to file a claim under your homeowners’ insurance policy, according to the Florida Department of Financial Services. However, be aware that your homeowners’ insurance may not include hurricane and flood insurance. You may need to purchase this coverage as a separate policy, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
These first steps can seem overwhelming as you face property losses, financial burdens, and perhaps even displacement from your home. Consider working with a Fort Pierce property claim attorney at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine. We can help you through this challenging time and help you with the insurance claims process.
Our Property Claims Lawyers Will Negotiate with Insurance Companies
Disputes with your insurance company typically begin to arise after you file a claim and an insurance adjuster has visited your property to assess the losses. Some of the most common disagreements between an insurance adjuster and a property owner include differing opinions regarding the value of the property, whether the home is considered a total loss, and if the insurance company covers your specific type of loss.
Losses our lawyer can attempt to recoup under your homeowners’ policy may include:
- The cost of home repairs or replacing your dwelling
- The cost of repairing or replacing other structures, such as sheds and garages
- Personal property contained in covered structures, such as furniture, clothing, and appliances
- Additional living expenses (ADLs) for alternative housing, food, property storage, and other expenses if you must relocate
- Personal liability coverage if another party is suing you for bodily injury or property damages occurring on your property
- Medical payment for those accidentally injured on your property
Negotiations can prove complex and legally challenging. Insurance adjusters have experience dealing with victims of accidents and weather events. They often will delay settlement offers or simply offer low settlements that will not cover the losses a homeowner has suffered. It can benefit you to have an attorney familiar with property claim negotiations on your side.
Your Rights as a Policy Holder
It is important to note that all insurance companies must abide by the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights as stated in Florida statute § 627.7142. Under the law, these rights include:
- Acknowledgment from the insurance company that they received your claim within 14 days of filing
- Receipt of the full settlement amount, the undisputed portion of your claim, or a denial of your claim within 90 days of filing
- Payment of interest (if applicable)
- Free mediation of disputed claims by the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services (applicable to most claims, with restrictions)
Furthermore, Florida Statutes § 624.155(1) allows policyholders to sue their insurance company for acting in bad faith. Bad faith practices include not attempting to settle in good faith, failing to act fairly and honestly with the insured, and delaying payments of a portion of a claim in order to influence other portions under consideration.
If you are in the process of negotiating with your insurance company and feel the conversations have stalled or turned adversarial, we can help. Our Fort Pierce property claim lawyers can negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf and attempt to get you the settlement you deserve.
How a Property Claim Lawyer in Fort Pierce, FL, Can Help
You likely have enough on your plate as you worry about making home repairs, replacing your personal items, or possibly looking for another place to live. The last thing you need to concern yourself with is paperwork, insurance deadlines, and haggling with adjusters.
Let our Fort Pierce property claim lawyers handle your case. Our team will:
- Help you assess your damages and draft your demand letter
- File your claim with the insurance company
- Handle all calls, emails, and meetings with insurance agents
- Fight for the most advantageous settlement available to you
- Defend you against claim denials
- Represent you in a civil lawsuit if necessary
We will make every effort to secure the compensation you need and deserve outside of court. However, if we cannot reach a fair agreement with the insurance company, we can move forward with a lawsuit. According to Florida Statutes § 95.11, you have four years to file a case to recover personal property damages. However, if a hurricane caused your losses, you have three years to pursue recovery under Florida Statutes § 627.70132.
Reach Out to the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine
Property claims can include losses from weather events such as hurricanes, lightning strikes, cyclones, and tropical storms, as well as pipe leaks and fires. Wherever you are in your claims process with your insurance company, our Fort Pierce property claim lawyers can help you understand your rights, determine your property losses, and negotiate with your insurance company.
Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today for a free consultation. We can help you get the compensation you deserve according to your specific insurance policy.
We Can Help.