When a storm or hurricane hits, property owners look to their homeowner’s insurance to help them repair or replace what has been lost. Sadly, insurance companies sometimes deny claims or diminish the value of their claim, leaving policyholders to wonder how they will ever make the repairs to their lost property. If this has happened to you, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1 (800) 747-3733 for a free case consultation with a storm loss property claim lawyer in Florida.
Ways You Can Help Your Storm Loss Property Claim in Florida
Insurance companies have requirements they must follow when resolving a claim, and claimants have a limited time to act. There are things that you can do to help your claim move through the insurance system. They include:
- Reviewing your insurance policy. Get an understanding of what is covered in the event of a storm and what is excluded from coverage in the event of a storm. The more familiar you are with what is written in the policy, the easier it will be for you to understand the process. Storm surge and flood damage are covered by Federal Flood Insurance, which is a separate policy from your homeowner’s insurance.
- Filling out the list of property losses for submission to the insurance company. This is called a proof of loss form. When your insurance company receives the form, they must begin their claim investigation within ten days. The more detailed you can make your list, the better.
- The insurance company is not interested in making sure that you get what you need to fully repair what is broken or destroyed. When the insurance adjuster asks questions related to your claim, he or she will probably look for losses that are not covered in your policy. They will also go over your proof of loss documentation carefully to look for losses that are not covered in your policy.
- When the adjuster is asking you questions and going over your proof of loss documentation, they will be looking for any cause of loss that is excluded under your policy. This is especially true after a large hurricane. The way you describe a loss or how it occurred could be used against you when your insurance company resolves your claim.
- Documentation is also important for property loss claims. Photographs are a must-have when you are compiling your claim and proof of loss list. Take photographs that are time stamped or time stamp each one individually.
- Having records of past repairs or home inspections can also be useful. If an insurance company claims that some of the loss was pre-existing but you have evidence that it was not there until after the storm, your chances of getting a fair settlement of your claim will be better.
- If your home and possessions were destroyed and you are claiming a total loss, the insurance company may take a long time to investigate your claim. They may challenge the claim by disputing how much your possessions are worth to minimize the amount of money they need to payout.
- Keeping all your documentation related to your home and property is a good idea. The insurance adjuster may claim that some of the loss to your property was pre-existing to minimize your claim.
- Being detailed in your descriptions of your property losses. Keep receipts, invoices, contracts, warranties, and any other documentation for any repairs or additions that have been done to your home.
Turning Your Claim into a Lawsuit
If your property was damaged in a storm in Florida and your insurance company is not as responsive as you would like, you may want to consider hiring an attorney to help you get your home repaired and your property back to, or as close as possible to, its original state. The legal team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1 (800) 747-3733 knows what to do to help.
In Florida, there is a deadline to file a lawsuit for the repair or replacement of your damaged real or personal property. The insurance company also has deadlines that they must adhere to. This rule applies to every communication you have with your insurance company. If there have been no actions taken on your policy by the insurance company, you may need help working with them.
Speaking with an Attorney First Can Help
It may be in your best interest to speak to a property claim lawyer before making any statements, verbally or recorded, to your insurance company. A lawyer can advise you on the language you should use when speaking with your adjuster to avoid any confusion or possible denial of a claim.
Dealing with an insurance company can be challenging. The process of filing a claim and waiting to be paid can be frustrating and time-consuming. Insurance companies have a team of professionals on their side to protect their interests. Do not waste too much time trying to get them to pay out the money you need to rebuild your life.
If you have lost property in a storm or hurricane, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1 (800) 747-3733. One of our storm loss of property claims lawyers in Florida will know how to help.