A denied Auto Club property claim will no doubt cause you consternation and stress, but it is not the end of the road. A property insurance attorney may be able to assist you in appealing the denial and securing the financial compensation you deserve.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine to learn more about the options available. Start with a complimentary case evaluation: 1-800-747-3733.
Why You May Have Received a Denied Auto Club Property Claim
When you initially applied for property insurance, you probably felt as though you were doing the right thing. You likely did not consider the fact that when you finally need to use your insurance for a claim, it might be denied.
How can that be? Well, there may be provisions in the fine print of your agreement that you never noticed, such as:
- No Coverage For Late or Missed Payments: If you have a habit of sending in your payments a few days late or missed a few payments here and there, your insurance company has a right to deny your claim.
- False Information on Your Application: When you originally apply for insurance, it is essential that you accurately and truthfully describe the property you are covering. In addition, your insurance must be updated as needed, so new purchases will be covered. For example, if you recently bought an expensive grand piano, but it was never specified in your application, coverage may be denied if it is damaged.
- Cause of Damage Excluded: Every insurance policy has a list of covered “perils”—in other words, the specific cause of your damage or loss. Common perils include fire, vandalism, water damage from burst pipes, and so on. However, you may need separate insurance for certain perils.
- Your Deductible Exceeds Your Claim: You are probably well aware of the concept of a “deductible” from your experience with health insurance. Your property insurance is no different. Most policies will include a deductible of $1,000 or so, which means with any claim, you will have to pay for the first $1,000 no matter what. As a result, if your claim for damages is under that amount, it will be denied.
The fact is, insurance companies will go to great efforts to protect their bottom line, and limit the amounts they pay out as much as possible. Higher payouts will ultimately result in higher premiums. However, a property claim attorney will work on your behalf to get the payout you deserve if your insurance company denied your claim.
What to Do if Your Claim Is Denied
There is one thing you absolutely should not do if you have a denied Auto Club property claim, and that is panic. Having your claim denied is upsetting to be sure, but you do have options, and there are things you can do to start the appeal process. If you are hesitant to take action because you are worried that your car insurance does not cover storm damage for example—do not fret. A lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can review your policy with you to explain the possible damages you may be able to recover.
If you think your insurance company is behaving unscrupulously, or forcing you to endure needless delays in processing, you can file a complaint with the Florida Division of Consumer Services, who will ensure you are protected under the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights in terms of dealing with your insurance company. You can file a complaint online, by mail, or by phone.
You will need to collect the necessary supporting evidence for your claim, and it will be helpful if you are able to gather more information than you had the first time around.
Get a Copy of Your Insurance Policy
Collect all correspondence from your insurance company, along with a full copy of your insurance policy, especially the “fine print.” Whether you are filing a complaint, or talking with a property attorney, you will need to review all the details of your current policy.
Gather All Estimates
Put together a file of all the estimates you have received so far for repairs. You may even want to get new estimates.
Gather as much photographic or video evidence as possible. Pictures or videos you took in the aftermath of the incident are especially important. But it is also important to prove ownership and the condition of the property before the incident occurred. Images in your photo stream from months or years ago may include views of your property in the background and can be very useful in your appeal.
Put together all the receipts you have to date for expenses related to your property damage. This could include things like materials to temporarily secure your damaged property (tarps, plywood, or padlocks), temporary lodging, or meals if you could not stay in your house. In addition, if you are a business owner and your business was interrupted, you may want to collect purchase orders or a list of lost inventory.
Once you have collected all the necessary information, you may want to consider hiring a property attorney to assist in your appeal.
Choosing a Property Attorney
You will no doubt have many questions when you are considering hiring a property attorney to deal with a denied Auto Club property claim. Some of the key questions you will want to ask the law firm are:
- Do they have experience working with your particular insurance company?
- Are they willing to prepare all the paperwork, and handle calls directly with the insurance company?
- What is their standard procedure for filing a claim and keeping you informed of the progress?
- Do they have experience filing civil lawsuits and in courtroom litigation?
You will definitely want to understand their fee structure, but there is one thing that you should bear in mind. According to Florida law, your insurance company is required to pay your legal fees if you file a suit in court and win.
Start Your Appeal Process Today
If you have received a denied Auto Club property claim, you can start working on your appeal today. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, to begin with a free consultation.
During your initial case review, we will address your questions and concerns, and review the various courses of action you can take.
Call 1-800-747-3733 to reach the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine and learn how you may be able to secure the compensation to which you are entitled, even after you have received a denied Auto Club property claim.