Being denied a Geico property claim after you have already suffered property damage or loss may feel like you have been kicked when you are down. However, you do not simply have to take the denial as the final answer.
A property attorney may be able to reverse Geico’s decision and secure compensation for you. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 to find out how to proceed. Get a free case evaluation and start getting your life back on track today.
Why You May Have Received a Denied Geico Property Claim
All insurance companies attempt to minimize their payouts in order to protect their bottom line and keep premiums low. There are a number of common reasons they will use to deny a claim, including:
All insurance policies have “exclusions”—items that are not covered under a standard policy. If you try to claim reimbursement for an item that has been excluded, it will be denied. For example, many standard plans do not cover flooding or antiques by default. You might have needed to specify those items from the very beginning, which insurance companies call “scheduling an item” or “adding a rider.”
Per Item Coverage Exceeded
There is typically a “per item limit” on your property insurance which is calculated as a percentage of your total coverage. As a result, certain expensive items may not be fully covered. For example, if your total personal property coverage is $100,000, then the maximum allowed per item may be $10,000. If your grand piano worth $30,000 is destroyed, you would only be entitled to $10,000 for that loss (minus your deductible).
One of the ways many consumers keep their monthly premiums low is by increasing the amount of their deductible. However, this means they will be responsible for more out-of-pocket costs when a loss occurs. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible on your insurance plan but your claim is only for $900, you will not be eligible for any compensation because your deductible exceeds the cost of your claim.
Missed or Late Payment
Certain monthly expenses are easy to remember — cable, cellphone, car — but since insurance is not so tangible, it might be overlooked. Or, if you have a tight month, you might think you can skip it. However, an insurance company has the right to deny your claim if you have a history of missed or late payments. Your attorney can look into these details and determine whether a denial based on a missed or late payment is legitimate given your specific situation.
Specific Event Not Covered
In the insurance world, the specific event or instance that caused your damage is called a “peril.” Common perils include things like fire, smoke, tornadoes, theft, vandalism, and lightning strikes. However, water damage can be tricky. Your insurance may cover damage from a leaky pipe, water heater, or washing machine, but not floods. If heavy rains caused a river to overflow and flood your home, your claim may be denied unless you maintained separate flood insurance.
Even if you feel as though you have been doing everything right, you may still receive a denied Geico property claim. A property attorney may be able to reverse that denial and ensure your rights as a Florida homeowner are being respected.
How To Dispute a Denied Geico Property Claim
If your property claim has been denied by Geico, you or your lawyer can file a claim with Florida’s Division of Consumer Services. You can file online, by phone, or by mail. Bear in mind that while this agency will communicate with your insurance agency, it will not negotiate for higher settlements on your behalf. For that, you would need a property attorney.
When you are ready to dispute a denied Geico property claim, you will need to provide additional information to prove your case. The more evidence you can collect, the greater the chance of you successfully proving your case.
Examples of evidence that can help includes:
- Documentation of your loss: Make a full list of everything that was damaged or lost. Having serial numbers for all your electronics would be very useful, as would having credit card receipts from when the purchases were made.
- Photos and videos: You will certainly want to document the condition of your belongings after they have been damaged but being able to show how things were beforehand will be invaluable. Go through your photos and videos. You may be able to find pictures that include images of your undamaged items in the background. Smartphone technology makes it easy to keep a dated record.
- Receipts: If your home became uninhabitable after being damaged and you had to seek temporary lodging as a result, you will need to produce the receipts to claim the coverage. The cost of food may be covered as well, but only above what you would normally pay per week. In order to justify the amount of your claim, you will need to show receipts of your regular weekly expenses.
If you do decide to work with a property attorney to appeal your claim denial, you will also need to present a full copy of your insurance coverage — not simply the declaration page.
Hiring a Property Insurance Attorney
This process does not need to be expensive or time-consuming. Florida law states that if you as an individual file suit against an insurance company and win your case, the insurance company is required to pay your legal fees. And your attorney will make the process feel faster on your end by chasing down the paperwork and materials you need on your behalf.
A property attorney will handle the phone calls to the insurance company, help you fill out the paperwork, and assist in collecting the necessary evidence. Perhaps most importantly, your attorney will negotiate directly with Geico on your behalf for a settlement. If necessary, we will represent you in court.
Get a Free Case Review
Our team will work on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. During a complimentary case evaluation, we will address your questions and concerns, and discuss the next steps you can take.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today: 1-800-747-3733.