If you submitted a property claim and the Omega Insurance Agency denied your claim or refused to pay the full value, the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1 (800) 747-3733 can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies are in the business of making a profit. Consequently, they may try to minimize the amount of compensation they pay out and hope that you will not contact an attorney for help with your case. However, you do have legal options if this occurs.
Possible Reasons for the Denial
The Omega Insurance Agency may have made the decision to deny your claim for covered losses for reasons that you may not fully understand. They may believe that:
- You missed a deadline for submitting your paperwork
- Your damages do not meet your deductible
- You did not disclose specific information
- You did not provide enough evidence
- You did not know, or fully understand, the terms of your policy
- Your damage falls under a policy exclusion
- You did not take the right steps fast enough to mitigate the damage
- You missed a premium payment or were late on a premium payment
Regardless of Omega Insurance Agency’s reasoning, Florida law gives you the right to appeal the decision and continue to seek compensation for your property damage. It is important to remember that you have a limited time to act on an insurance claim denial so the sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner you may be able to restore your property.
Damage from a Hurricane
If your property was damaged due to a hurricane, tropical storm, or other weather-related events such as rain or hail, your policy may not cover those losses. The insurance company may respond to your claim by saying that your house is not as badly damaged as you believe or your damage was caused by flooding, which may not be covered in your policy. This is a serious concern, as the Insurance Information Institute cites that predictions for “private flood and wind insured losses [will] total between $300 and $600 million.”
Proof of Loss in Florida
Your property may have been damaged by fire, burglary, burst pipes, roof leaks, vandalism, etc. In whatever way the damage occurred, you may be asked to submit a Proof of Loss request to the Omega Insurance Agency before a settlement offer is made. The information on the Proof of Loss request must be accurate. The request requires a sworn statement so you must reply honestly, which can be helpful if you seek to recover losses from your insurance company as this document can be entered into evidence.
Property Owner Responsibilities
Before you contract with vendors for repairs, call your insurance company to go over the repair provisions in your policy. Document and make emergency repairs that may be necessary to prevent further damage to your property. Keep receipts and all other paperwork. Take photos before the repairs begin and after they are completed. Make sure the contractor you hired to perform repairs is licensed to do business in Florida, does not have a long history of complaints, and has references from previous customers. Read their contract carefully in case they require you to pay a fee based on a percentage of the insurance proceeds that you may receive for repairing your property. They should also provide a proof of insurance before beginning the repairs.
If the damage forces you to relocate, secure your property before leaving and turn off the gas, water, and electricity. Let your insurance company know where you can be contacted.
It Is Helpful to Hire an Attorney
Given the limited amount of time you have to appeal to the insurance company’s denial, it may be a waste of time to continue arguing with the insurance company. Most insurance agencies will take your claim more seriously if you have an attorney. A settlement may be negotiated much quicker because if there is a trial, the insurance agency may be ordered to pay attorneys’ fees and court costs as well as the settlement amount.
The Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights
In Florida, you are legally protected by the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights which states that an insurance company must notify you within fourteen days that they received your claim. The insurance agency must also notify you within thirty days as to the status of your claim and within ninety days, they should have sent you a settlement payment or in the alternative, a written report about why they denied or undervalued your claim. You are also entitled to free mediation of your claim by the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services, subject to certain restrictions. If Omega Insurance Agency did not fulfill those requirements, you may be able to file a bad-faith lawsuit to recover additional compensation.
Lawyers Can Help
If you hire an attorney to help you appeal your insurance denial, he or she can help you by:
- Reviewing your insurance policy and helping you understand the terms and conditions Omega Insurance Agency used
- Opening a line of communication with your insurance agency and negotiating on your behalf
- Holding your insurance company responsible for following the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights
- Making sure that all the necessary paperwork is properly filled out and submitted within the agency’s documentation deadlines
- Gathering all the evidence relevant to your appeal
- If necessary, preparing and filing a lawsuit if Omega Insurance Agency is unwilling to offer a settlement or is acting in bad faith
Recovering Your Losses
If Omega Insurance Agency has denied your claim, you may be able to recover the following damages:
- Any financial losses you may have suffered due to the undue delay or denial of your claim, including attorneys’ fees and court costs
- Any emotional distress that you and your family experienced due to the delay or denial of your claim
The insurance agency could also be responsible for punitive damages, which are awarded in accordance with Florida Statutes Title XLV. Torts § 768.73. to punish a person or entity if their actions were intended to cause harm. If your insurance claim was denied or undervalued, or the Omega Insurance Agency acted in bad faith, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1 (800) 747-3733 for a free case evaluation. We are standing by to assist you with your case.