While Floridians enjoy beautiful weather for most of the year, our hurricane season can be difficult. High winds, torrential rains, flooding, and other weather-related events can cause property losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
In September 2017, Hurricane Irma, a category four hurricane, hit Key Largo with tremendous force. There were numerous direct deaths across the Florida Keys and the state, and property loss was widespread throughout the hardest-hit areas. If you have sustained property loss due to a storm or hurricane, you may have submitted a proof of loss document to your insurance company to substantiate your claim, or you may be unsure how to prepare a proof of loss document for your insurance company.
We are here to help. If your property has suffered losses from a hurricane or storm, and your insurance company has not responded to your loss satisfactorily, call the legal team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1 (800) 747-3733 for a no-cost case review.
Depending on Your Insurance Company
Many homeowners believe that their insurance company will come to their rescue after submitting a claim for property losses after a storm. If you have paid all your premiums on time and complied with all the provisions described in your insurance policy, you may expect there to be no problems or delays. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Insurance companies are in the business of making a profit. Settling insurance claims means they must compensate you for the losses you suffered. If there are thousands of claims after a storm, many millions of dollars will be sent out. Therefore, it is in their best interest to settle your claim for as little as possible.
Some justifications insurance companies may use to reduce the amount of compensation owed to you include:
- You made false statements about the value of your property.
- You made false statements about the repair costs for lost property.
- You did not include enough information about your items.
- You have applicable exclusion clauses in your policy.
- You did not take preventive measures to minimize your losses before the storm hit.
- The items you claimed were lost by the storm were actually damaged before the storm and are not covered by your policy.
If these or other reasons were used by the insurance company to avoid paying you a fair settlement, a storm loss property claim lawyer in Key Largo may be able to help you appeal their decision and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1 (800) 747-3733 to get started.
The Importance of Your Insurance Adjuster’s Report
Never underestimate the importance of the insurance adjuster’s report. Your insurance company will send their insurance adjuster to assess your property loss. His or her report will be used to determine the value of your losses. Consequently, a lot depends on what the insurance adjuster’s report states.
You will not know how experienced your adjuster is, if they are new on the job, not adequately trained, or possibly in a bad mood. If the adjuster works for the insurance company, they may undervalue your items and the losses you incurred from the storm. If the insurance company is dealing with a lot of claims due to a larger and more catastrophic storm, they may bring in adjusters from other parts of the country to handle the overflow. These adjusters may be unfamiliar with the cost of repair work in Florida and other local costs.
Insurance Companies Take Lawyers Seriously
Insurance companies know that if you have a storm loss property claim lawyer in Key Largo on your side after a claim denial, you mean business. Generally, insurance companies do not like to go to court as it involves extra time and money, such as court costs and attorneys’ fees. It is your lawyer’s responsibility to negotiate with the insurance company representative on your behalf for a fair settlement amount.
You Can Help Your Case
There are things you can do to help your insurance claim move through the system a bit faster and to help your storm loss property claim lawyer in Key Largo pursue a fair settlement for your losses, including:
- Thoroughly understanding your homeowner’s insurance policy, including any exclusions that may apply to you
- Understanding the reasons why your claim was denied
- Taking photos and videos of your home, property, and damaged or lost items
- The more documentation you have about each item, the better your chances of receiving fair compensation
- Requesting an independent appraiser to assess your property’s value and the extent of the damages
- Filing a claim if your appeal was denied or ignored
- Filing a complaint with the Florida Division of Consumer Services
- Contacting an attorney
The Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights
Your insurance company must send you a copy of the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights within 14 days of their receipt of your claim. Under the provisions of the Bill of Rights, you have the right to:
- Receive confirmation from the insurance company that your claim is covered in full, partially covered, denied, or continues to be investigated within 30 days after you submit complete proof of loss statement and upon written request.
- Receive a full settlement payment, partial payment, or your insurance company’s denial of the claim within 90 days.
- Engage in mediation with the insurance company at no cost by the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services.
- Contact the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services’ helpline for assistance with your insurance claim or if you have any questions pertaining to the handling of your claim.
If you have submitted a property claim to your insurance company for losses sustained during a storm in Florida, and their response is unsatisfactory or has taken too long, contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1 (800) 747-3733 for a free case review. We have been helping Florida homeowners for years, and we can help you too.