Severe storms and hurricanes can be catastrophic when they make landfall and destroy your home and property. Recovering from a natural disaster of that magnitude can take months or even years. Having a homeowner’s insurance policy that covers weather-related property losses after this kind of event is reassuring.
However, the process of submitting the claim to your insurance company and having an adjuster come out to your home can be stressful. The process can become even more frustrating if the adjuster undervalues your losses and the settlement offer from the insurance company does not come close to what you need to get your home and property back in good shape.
There are some preparations you can take before a natural disaster happens that can help if you suffer property losses after a storm, the most important of which is to fully understand your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Knowing in advance if you have exclusions in your coverage and what your deductibles are, puts you ahead of the game when attempting to negotiate with an insurance company. Florida usually offers coverage for losses from storm or hurricane winds, but not for losses caused by flooding. Flooding is covered by the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program. If you have submitted a claim to the insurance company for property losses due to a storm or hurricane in Lehigh Acres and are dissatisfied with their response, contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1 (800) 747-3733 for a free case review.
Documentation Is Key
As soon as possible after the storm, notify your insurance company that you suffered property losses and will be submitting a claim. Do not give any more information than it asks for.
It is important to remember that insurance claims require documentation as support for your claim. Keep all the paperwork related to your personal property and your home, including major repairs you may have made structurally and cosmetically. Make a detailed list of the lost items and include all your documentation. Insurance companies will ask you to submit a proof of loss document. The more evidence you have for your claims, the better your chances of getting the settlement you deserve.
Communicate with the Insurance Company in Writing
All communication with the insurance company should be done in writing. If you enlist the services of a storm loss property claim lawyer in Lehigh Acres, it will be much easier for them to review your case if your information comes from documentation rather than just your recollections.
My Insurance Company Denied My Claim
Most insurance companies will carefully examine your proof of loss statement and look for reasons to possibly deny or undervalue your claim. The insurance adjuster that will come to your property to review your losses works for the insurance company. Their goal is to make sure that the insurance company pays out as little as possible in a settlement. The insurance company may also:
- Fail to respond to letters, emails, and phone communications in a timely manner
- Fail to complete the investigation
- Delay payment or processing
- Deny payment
- Offer a very low settlement
- Make unreasonable requests for additional documents
- Fail to offer a full settlement when the losses are catastrophic
The Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights
After the submission of your claim, the insurance company must inform you that it received the claim. Then, once you’ve submitted your proof of loss statement, the insurance company must send you confirmation that your claim is covered in full, partially covered, denied, or still being investigated.
They must also let you know that you are entitled to receive free mediation services if your claim is disputed through the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Consumer Services, and that you have the right to contact this department for assistance with your claim if you feel that your insurance company violated your rights under the Florida Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights.
Insurance Companies Know You Are Serious if You Hire a Lawyer
If you were denied the settlement you deserve and think you need a storm loss property claim lawyer in Lehigh Acres, contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1 (800) 747-3733 for a free case review. Your attorney will:
- Review the facts of your case
- Explain what your rights and legal options are
- Communicate with your insurance company on your behalf
- Hire expert witnesses to prove your case
- Negotiate with your insurance company to help you obtain the fairest settlement possible
- Take your case to court if negotiations are not successful
Your insurance company can be held liable if it acted in bad faith and could be required to pay your settlement claim in full, as well as additional monies for acting in bad faith.
Tips To Help Your Case
Your insurance policy usually covers losses to the main building and other structures, personal items, and additional living expenses if you are forced to live elsewhere while repairs are being done. Call your insurance company before getting a contractor to help you with your repairs. Document any emergency repairs you need to make as soon as possible to prevent any further losses from occurring. Take photos of your losses and repairs and keep all the receipts. Make sure that your contractor is licensed by the state of Florida and has proof of insurance.
To contact a storm loss property claim lawyer in Lehigh Acres to discuss your own property losses due to a storm or hurricane, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1 (800) 747-3733 for a no-cost case review if your claim has been denied or undervalued. We know how to help.