As a homeowner, you have done all the right things. You have insured your home and made certain that your property is maintained in a safe manner. There were no indications that your coverage would not provide the protections that you need to restore your life to normal in the event of a disaster. However, like many people, the small print might trip you up. The time to discover this is not when a tree has taken out your formal dining room, heavy winds have damaged your solar panels, and water has destroyed the antique entryway, salvaged from a castle in Bavaria. Many homeowner’s are not aware of their ability in many cases, to claim damage to flooring if something was negligently dropped on the flooring, causing damage. If you face a claim denial, the Florida homeowner insurance attorneys atGreenberg Stone and Urbano can help you fight your insurance claim denial and get the coverage for which you have paid.
However, even if you do not have a claim to file now might be the time to review your policy to determine if you have the right insurance plan for your needs.
Having paid your premium dollars, you might believe that you are covered for any type of damage, but that may be a dangerous assumption depending upon your carrier and coverage-type. Unique features may not be covered. Full replacement value of modified properties may not be awarded. There are certain plans that have limited coverage, particularly with regard to state programs and rental property coverage, if you rent your property even occasionally. Although there are pitfalls, there are a number of things that can be done to ensure you have the proper coverage:
• Have a current home appraisal – It is important for a professional cost-to-rebuild appraisal to reflect any unique details of a custom-built residence or one that has undergone extensive renovations and modifications. An analysis of these changes is critical to protecting a homeowner’s investment in the home.
• Get a home inspection – A carrier-directed home inspection can reveal savings and credits available based on specific properties of the home, including security and safety systems, wind mitigation, and upgrades to the infrastructure.
• Undertake a coverage review – Retaining a risk management expert can reveal the costs of repair or replacement, as well as premium credits that may be available to the homeowner. An expert can point out the coverage amounts necessary for repair of certain properties and other structures in order to have things repaired or replaced in the event of damage.
• Analyze the insurance carrier- A homeowner can find themselves in very different circumstances when submitting a claim depending upon a carrier’s specific provisions and restrictions. Coverage varies depending upon the use of the home as a primary, secondary, or rental residence. In addition, where the home is situated, its proximity to water or a known sinkhole, the age of the residence, the structural integrity of the building, the construction of the home (stone and masonry versus wood), as well as efforts taken for hurricane mitigation and other proactive measure will impact the coverage options and credits.
• Take annual photos of the interior, exterior and roof of the property in order to show that the damage being claimed is new and not old or “pre-existing.”
If you took all the precautions and find yourself facing a denial of coverage, there are steps that you should take in order to fight the decision.
• Create a comprehensive timeline of the damage, detailing how the situation progressed and what actions were taken to mitigate the damage and
• Keep all receipts for expenses and photograph measures taken to limit the damages. Remember, your policy will require you to act reasonably to minimize damage and report the claim as soon as possible
• Gather all the relevant documents, including copies of your policy and evidence of premium payments, emails, letters, policy denials, recordings of messages of telephone conversations, and any other interaction between you and your insurer.
Although it would be nice to believe that insurance companies only deny claims upon a deeply held belief that the coverage does not apply to the damage in the claim. However, a thorough review of insurance history demonstrates that providers are not above denying a claim until the threat of litigation looms. It is imperative to contact experienced homeowner insurance attorneys in order to preserve your rights.
Insurance companies agree to cover property damage, collect premiums, and then, when faced with a claim for the repair or replacement of property, deny the claim.
Although there are times when this denial of coverage is a justifiable interpretation of the terms of the policy, often it is merely an effort to avoid paying a legitimate claim. It is crucial to contact experienced, Florida homeowners insurance claims lawyers like Greenberg Stone and Urbano as soon as possible so that you can repair your property and restore your life, which is why you had insurance in the first place. Our attorneys have decades of experience in representing the rights of homeowners in insurance disputes throughout Miami and South Florida. Please contact us through our website or call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 to set up a Free Consultation and learn about your rights as a homeowner.