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Florida Consumers Face Tough Decisions Regarding Their Homeowner’s Insurance

This month, many Florida homeowners who are currently insured through Citizens Property Insurance Corp – a state-run insurance company – will receive notification that another insurance company may take over their insurance coverage. Policyholders will have to make a decision: stay with Citizens and risk having their insurance options become limited in January, or agree to stay with the smaller carrier they are assigned. Of course, the assigned carrier will be able to raise insurance premiums as high as it chooses once the policy comes up for renewal. Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature are pushing to rid the state of Citizens entirely, which currently holds over one million state-subsidized policies. Under the current laws, should Citizens Property Insurance fail to maintain the cash reserve needed to pay claims following a major storm, state taxpayers would foot the bill for the difference for any shortfall.

Insurance coverage is critical for restoring a victim of an accident or natural disaster to a state of well-being. If you have learned that your insurance carrier is not going to cover your claim, the experienced, Miami homeowner’s insurance attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano are here to fight to protect your rights.

Shifting State-Funded Homeowner’s Insurance to Private Carriers

When policies formerly held by Citizens are shifted to the private market, the costs to Florida consumers will almost certainly increase. Legislation passed last spring prohibits Citizens’ policyholders from renewing their current policy with the company if there is a private market company offering the same premiums. As of January 1, 2014, homeowners applying for coverage for the first time will have no choice but to go with a private carrier so long as that carrier offers coverage within 15% of the rates of Citizens Property Insurance. The problem with this new rule is that private carriers can offer less coverage so long as it is not more expensive than the current policy.

It is estimated that these new rules will leave almost half a million Florida residents paying higher premiums for less coverage. However, Florida homeowners who choose to remain with Citizens could also regret that decision as central to the new law is a “clearinghouse” that will be utilized by insurance agents as a means of identifying potential customers. Citizens’ policyholders who receive a coverage offer from a private carrier have only 48 hours to shop around for another, potentially more affordable, policy. The clearinghouse will also ensure Citizens is not adding customers.

Dealing with Miami Homeowner’s Insurance Claims

Unfortunately, many homeowners who have faithfully paid their premiums for years, or even decades, find that once they file a claim, the insurance company that promised to protect them in the event of a disaster finds every reason in the world to deny the claim. When faced with claim denials, unreasonable delays, and any other acts that constitute insurance bad faith, a homeowner may require a knowledgeable Miami attorney to correct those injustices. Insurance claims involving hurricanes, floods, fire, hail, and tornadoes involve high-stakes for the homeowner who has been negatively affected by the disaster. The insurance company’s goal is to retain a homeowner’s insurance premiums while avoiding payout in order to maximize their year-end profits. The policy holder deserves the coverage that he purchased.

Miami Homeowner’s Insurance Attorneys can Help You Get the Coverage You Deserve

You deserve the full benefit of the Miami homeowner’s insurance policy that you purchased. If you are frustrated by a greedy insurance company who has repeatedly denied your legitimate claim, we can help. The attorneys of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have more than thirty years of experience going up against insurance companies. We are adept at ensuring homeowners receive a fair settlement for their property damage. Our attorneys fully understand the roadblocks insurance companies employ and will not hesitate to go before a jury and argue aggressively for our clients. We can carefully evaluate your homeowner’s insurance policy and address your carrier’s failure to deliver on promises made to you when you paid your premiums.

Voted among South Florida’s top-rated lawyers by the Miami Herald and recognized by nationwide peer review organizations such as Martindale Hubbell (“AV” rated), Florida SuperLawyers and by Primerus, our goal is to aggressively look out for our clients’ best interests. Call (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 today, or visit our website for more information or to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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