A person who owns a home and purchases homeowners’ insurance usually thinks that will be the end of it and he will be covered in the event of an accident or natural disaster. For most people, this is, in fact, the reality. When there is a problem, though, it can lead to financial hardship and even the loss of a home. It is important to carefully consider the situation when a person has had a claim denied or paid on a limited basis in order to bring an attorney into the mix before it is too late.
The knowledgeable Miami homeowners’ insurance attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano have seen insurance companies try to take advantage of homeowners when they are at their most vulnerable. Our attorneys have accumulated more than 130 years of experience in forcing insurance providers to do the right thing and honor the contracts that they have made with their insureds. We are ready to put these skills to work for you.
There are many times when a homeowner can handle the claims process on his own and obtain a fair result, but it is imperative to recognize those times when things are not proceeding as they should in order to take prompt action. In many cases, a homeowner will file a claim and then the insurance company will issue a denial or a low payment offer. It is at this point that an attorney who is experienced in legal actions to get the payments to which homeowners are entitled can make a difference.
There are three common scenarios in which there is a dispute between a homeowner and an insurance company, which are:
• The insurance company issues a complete denial – This may be done for a variety of reasons, including allegations that the policy holder acted deliberately to cause the harm to the property. If the homeowner and insurer come to an impasse over a claim denial, litigation often is necessary;
• The insurance company disputes coverage – There are times when the homeowner believes that the damage to the property falls within the coverage parameters of the policy while the insurance company argues that the type of damage or event leading to the damage does not fall within the coverage area of the insurance contract. This argument over the terms of the contract often is not resolved easily; and
• The insurance company refuses to move off a low-ball settlement – This is one of the most common types of disputes, arising when the insurance company attempts to limit its financial exposure by minimalizing the extent or cost of the damage.
It is important to remember that a homeowner cannot accept a settlement on a claim and then turn around and file a legal action to recover additional payments, so speaking with an attorney early in the process may be critical to preserving a person’s rights. With very few exceptions, once a claim has been settled, it is nearly impossible to reopen it, which does not mean that there cannot be future claims relating to unrelated damage. It also is important not to sign any documents provided by the insurance company before consulting with an attorney if there is any question about the outcome of the claims process. Many times, these documents contain a release that affirms the homeowner will not file a legal action against the insurance provider and limits the obligations of the insurer.
When a claim has been denied, coverage has been disputed, or there is a chasm of difference between the value of the damage to the property asserted by the homeowner and the adjuster, it is wise to consult an experienced homeowners’ insurance attorney as soon as possible.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano Gets Homeowners the Coverage that they Deserve
The Miami homeowners’ insurance law firm of Greenberg Stone and Urbano has fought for more than 30 years to get the coverage that homeowners deserve after making premium payments in accordance with the terms of the contract with an insurer. Our diligence and client-centric focus has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell, which is the highest rating that can be awarded. Further, the Miami Herald has voted us one of South Florida’s top-rated law firms. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an appointment so that we can fight to protect your rights and interests.