Florida Homeowner Insurance Lawyer
When you buy homeowner insurance – and unless you pay cash for your house, your mortgage holder will require you to buy homeowner insurance – you reasonably believe that you are paying an insurance company a certain amount each year to cover any damage that might happen to your house. You accept that you have an annual deductible that you will have to pay before the insurance company covers the rest, and you accept that most years, you won’t actually have to pay for enough damage yourself to meet your deductible.
Of course, if you live in South Florida, where hurricanes are a fact of life, and this is a major reason why you buy insurance. After all, homeowner insurance is there to protect your home and property against damages or loss. Except, it doesn’t always work this simply. When you hit an insurance roadblock, you should talk to a South Florida homeowner’s insurance attorney at Demand the Limits.
Problems Can Arise with Homeowner’s Insurance Claims
If you get your homeowner’s insurance from a reputable company, the odds are you’ll have less trouble collecting on a claim. Even with reputable companies, however, problems can arise. Your insurance company might deny your claim, undervalue your damages and try to pay you a lesser amount, or make unreasonable documentation demands for repairs to disaster damage. There are ways to deal with this.
First, if the company is resistant to paying or paying the full amount of damages, our attorneys can review your claim as filed, and see if you need to augment it with further evidence of damages and amount of loss, such as pictures, videos, multiple repair estimates, and receipts for any materials you purchased to make any necessary temporary repairs. If your insurer still resists paying what you consider a fair amount, we can get an independent appraisal of the damages.
Especially in the case of a natural disaster, where many homes in your area have suffered damage, it is possible, even likely, that your insurance company is overwhelmed with claims and has made only a ballpark estimate of your damages or is just too backlogged to come up with a fair estimate in a timely fashion. There could be other reasons, as well, including policy exclusions that deny coverage for certain events, such as flooding, or anti-concurrent causation clauses, which can limit or deny coverage if your home is damaged by two causes at once, one covered and one not.
Other reasons your insurer might resist paying your claim, or at least the full amount, include:
- Replacement cost vs. repair cost: Replacement costs more, usually, and your insurer might want to insist on repair.
- Inflated building costs: Anyone who has been through a hurricane knows that building material prices skyrocket after a hurricane comes through. Your insurer may be basing their estimate on national-average materials costs, not local, post-disaster costs.
- Betterments: Your insurance company is unlikely to be willing to pay for repairs that it believes are intended not to just bring your property to its original condition, but to improve it. This is a subjective judgment in most cases.
If Your Insurer Is Resisting Paying for Damages, Talk to Our Florida Homeowner Insurance Attorneys
If you have suffered damage to your home and your insurer is denying your claim or not offering a fair amount, talk to the homeowner insurance attorneys of Demand the Limits. Contact us to discuss your claim and the ways we might be able to help and stand up for your rights as a policyholder.