Florida has higher homeowner’s insurance rates than any other state. One potential way to reduce your premiums is to purchase a “named peril” insurance policy rather than an “all risks” insurance policy. However, before you make the decision, it is important that you find out what is and is not covered by your policy. You may be surprised to learn that, despites its name, an “all risks” policy might not cover your losses for certain types of disasters.
In fact, an all risks policy can exclude coverage for almost any disaster as long as it is not required under Florida law and the policy specifically states the exclusion. A named peril policy, on the other hand, specifically states the types of damage that it covers.
Unfortunately, even if your policy appears to cover your losses, there is a myriad of reasons why the insurance company might deny your claim. It may argue that your home had pre-existing damage or that you waited too long to file your claim, and insurance adjusters are notorious for underestimating the cost of repairs. Other commons reasons claims are excluded or may be denied (often improperly) is faulty workmanship, failure to maintain or repair, ground water and/or water coming from something other than a hole or opening created by a covered peril. You should also be aware many newer policies exclude some or all water damage; we advise against policies with significant water damage exclusions if it can be avoided.
If your insurance company is refusing to cover your losses or if your home was not restored to its pre-disaster condition, contact Leader & Leader P.A. Michael D. Leader is an insurance lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who will evaluate your case and explain your legal options.
Sometimes it is necessary to file a lawsuit against the insurance company to get them to provide coverage, to recover a fair payout of your benefits under the policy, to force complete repairs done properly and even to require them to repair damage the carrier or its contractor is responsible for because the contractor created the damage while doing repairs to your property. If you have to file a lawsuit to enforce your rights, your insurer will have to pay your attorney fees and other costs if you prevail in the suit. Call 954-523-2020 to discuss your case with attorney Michael D. Leader in a free consultation.
Which Is Better – an All Risks Policy or a Named Peril Policy?
There are several factors to consider before you purchase a homeowner’s insurance policy. What types of damage are likely to occur to your home? How much can you afford to pay in premiums? Does the policy contain a “managed repairs” clause? The language of your insurance policy could have a profound impact on your financial future, so if you are unsure of which type of policy to purchase, contact an insurance attorney.
In most cases, it is advisable to purchase an all risks policy, assuming that it does not exclude common types of damage such as water damage or flooding (often flood requires a separate policy). According to EINSURANCE, if you have a mortgage, it is likely that your lender requires you to purchase an all risks policy.
Why Would My Homeowner’s Insurance Company Deny My Claim?
As previously mentioned, there are many reasons why an insurance company might deny or dispute a claim. This often happens when:
- An insurance policy does not cover the cause that damaged your home;
- You waited too long to notify your insurance company about the damage; or
- You make a claim for pre-existing damage.
- You failed to be honest in the information your provided.
- You provided incomplete or inaccurate information when applying for the policy,
- You were paid for a previous claim but never made those repairs.
- You failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate your damage.
Often reasons are given to underpay or deny a claim that are not valid and should be disputed. If your claim is paid in amount less than you can get a qualified contractor to do the work to bring your property back to its pre-loss condition (with equal quality parts and materials), you should contact an insurance claims and/or a first party insurance attorney that represents insureds immediately. DO NOT JUST TAKE YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY’S DECISION AS BEING CORRECT, ACCURATE AND/OR PROPER AS OFTEN THEY ARE JUST TRYING TO SAVE MONEY WITH NO REGARD FOR YOU AND YOUR RIGHTS!
If your insurer denied your claim, you may still have options. Michael D. Leader is a Fort Lauderdale insurance lawyer who will evaluate your policy, answer your questions, and provide comprehensive legal guidance. Call 954-523-2020 to schedule a free consultation.