FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida. Many of the problems that Fort Lauderdale homeowners have faced in the wake of Irma could have been avoided had homeowners selected the proper insurance policies. High deductibles, limitations on coverage, managed repairs clauses, and other issues with the insurance policy have created problems when individuals made claims following the storm. Families who thought they were covered found themselves facing high deductibles and other challenges. If your home was damaged in hurricane Irma and you are still struggling to make a claim or to settle your claim, it is important to understand that many claims remain unsettled. Leader & Leader, P.A. are hurricane Irma insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who may be able to help you make a claim.
However, the best time to protect yourself is before you even have to make a claim. Do you understand what is and isn’t covered by your current policy? Have you read the fine print? Do you know what the deductible is? If you are unsure or are having trouble understanding your policy, now is the time to ask questions and clarify confusion. According to the Balance, the fine print of your policy can either extend your coverage—increasing your rights—or limit coverage—limiting your rights to make a claim. Understanding what is and isn’t covered can help you make better decisions when pricing policies.
When reading your policy, you may see Ho-2, Ho-3, or even Ho-5. The Balance reports that the higher your number, the more your policy will cover. However, even if your policy is a high-number, it doesn’t mean everything will be covered. Certain items, like fine art, boats, jewelry, antiques, collectibles, sporting equipment, and business property, may require additional riders. If you are unsure, ask. You should also consider your lifestyle when making home insurance purchase decisions. Some policies are better tailored to meet the needs of families with young children and other policies are better tailored to meet the needs of the elderly. You may also want to ask whether your coverage includes the value of replacing the home or rebuilding the home from scratch should the home be completely damaged. While this is unlikely, it is important to know how far your coverage would go if you suffered a total loss.
Many policies now have exclusions or endorsement separate from the original or main policy form that substantially change your rights and/or coverage which can add to the confusion. Other policies have language that effectively shift the burden to the insured to prove coverage in some scenarios. In short, more people than not seem to be surprised by what their insurance does and/or does not cover and at the time they are learning this, it is too late!
According to Consumer Reports, the higher your damage after a storm or natural disaster, the more likely you’ll disagree with your insurance company about the claim. So, what should you do if you disagree with your insurance company? Fight back. The settlement you are being offered might be based on computer models that may have little to do with the actual damage your home sustained. The settlement may also be based on low-ball estimates for damage repair. There are countless reported cases of interior damage claims after Hurricane Irma where the insurance company representative never went inside the home to see the damage. If you can back up why you need more money to make a repair, you may be able to get more money for your claim. Back up can be actual invoices, estimates from those that would do the work and an estimate from contractors, estimators or a qualified Public Adjuster.
Leader & Leader, P.A. are insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who work with families and individuals who are having insurance claims difficulties. Visit us at https://leader-law.com/ to learn more about your options and rights.
Leader & Leader, P.A.
633 South Andrews Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL33301