FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida. According to the New York Times, the higher your insurance claim, the more likely you are to face resistance from your homeowner’s insurance. This means that the more devastating your losses, the more you may have to fight your insurance adjuster to get the settlement you believe you deserve. For families who have lost their homes to fires or floods or hurricanes, the wait process can be stressful and difficult. In the aftermath of storm damage or sudden and unexpected damage to your home, homeowners may find themselves facing the stress of both trying to manage repairs and navigate the labyrinth of the homeowner’s insurance claims process.
The average homeowner’s insurance claim is $11,402. However, when claims get bigger—and they can—insurance companies may try to push back. While individuals who suffer losses due to a falling tree or a fire can often get an adjuster to evaluate damages within a few days, if you suffer damages during a hurricane, it can take weeks before an adjuster visits your home.
Homeowners may not always be aware of what is and isn’t covered. For example, a standard insurance policy likely won’t cover flood damage and people generally need additional coverage or to be enrolled in the National Flood Insurance Program to receive coverage. While water damage (not necessarily flood related) accounts for almost half of all claims, insurers often limit their liability when it comes to these claims. And this doesn’t even begin to take into account deductibles.
In some cases, when homeowners disagree about damages, both parties bring in appraisers, but this can make the process take much longer and add expense to you as the insured.
So, what should you do if your home has been damaged and you are facing major repairs? First of all, record all conversations you have with adjusters and the insurance company if they are aware of the recording and give consent. In many states, including Florida, it is illegal to record a phone conversation without all parties’ knowledge and consent. Hope that the company will handle your claim in good faith, but take notes and arm yourself with information should you need to take legal or other action. The claim process can take weeks to months. Some victims of Hurricane Irma and Harvey are still fighting to close their claims, which have been open or in dispute for months. According to the Palm Beach Post, fewer than 57% of Irma claims have been settled, and insurance adjusters have even admitted that they may have underpaid some claims. More than one in three claims may have been re-opened for re-evaluation. For homeowners who have paid out of pocket for repairs, the wait and delays can be financially devastating.
If you have tried to work with adjusters, but are still facing challenges with a homeowner’s insurance claim, you may want to speak to Leader & Leader, P.A. homeowner’s insurance lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. If your settlement is far less than the cost to repair your home, after taking into account your deductibles, you may have certain rights under the law.
Our firm can review your claim, read your policy’s fine print, and help you understand your rights. Visit us at https://leader-law.com/ to learn more.
Leader & Leader, P.A.
633 South Andrews Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL33301