Your home is probably your most valuable asset, and if it sustains major damage, the language of your insurance policy could determine whether you maintain financial stability or fall into overwhelming debt. It is important, then, that you take the time to evaluate your specific needs and the types of coverage available before you commit to a particular policy.
Unfortunately, even if you find the perfect policy, you might run into problems when it comes time to file a claim. Insurance companies are generally more profitable when paying out as little as possible, so when you file a claim, your insurer may look for any and every reason to dispute it; some are worse than others but in our recent experience, they are all pretty bad.
Sometimes, insurance providers deny claims that should have been approved. Other times, contractors who are hired by the insurance company fail to restore a property to its pre-loss condition.
If you were treated unfairly after filing a homeowner’s insurance claim, contact Leader & Leader P.A. Michael D. Leader is an insurance claims attorney in Fort Lauderdale who will assess your situation to determine if you have grounds for an insurance bad faith claim.
If you have to sue your insurance provider to enforce your rights, your provider will have to pay for your attorney fees and other costs associated with doing so as long as you get a settlement, judgment or decree in your favor. Call 954-523-2020 to schedule a free initial consultation.
3 Tips to Keep in Mind When Purchasing a Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
If you have a mortgage, your lender might have specific requirements regarding the types of coverage you need to purchase. Otherwise, your goal when purchasing homeowner’s insurance should be to find a policy that meets your specific needs for the lowest possible cost.
Keep these three tips in mind when purchasing your homeowner’s insurance policy:
- Don’t Lie in your application
Be honest about your history, background and all questions asked in your insurance application. Any misrepresentation at all, whether intentional or not, can be deemed a “material misrepresentation” and may allow the carrier to cancel your policy and avoid coverage. Do not lie during the claims process either as that can also prevent you from collecting your insurance benefits when the time comes.
- Don’t Pay for Coverage That You Don’t Need but Do Not Cut things that may matter.
You might be able to lower your premiums by excluding coverage that you don’t need. However, we generally do not recommend cutting out coverage and strongly urge you to ask questions and understand what you are buying. Many people think they are fully covered until they have an enormous loss that turns out not to be covered. People have lost their homes and/or been bankrupted by this error just to save a few bucks in the grand scheme of things. Generally, your homeowner’s insurance is not the place to pinch pennies. Find out about the carrier, provisions in your policy, water damage coverage (as that is one of the most common reasons for a claim), loss of use coverage, right to repair, etc.
Your mortgage lender might require you to purchase an All Risks policy. If this is the case, bear in mind that an All Risks policy might not cover all potential hazards. In fact, these policies can exclude just about any type of coverage as long as the exclusion is put in writing and the coverage is not required under Florida law.
- Get Your Home Appraised
The value of your property will influence your premiums. If you tell your insurance company that your home is worth less than it actually is, you might run into problems if you file a claim. Over time, the value of your property may have increased or decreased, so get your home appraised before you purchase insurance.
Unfortunately, insurance companies that advertise reliability and trustworthiness often cheat their policyholders out of fair compensation. If you were treated unfairly by your insurance company, contact Leader & Leader P.A. to discuss your case with an insurance lawyer in Fort Lauderdale. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 954-523-2020.