Few forces in nature can match the destructive power of fire. If your home was severely damaged or destroyed by a fire, the cost of repairs or replacement can be exorbitant. Even if you carry homeowners’ insurance, your provider will look for any possible reason to dispute your claim, so it is important that you take steps to give your claim the best chance at success.
From finding temporary housing to ensuring the well-being of your family, the aftermath of a serious fire is a stressful time. It may seem impossible to focus on your obligations as a homeowners’ insurance claimant, but one small oversight could cause your claim to be denied.
If your insurance provider has denied your claim without reasonable justification, contact Leader & Leader P.A. Attorney Michael D. Leader will evaluate your policy, answer your questions, and help you enforce your rights. Call 954-523-2020 to schedule a free initial consultation with an insurance attorney in Fort Lauderdale.
Let’s examine seven steps you should take when filing a homeowners’ insurance claim for fire damage:
- Review Your Policy
You should have received a packet of information on the day that you purchased your insurance policy. Review that information to find out if your fire damage is a covered peril.
- Find out Your Deductible
Even if your claim is approved, you will still have to pay your deductible, which is a portion of the cost of repairs or replacement that you must pay out of pocket before your insurance provider pays out your claim.
- Read the Fine Print
Don’t sign anything until you have read the fine print in your insurance policy, asked questions, and reviewed all the necessary information about your claim. You are under no obligation to accept your insurance provider’s damage assessments.
- Get the Estimates in Writing
Make sure you get the estimates for the cost of repairs or replacement in writing. You will need this information when filing your claim.
- Record Important Information about Your Claim
When filing your claim, you will need to disclose whether there were any injuries, the date that the damage occurred, details about your home’s condition, the police report, and any estimates for repair or replacement.
- Be Honest
If you make misrepresentations about your losses, your insurance claim could be denied. You should expect the insurance company to investigate your claim thoroughly. If, for example, you state that the fire destroyed an expensive TV that you did not actually own, it could lead to the denial of your claim.
- Save All Documents, Emails, and Other Correspondence
Keep any documentation that you receive from your insurance company. Your insurance attorney will need those documents if your claim is denied or undervalued and you decide to file an insurance bad faith claim.
If your home was damaged or destroyed in a serious fire, contact Leader & Leader P.A. to discuss your situation. Attorney Michael D. Leader will help you navigate the claims process and avoid crucial mistakes. If your insurer has already denied your claim or offered an unfair payout, Mr. Leader will evaluate your policy and help you enforce your rights.
Call 954-523-2020 to schedule a free initial consultation with an insurance claims lawyer in Fort Lauderdale. You can learn more about filing homeowners’ insurance claims in Florida here.