Fire Damage Claim Insurance Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If your home has been damaged by fire, you may be facing a range of new challenges and concerns. You purchase insurance to protect you and help you in this situation. However, increasingly, insurance companies are using adjusters and computer programs to determine settlements, many of which may be based on statistics and not on the reality of your situation. If this describes you, you may want to speak to a fire damage insurance lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida today. Leader & Leader, P.A.: Attorneys at Law are fire damage insurance attorneys who work closely with families affected by fires to help them get the recovery they may deserve.
Has Your Home Been Damaged by Fire in Fort Lauderdale, Florida?
If your home has been damaged by fire in Fort Lauderdale, Florida you may be facing a range of new challenges. You may be displaced, living elsewhere, and may wonder what steps you should be taking. Money may be tight and you may wonder how you’ll pay for living expenses. First off, it is important to contact the fire department and other authorities to prevent further damage to your home. After the fire, you may need to board up your windows to prevent further damage.
If you have had to leave your home, you can ask your homeowner’s insurance to send you an advance to cover immediate emergency expenses or make arrangements for alternate living arrangements under the Additional Living Expense (otherwise known as ALE) provision of your policy which is contained in most homeowner’s insurance policies. For instance, your policy will likely cover the replacement of clothes and basic items. Rather than paying for this out of pocket while you struggle to recover, you can ask your insurance company to send you an advance to help you purchase work clothes, school clothes, and toiletries. Keep receipts for everything you purchase and find a way to organize your expenses. For instance, keep track of meals and living expenses. You may also be entitled to the transportation costs for things you need to get that you otherwise would have had at home but for the loss you suffered. While you will only be reimbursed the difference from your normal living expenses, your insurance company may be able to reimburse you for meals you need to eat out as a result of the fire. Hotel bills or other living arrangements may also be covered. Finally, remember to be reasonable. If you didn’t buy designer clothes for the kids before, don’t do so now. You’ll owe the difference.
Make sure you make your claim as soon as possible. Your insurance company has a responsibility to respond to your claim in a reasonable timeframe. If there are unreasonable delays, you may wish to speak to a fire damage insurance attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
What to Include in A Fire Damage Insurance Claim
It is a good idea to keep an inventory of all items in your home and their values. If you don’t have a list, you’ll need to make one and then assess the damage. An insurance adjuster may want to see evidence of the damage to the items you claim, so it is a good idea to either keep the items or take photos of the damage. Any repair estimates should also be recorded and noted in writing. It is a good idea to make your claim in writing. Finally, if you are not comfortable with the settlement you are being offered or if you are not comfortable about the information being requested, you have a right to ask that the insurance adjuster correspond in writing. Asking for written correspondence can be useful in that it allows you to properly track your dealings with your adjuster, allows you to think before you respond, and allows your attorney to look over any correspondence and responses. You’ll need to organize quite a bit of information, so it’s a good idea to start a binder where you record expenses, losses, and correspondence. Always keep the originals of any repairs, bills, or documents and send a copy to your insurer.
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Always get your own idea of what the actual cost of repair will be and the scope of the repair is from someone not sent by, connected to or doing business with the insurance company. Often, an “independent adjuster” may be sent by the insurance company who will tell you that they are completely unaffiliated with the insurance company, which may be true. However, they also rely on the insurance company for a lot of their work and if they are writing estimates higher than what the insurance company wants to see or pay, they may not be getting work from them in the future. Consequently, there can be a conflict of interest with these “independent adjusters” at times.
In many instances the insurance company will assure you that are giving you sufficient funds and have your best interest in mind; they should but often do not! We suggest contacting us as soon as you know that may have a possible claim. We are happy to assist you in making the right choices early on to protect yourself. This is generally a free consultation and service we offer in most cases.
Finally, if you need assistance with a fire damage insurance claim, you may want to speak to a fire damage insurance claim attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Leader & Leader, P.A.: Attorneys at Law are fire damage insurance claim lawyers who can assist you as you navigate the sometimes complex process of making a fire damage insurance claim.
Don’t Close Your Fire Damage Claim Too Soon
You have the right to consent to when your claim is closed. Adjusters may pressure you to settle and close your claim quickly. In the stress following a fire, you may want to have the paperwork over and done with. Yet, in the midst of the disaster, it is easy to miss important details. Rather than closing the claim right away, take your time and assess and inventory your damages and losses. When you receive a check from the insurance, they may pressure you to close the claim by stating that accepting the payment will close the claim. You have the right to accept the payment and write to the insurance explaining that you do not consider the claim closed. You may also wish to hire your own public adjuster to assess damages. It can sometimes be challenging to know if you are receiving the settlement you deserve. You should never sign a release or settlement agreement without first speaking to an insurance claim lawyer. A public adjuster or a fire damage insurance claim lawyer can assist you in getting the amount you need to move forward with your life. Leader & Leader, P.A.: Attorneys at Law are lawyers who fight for individual’s rights when tragedy strikes.
Contact A Fort Lauderdale Fire Damage Insurance Claim Lawyer Today
If your home and property has been damaged in a fire, it is important to act fast to protect your rights. You’ll need to speak to your insurance company and make a claim. Leader & Leader, P.A.: Attorneys at Law are Fort Lauderdale, Florida fire damage insurance claim lawyers. We understand that not all insurance companies deal fairly with their clients. When this happens, they need to be held accountable. Our firm can protect your rights in the aftermath of your fire and work to help you get the settlement you may deserve.