Florida Insurance Claim Attorneys will tell you that homeowner’s insurance covers loss, damage, or injuries which occur at a private residence. When a homeowner’s insurance policyholder pays an insurance premium, the transaction is made with the understanding that the insurance company will financially assist the homeowner if events occur that fit the policy terms. This reassurance or transfer of risk is what policyholders purchase when paying homeowner’s insurance premiums.
Types of Florida Insurance Claims
Insurance Claims can stem from many different occurrences, including:
Orlando, Florida Homeowner’s Insurance Claim Attorneys
The process for filing a Florida insurance claim may vary depending on the specific scenario. If there is any danger, the homeowner should first focus on preventing damage or injury. This may involve leaving the home, securing damaged areas, or seeking medical attention. Once safety is restored, the home owner should contact the insurance company in order to file a claim.
Florida Insurance Claim Attorneys Process
While insurance claims processing may vary slightly between companies, home owners can generally file claims online, over the phone, or in writing. The insurance company will need basic information about the homeowner, the type of claim, and the nature of the incident that caused the damage, loss, or injury. Once this information is gathered, the insurance company must assess the value of the loss.
Homeowners may be asked to give a listing and estimated valuation of the loss. Depending on the nature of the claim, an insurance adjuster may be sent to the residence to make an assessment and provide an estimate for the loss or damage. Homeowners may benefit from having a contractor evaluate and assess the damage or loss, so that there is a point of comparison for the insurance adjuster’s assessment.
If the homeowner’s insurance claim is accepted, the amount to be paid will be determined and a check will be sent to either the policyholder or a specified individual or entity. If there is a mortgage on the home, the mortgage company may opt to be named on the check in order to oversee and ensure repairs or rebuilding. If a homeowner must live elsewhere during the reparation process, an additional amount may be paid by the homeowner’s insurance company for living expenses. The homeowner may contest the amount paid for the claim if it is deemed to be unreasonable.
If an insurance claim is denied, the homeowner’s insurance company will typically provide a written explanation for the denial. Most insurance claim denials are the result of a lack of coverage for the specified service, disaster, or other reason for the claim. However, simple errors may also cause a claim to be denied, in some cases. If the policyholder believes that the claim should have been covered, it is possible to file an appeal. Most appeals do not successfully change the insurance company’s decision to deny the claim, however, so it may be helpful to hire an attorney for assistance.
Payment of Insurance Claims
When an insurance claim is filed, the insurance company takes money that has been paid for multiple customers’ premiums and uses that money to pay the policyholder for the amount of the claim. This process is called pooling. This process can be risky, however. In the case of a disaster where many policyholders file insurance claims at one time, the insurance company may have a difficult time covering all claims. If the loss is too great, this may bankrupt the homeowner’s insurance company.
Fraudulent Insurance Claims
In some cases, policyholders may submit an insurance claim that is fraudulent or may intentionally destroy property in order to cash in on a homeowner’s insurance policy. This practice is illegal and may result in criminal charges and penalties. An individual may also have a difficult time purchasing insurance after engaging in insurance fraud.
Impact of Insurance Fraud in the State of Florida
Filing fraudulent insurance claims can not only be detrimental to the individual that gets caught, it can be detrimental to all future policyholders. Insurance fraud costs homeowner’s insurance companies money, which is often compensated by raising insurance premiums. High payouts may also be compensated by separating insurance coverage or by lowering the amount that is provided for legitimate homeowner’s insurance claims.
Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights – KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
This Bill of Rights is specific to the claims process and does not represent all of your rights under Florida law regarding your policy. There are also exceptions to the stated timelines when conditions are beyond your insurance company’s control. This document does not create a civil cause of action by an individual policyholder, or a class of policyholders, against an insurer or insurers and does not prohibit an insurer from exercising its right to repair damaged property in compliance with the terms of an applicable policy.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO:
1. Receive from your insurance company an acknowledgment of your reported claim within 14 days after the time you communicated the claim.
2. Upon written request, receive from your insurance company within 30 days after you have submitted a complete proof-of-loss statement to your insurance company, confirmation that your claim is covered in full, partially covered, or denied, or receive a written statement that your claim is being investigated.
3. Within 90 days, subject to any dual interest noted in the policy, receive full settlement payment for your claim or payment of the undisputed portion of your claim, or your insurance company’s denial of your claim.
4. Free mediation of your disputed claim by the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services, under most circumstances and subject to certain restrictions.
5. Neutral evaluation of your disputed claim, if your claim is for damage caused by a sinkhole and is covered by your policy.
6. Contact the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services’ toll-free helpline for assistance with any insurance claim or questions pertaining to the handling of your claim. You can reach the Helpline by phone at (toll-free phone number) , or you can seek assistance online at the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services’ website at (website address) .
YOU ARE ADVISED TO:
1. Contact your insurance company before entering into any contract for repairs to confirm any managed repair policy provisions or optional preferred vendors.
2. Make and document emergency repairs that are necessary to prevent further damage. Keep the damaged property, if feasible, keep all receipts, and take photographs of damage before and after any repairs.
3. Carefully read any contract that requires you to pay out-of-pocket expenses or a fee that is based on a percentage of the insurance proceeds that you will receive for repairing or replacing your property.
4. Confirm that the contractor you choose is licensed to do business in Florida. You can verify a contractor’s license and check to see if there are any complaints against him or her by calling the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. You should also ask the contractor for references from previous work.
5. Require all contractors to provide proof of insurance before beginning repairs.
6. Take precautions if the damage requires you to leave your home, including securing your property and turning off your gas, water, and electricity, and contacting your insurance company and provide a phone number where you can be reached.
If You’re Having Trouble with Your Florida Insurance Company
If you have concerns about your policy or problems with your insurance company, please call one of our experienced Orlando insurance claim attorneys. At Malik Law, we understand how insurance companies, insurance policies, and the law work and will fight for your rights.
Call us today at 407-500-1000 or submit the Free Case Evaluation form on our website for a free consultation with one of our expert Orlando insurance claim attorneys.
“Homeowners Insurance Claim Settlement Process.” Homeowners Insurance Settlement Process. Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 2 June 2014. <http://www.rmiia.org/homeowners/Walking_Through_Your_Policy/Settlement_Process.asp>
“Office of Insurance Regulation.” Office of Insurance Regulation. Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, n.d. Web. 31 May 2014. <http://www.floir.com/>
‘The 2018 Florida Statutes, Title XXXVII, 627.7142. <http://www.leg.state.fl.us/