On August 24, 2021, Florida attorney Imran Malik of Malik Law was interviewed by Dawood Bedrosian on the extremely popular Real Sense Now podcast. Attorney Malik focuses his law practice on helping property owners who have had an insurance claim denied, delayed, or underpaid. With Florida residents holding their collective breaths at the halfway point of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, it was a perfect time to discuss insurance premiums and get some helpful insurance claim advice from an experienced insurance claims lawyer.
Bedrosian began the interview with a discussion about the dramatic increase in premiums faced by many Florida homeowners in recent years – increases as high as 60 percent for some homeowners. Attorney Malik explained that there has been a “swirl” in the insurance industry over the past several years with some companies leaving the market and others entering the market. That has caused instability as well as led to insurance companies putting pressure on the legislature to raise insurance rates.
The good news (hopefully) is that the legislature recently passed laws aimed at increasing competition within the insurance industry. That competition is intended to cause a corresponding decrease in insurance premiums. “Insurance companies are in the business of making a profit…and at some point, the state needs to come in and balance profit and need” said attorney Malik.
Bedrosian referenced a statement by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR) that read as follows “Florida property market is facing significant challenges due to the increase in litigation and higher catastrophe claims due to hurricanes over the past several years.”
In response to that state, statement, attorney Malik pointed out that while insurance companies are complaining about the high costs associated with litigation and fraudulent claims, they have simultaneously been recording record quarterly profits. Moreover, attorney fees are not as significant as FOIR makes them sound when you look closely at the numbers. He stressed the need for Florida property owners to petition their elected officials to lower insurance rates.
Next up in the interview was advice for Florida homeowners when purchasing a homeowner’s policy and/or when filing a claim for damage following a hurricane. Attorney Malik stressed the importance of knowing the value of your home (or property) when purchasing insurance and working closely with a licensed insurance agent to determine how much coverage is enough coverage. As the agent to suggest a coverage amount for you based on the value of your home and property – then shop around and compare premiums before purchasing a policy.
When asked about the record number of Florida homeowners who found themselves without coverage recently because their insurance company “dropped” them, attorney Malik explained that a homeowner’s insurance policy is a contract between the insurance company and the homeowner. As such, most insurance companies review those contracts at the end of the coverage year and decide whether to renew the policy. Unfortunately, the insurance company is under no obligation to renew an existing policy, leading to homeowners suddenly finding themselves without hurricane coverage.
“Florida homeowners must have hurricane coverage,” said attorney Malik. Citizens Property Insurance, considered the option of last resort because it is “quasi” backed by the state, will provide hurricane coverage, albeit at a high premium.
Attorney Imran Malik was asked how to protect your home and property during the Atlantic hurricane season. He offered the following advice:
Bedrosian went on to ask attorney Malik if he had any advice for Florida homeowners who find themselves in a position where they need to file a claim for hurricane damage with their insurance company. According to attorney Malik, this advice applies to all damage claims, not just those related to hurricane damage:
If your property was damaged by a Florida hurricane and your insurance company has undervalued, denied, or delayed your claim, call us at 407-500-1000 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Florida hurricane damage claims attorneys will explain your rights to you and discuss your legal options at no cost.