What Should I Do If I am Having Trouble Settling My Insurance Claim?

What Should I Do If I am Having Trouble Settling My Insurance Claim?
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What Should I Do If I am Having Trouble Settling My Insurance Claim?

What Should I Do If I am Having Trouble Settling My Insurance Claim?When you purchase an insurance policy and pay your premiums on time you do so with the expectation that if you ever need to file a claim will be paid without dispute. Remember, however, that you remember your insurance company is in the business of making a profit. Consequently, they will often look for a reason to deny, delay, or underpay a claim.

Problems You Might Encounter When Trying to Settle an Insurance Claim

After filing an insurance claim, you could encounter a variety of problems with your insurer that cause your claim to be denied, delayed, or underpaid, including:

  • Lack of evidence. If you suffered damages to your property, resist the temptation to start cleaning it up immediately. Always document the damage and alert your insurance company first. Failing to do so may cause your insurance company to become suspicious about the cause of the damage and/or claim a lack of evidence necessary to approve your claim.
  • Failure to mitigate damages. Most insurance policies include a mitigation provision that requires you to take reasonable steps to prevent further damage to your property or belongings. This can mean something as simple as shutting off the main water supply if you have a pipe burst or something more complex such as getting a roofing contractor to put a tarp over a damaged roof.
  • Disagreement about the cost of repairs. The insurance adjuster may significantly underestimate the cost of the repairs/replacement. Therefore, it is important to get your own independent estimate(s) when you file an insurance claim.
  • Damages not covered. Some insurance companies will look for ways to deny a claim. Claiming that the cause of your loss is not covered under the terms of your policy is a common way to do that.
  • Procedural problems. Insurance companies frequently request a never-ending list of forms, receipts, and documents to wear down a claimant. At best, this can cause unnecessary delays in the payment of your claim. At worst, it can result in an outright denial of your claim if you are unable to submit something deemed “essential” to processing your claim.


Steps to Take If You Are Having Trouble Settling an Insurance Claim

Ideally, when you experience damage or a loss that should be covered by your insurance, the claim that you file is paid in full in a timely manner. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. If you find yourself in a position where you are having trouble settling an insurance claim, take the following steps:

  1. Review your insurance policy. If you have not done so already, take the time to thoroughly review your insurance policy to make sure the damage/loss is covered. Pay particular attention to any provisions that list exclusions to your coverage or that list separate deductibles. For example, your homeowner’s insurance policy may not cover flood damage and may have a higher deductible for hurricane damage.
  2. Document your loss or damage. Hopefully, you already took photos of any damage you are claiming. If not, take some photos now. Also, gather any documentation you have that helps prove the value of the property included in your claim. This may include receipts for the original cost as well as estimates showing the cost to repair or replace your property.
  3. Contact your insurance agent. Try and resolve the issue with your insurance agent. If your attempts at settling the claim over the phone have been unsuccessful, put your concerns/issues in writing to your agent via email or snail mail. Include copies of any photos and/or documentation you have that helps substantiate your claim.
  4. Contact the state insurance authority. If you believe that your insurance company is not acting in good faith you have the option to contact the state insurance authority and file a complaint. In the State of Florida, that is the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
  5. Consult with an experienced insurance claim attorney. When it becomes apparent that your insurance claim is not being processed in a reasonable amount of time or that your claim is not going to be paid in full, it is time to contact an experienced insurance claim attorney.


Will I Need to File a Lawsuit to Settle My Insurance Claim?

Once an attorney is involved, most insurance claims are settled out of court and, therefore, do not require litigation. If it is necessary to file a lawsuit, however, having an experienced attorney on your side ensures that someone will advocate for you and your rights both outside of court and in the courtroom.

How Much Will a Florida Insurance Claim Attorney Cost?

If your insurance company has denied, delayed, or underpaid your claim, an experienced insurance claim attorney will not charge you anything upfront. Your attorney will only be paid if you accept a settlement or are awarded a verdict at trial.

Where Can I Get Help with My Florida Insurance Claim?

If you suffered damage/loss and your insurance company has denied your claim, underpaid a claim, or there has been an unreasonable delay in paying your claim, call us at 407-500-1000 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Miami insurance claims attorneys will explain your rights to you and discuss your legal options at no cost.

Imran Malik
Imran Malik
Imran Malik, rated AV® Preeminent, by Martindale-Hubbell, is the founding member of Malik Law P.A. An AV® Rating signifies that a lawyer has reached the heights of professional excellence. He has practiced law for a number of years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity by fellow attorneys in his area of practice. Martindale-Hubbell is the oldest and most trusted lawyer information service in America.