Most homeowners are diligent about paying the premiums on their property insurance so that they are covered in the event of a loss from a natural disaster. So, you’re hopeful that your insurance company will honor your policy and pay for the damages you’ve claimed. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case as many homeowner’s insurance companies don’t always deliver on their promises to help. And that is when you need the services of a lawyer to help take legal action.
Once the insurance adjuster has finished their initial evaluation, you play the waiting game, all the time anticipating a phone call from them within a few days. But the phone call never comes. Finally, after several weeks, you get a letter in your mailbox from the insurance company containing a check or the damages you claimed. Unfortunately, it’s far less than you anticipated and won’t come close to paying for the repairs you need.
Claims denied because of pre-existing Damage
The common practice of many insurance companies at this point in the claims process is to deny all or a large percentage of the damages you’re claiming. They may be denying your claim based on a few different reasons such as:
- the damage already existed prior to taking out your insurance policy
- the damage didn’t result from this most recent weather event
- the damage isn’t covered by your homeowner’s insurance
- any other reason the insurance company manufacturers
Limiting the Repair Scope and undervaluing the Damages
If the above denial tactics don’t work, the insurance company will attempt to pay less than what you’ve claimed or will undervalue the amount of the damages you’re claiming. They may attempt to limit the actual number of items to be repaired and/or impose limits on the amount they’ll pay for the repairs. Insurance companies have built networks of adjusters, contractors, and other experts for the specific purpose of devaluing claims. But having the right lawyer can help you claim the right amount of compensation for the damages.
Florida law has enabled insurance companies to pay the Actual Cash Value (ACV) or the “yard sale” value of the damages you’re claiming, not the current repair or replacement costs. If they pay the Replacement Cost Value for your damaged items, they will depreciate the amount far enough so they’re only paying the ACV.
The most egregious tactic is the application of outrageously high deductibles on your insurance policy. While $1,000.00 deductibles are common when damages are not the result of a hurricane or tornado, they will be significantly higher when the opposite is true. If you feel that your insurance company has treated you unfairly, call the Korin Law, P.A. for help.