Answers To Your Questions About Property Damage Insurance Claims
With decades of combined legal experience handling insurance matters of all kinds, we have the answers to your property insurance questions. When our homes or businesses are damaged, people do not always know the next step, or how or when to make an insurance claim. Navigating the insurance claim process, or the legal process when your insurance company delays, devalues or denies your insurance claim, can be difficult without a qualified and experienced legal team in your corner. Read through some of the most common questions below and give us a call to discuss your case. We serve clients throughout the state of Florida.
What do I do if I have property damage?
First and foremost, make sure you and your family are safe. Next, find your insurance policy. If you cannot find a copy of your policy, contact your insurance agent and request a copy.
Report the damage. Once you have located your insurance policy, report the property damage to your insurance company or insurance companies as soon as you are able. Tell the insurance company what happened to your home or business, if you know, and describe the damage you suffered.
Document your damage. Use your cell phone or another device to take photographs and/or videos of the damage to your property.
Prevent further damage. Most insurance policies require insureds to take reasonable measures to protect their property from further damage at and after a loss. If you are able to do this, keep detailed records of any temporary repairs or preventative measures taken at your home or business. Save all your receipts demonstrating the repairs you undertake or the supplies you purchase.
Call Dicus & Burke. Insurance companies have an obligation in Florida to investigate your insurance claims in good faith and to seek out facts that relate to coverage of your claim. All too often, however, insurance companies use the claims process to look for ways to delay paying claims, restrict coverage or deny covered claims. Dicus & Burke will assist you with the claims process. We will review your insurance policy and explain all the benefits to which you are entitled. If your insurance company forces you to file a lawsuit to receive your insurance benefits, we will initiate the appropriate legal action on your behalf and hold your insurance company accountable to you throughout the Court process.
Are hurricane and other storm damages covered in Florida?
In Florida, residential property insurers are required to include hurricane storm damage in their policies. In almost every circumstance in Florida, yes, you should have hurricane damage coverage in your residential and even your commercial or surplus lines policies.
What if the insurance company is taking a long time?
Unfortunately, insurance companies will often intentionally delay claims. Fortunately, there are requirements within the Florida Statutes and Administrative Code which govern the conduct of insurance companies in Florida. Insurance companies in Florida are required to handle insurance claims in good faith, which includes promptly resolving claims. If an insurance company engages in conduct that violates the Florida Statues or Administrative Code governing its conduct, including not promptly resolving your claim, you may have the ability to file a “Bad Faith” lawsuit against that insurance company. Several procedural steps must be taken to preserve your “Bad Faith” lawsuit, and the lawsuit cannot be initiated until your insurance claim dispute is resolved.
If your insurance company is delaying the payment of your claim, call Dicus & Burke. We will hold your insurance company accountable to the provisions of the Florida Statutes and Administrative Code governing their conduct.
What if the insurance company denied my claim?
Typically, our homes and our businesses are our most precious assets, and Floridians invest a lot of time and money into these assets. When disaster strikes and these precious assets are damaged or destroyed, we rely on our insurance companies to pay our claims so we can restore our homes and businesses as quickly as possible. All too often, however, insurance companies wrongfully deny covered claims, leaving insureds to carry crushing financial burdens in addition to the emotional burden homeowners and business owners are already carrying.
Insureds often do not understand the basis of claim denials, and insurance companies’ denial letters are typically cryptic, citing complex policy language. At Dicus & Burke, we will review the basis provided by your insurance company for your denial, compare that basis with the facts surrounding your loss, and advise whether your claim was wrongfully denied. We will take immediate action against your insurance company to secure all the contractual benefits to which you are entitled under the law.
Do I need a lawyer for an insurance dispute?
Property insurance policies are extraordinarily complex documents and legally binding contracts in Florida. Losses that appear to be covered in one portion of the policy, may also appear not to be covered or excluded from coverage later in the policy. Further, property insurance policies have conditions embedded within them, with which you must comply, or else your coverage can be forfeited. Insurance companies send adjusters to inspect your home or business, who may have never read your policy, or understand the coverages to which you are entitled. Often, your insurance company will misinterpret its own policy provisions or fail to offer you or even inform you of all the insurance benefits you are entitled to under your contract with it. This often leads to the wrongful denial or devaluation of your valid insurance claim.
While it is possible to attempt to navigate the complexities of the insurance claims process on your own, let Dicus & Burke be your guide. We will review your policy and the damage you suffered with you, inform you of your coverages, and keep your insurance company accountable to you. If legal action is necessary, we will promptly initiate a lawsuit on your behalf and fight for your contractual rights.
How much does it cost to have an attorney handle my claim?
At Dicus & Burke, we handle most cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we invest our own time and money into your case, and do not collect any legal fees or costs from you unless we recover money for you. In many instances, Florida law allows us to seek your legal fees and costs, as the prevailing party, directly from the insurance company. This means you get to keep all the settlement proceeds we recover on your behalf, to restore your damaged property.
Do not wait. Our legal team can help you understand how to proceed, and we can help you obtain full compensation for your delayed, devalued or denied insurance claims. Call us at 855-652-1377 or email us today.