Most Florida residents have multiple forms of insurance coverage that may protect a family’s most important assets like their home, personal property inside their residence and motor vehicles. Insurance coverage may protect against natural perils like hurricanes and floods, human perils like the theft or vandalism and personal injury liability claims. If you are lucky, your insurance coverage has served only as a form of security, so you have never needed to file a claim. However, people own insurance because unanticipated negative events can cause serious financial loss without adequate coverage. As a Florida insurance bad faith lawyer, my law firm has helped many people plagued by recalcitrant insurance companies that drag their feet or refuse to pay claims. This blog post provided answers to five important questions.
Why is my insurance company refusing to pay my property damage claim?
There are many reasons that an insurance company might refuse to pay a homeowners insurance claim. One of the most common justifications offered by insurance carriers is that the claim is not covered by the policy. Policies include a substantial number of exclusions and coverage limitations, which might mean a claim is not covered. The types of exclusions will depend on the type of policy. Policyholders should carefully review their policy, so they understand what types of risks are excluded or subject to lower policy limits. If a review of your coverage indicates that your policy does not cover the types of damage or perils that you want included under your policy, you should talk with your insurance agent about the cost of adding additional protection.
Why am I being sued by my insurance carrier?
Insurance companies sometimes sue their insured when there are disputes about coverage. An insurance policy is a contract, so courts can be asked to resolve contractual disputes when coverage issues exist. Although an insured may bring a breach of contract or insurance bad faith claim, the insurance company can also initiate an action regarding its contractual obligation to provide coverage under the policy. Scenarios that involve an insurer suing a policyholder usually relate to third party liability claims. For example, a business owner might be sued for damage to a customer caused by his product, or a homeowner might be sued because his dog bites a visiting appliance repairman. In these situations, the insurance company might file a legal action for a declaration of coverage. This can be an extremely frustrating situation for the policyholder who is being sued not just from the injury victim but also his or her own insurance company.
What types of cases does Miami insurance attorney J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo handle?
Because I am both a former insurance claims adjuster and insurance coverage attorney, my law firm can handle a broad range of insurance cases, such as:
- Property damage claims
- Business interruption claims
- Improper rescission of policy claims
- Condominium insurance claims
- Disability insurance claims
- Health insurance claims
- Homeowners insurance claims
- Theft insurance claims
- Life insurance claims
- Bad faith claims
How do I know I need to sue my insurance company?
The specific circumstances that determine when to sue your insurance company will vary depending on a range of factors that include the type of coverage, circumstances of loss, conduct of your insurance company, efforts to resolve the dispute and more. The bottom line is that your insurance company has a legal duty to investigate and pay the actual value of your claim in a timely manner. My office has successfully represented many Florida residents in pursuing lawsuits to compel compliance with the terms of a policy or obtain damages for bad faith.
What do I need to do if my insurance company sues me in a declaratory action?
If your insurance company initiates a legal action against you seeking declaratory relief, you need to seek advice and representation without delay. The insurer will ask the judge to determine that its determination that your claim is not covered is valid. If you are matched up against insurance defense attorneys without an experienced insurance coverage attorney on your side, the odds will be strongly stacked in favor of the insurance carrier.
My law firm represents policyholders in claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.