Florida Homeowner Insurance Claims: Five Important Questions

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
Founder of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.

When homeowners experience the sudden devastation of a natural disaster or pointless damage to their home caused by criminal acts, they rely on their homeowners insurance to repair or rebuild their home.  Even if a homeowner has never filed a prior claim, it is not uncommon to find that insurers fail to uphold their contractual obligations under the policy even when the insured has faithfully paid premiums for years and comply with all of the post-lost conditions specified in the policy.  The bottom line is that insurance companies make money by denying and minimizing claims not by fully compensating policyholders on legitimate claims.  As a Miami homeowners insurance attorney who represents policyholders, I have provided answers to some important questions to which every policyholder should know the answer.

What happens with my mortgage lender when I file an insurance claim for property damage covered by my policy?

When you receive a settlement check from your insurance company, the check will be made payable to both you and your mortgage company.  The home constitutes the lender’s security interest, so the lender wants to make sure that the appropriate repairs are made to the home.  The mortgage company may cash the check and make payments for the repairs as they are incurred.

Can my insurance policy elect not to renew my homeowners policy?

The insurance company can decline to renew a homeowners policy depending on the circumstances, but the law of your state will dictate the timing and content of the notice that you receive.  The policy cannot be denied without some form of notice.  Because insurance companies are private businesses, they are not required to allow you to renew your homeowners policy.  Some of the common reasons that insurance companies use for refusing to renew a policy, include home maintenance issues, prospective future claims and excessive claims in the past.  If your insurer denies renewal, an insurance claims attorney might be able to provide advice about getting the policy reinstated.

Will my policy cover building permits under local laws if my home needs to be rebuilt because of a fire or other form of catastrophic loss?

Ordinance and law coverage is a specific type of coverage under homeowners policy that provides funds for the necessary costs of fixing or rebuilding your home in accordance with local ordinances.  This form of coverage should provide compensation for the cost of building permits as long as your policy has ordinance and law coverage.

There are a range of items to which flood insurance does not extend?

Flood insurance will not cover pools, trees, sidewalks, fences, boats, driveways, motor vehicles, crops, money and lawns.  Flood coverage might also exclude certain types of property on the lower level of properties.

Does the policyholder get to select the company that performs the repairs?

The insured does have the right to select the company to undertake the process of affecting repairs although some insurance companies are attempting to limit this right with policy language.

If you have questions about Miami-Dade homeowners insurance claims, as an experienced Miami home insurance attorney, I can answer you questions thoroughly. 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 consultations and case evaluations.  No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees.  Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.

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