Questions & Answers About Homeowners Insurance Coverage in Florida [Part II]

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

This is the second installment of our multi-part blog covering common questions and answers about Florida homeowner’s insurance coverage.  Although we have attempted to address many common questions, the best way to obtain answers about your unique situation is to speak to an experienced Miami insurance coverage lawyer. Click here to read Part I.

What are my options if my property is stolen or my home is damaged?

If your home is damaged or you have property stolen by a thief, you should notify your insurance company as soon as possible.  When the nature of the damage or theft exposes your home or personal items to further damage, you should take “emergency precautions” to mitigate the risk of additional damage.  If windows in your home have been shattered, this might necessitate boarding up the windows to prevent further damage caused by wind, rain or theft.  While you should not postpone making these repairs, your policy generally will provide compensation for amounts spent to mitigate the damage.  It is advisable to contact the insurance company to clear any mitigation measures before implementing the repairs because the insurance company has a right to inspect the home prior to repairs being performed.

What should I do if I am found financially liable for causing injury of another individual?

Liability coverage, which is an important component of homeowner’s protection, provides compensation for injuries and property damage suffered by another individual because of your negligence.  This type of claim involves injury and property damage that is unrelated to operation of a motor vehicle.  The injury can occur on the premises or away from the property.  If you are the defendant in a lawsuit arising out of your negligent conduct in causing a fire, for example, you should notify a representative of your insurance carrier promptly.

Are my elderly mom’s personal items covered by my homeowner’s policy if she lives in our home?

Generally, your aging parent or teen away at school will be the beneficiary of protection for his or her personal property.  However, the extent of this coverage may vary, so you should talk to your insurance agent.

How should I proceed if I have suffered a devastating property loss?

The best initial step is to prepare an inventory of the items that have been damaged or destroyed.  The optimal approach is to prepare the inventory prior to the loss.  While preparing an inventory prior to a catastrophe can be a relatively simple matter, preparing this type of documentation is much more difficult when faced with the stress that accompanies such a calamity.  Generally, people do not keep careful track of furniture, dishware and other household or personal items.  The inventory of items should include a photo, serial number and cost of personal property where possible.  Receipts and other documentation of expenditures is also valuable.  Creating a detailed inventory can be done efficiently using video tape with narration.  Multiple copies of the inventory should be prepared.  One copy should be stored with a family member or friend while another copy should be safely stashed in a safety deposit box.

If you have questions about homeowner’s insurance claims, you are invited to contact our law firm to speak to an experienced Florida insurance claims attorney.  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  at 1-866-71-CLAIM. 

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