This is the continuation of our multi-installment blog post that provides answers to frequently asked questions about homeowners insurance claims filed in Miami and the surrounding areas of Florida. Although this blog addresses a number of questions about homeowners policies and property damage claims, we know you might have specific questions about your unique situation. I invite you to contact my law firm to speak to an experienced Miami homeowners insurance claims attorney if you do not find your answer in this blog series.
How can I lower my homeowners insurance cost?
Whether you are financing your home or you own it outright, homeowners insurance is critical to protect you from the loss of this most valuable family asset. However, the financial commitment associated with homeowners insurance can be problematic if you are struggling to make ends meet. If you agree to a higher deductible amount than is customary, you can reduce your premium payments. There are also other measures that might merit discounts, such as installing a security system, deadbolt locks, fire alarms, storm shudders and other measures to mitigate potential risks. When shopping for insurance, you should inquire about how safeguards like these might impact your premiums.
Can I pursue a complaint against my insurer with the state?
If your insurance company initially fails to handle your claim properly or promptly, you might want to escalate the issue informally with the insurance carrier. It is important to carefully review your policy and the denial letter prior to contacting the insurance company, so you are prepared when you talk to the representative. If the adjuster you are dealing with is not helpful, you can ask to speak to a supervisor. Many policyholders will find that these avenues do not prove fruitful. When your insurance company is not helpful, every state department of insurance provides a process for filing a complaint. While this might generate progress in resolving the claim, the state will not directly compell the insurer to handle or pay your claim. Thus, you might want to seek legal advice from a Florida insurance attorney to determine if a lawsuit or other stategy might be an appropriate way to resolve your dispute.
How does policy language regarding “Acts of God” impact my homeowners insurance coverage?
Historically, most insurance policies contained an exclusion for Acts of God, which includes acts of nature that cannot be prevented or controlled. These potential perils can include flooding, war, tornedos, hurricanes, ice storms and similar perils. Current homeowners insurance policies increasingly provide coverage for many of these potential perils. However, you should review your policy to determine whether the Acts of God provision excludes perils that you want covered. A rider can often be purchased to cover a particular peril. Some Acts of God are covered with respect to certain types of damage but not covered for other types of loss. A Florida homeowners policy will typically cover damage to a roof in a windstorm but may not cover spoiled vegetables because the wind knocked out the power lines.
Will my claim for mold damage be covered under my Florida homeowners policy
If your home has been damaged by water penetration, proper remediation is necessary to avoid mold damage. Some insurance policies limit or exclude mold damage, so you should carefully review your policy to determine if this type of peril is covered.
If you are having difficulties getting your insurance company to adjust and/or pay your claim in a timely manner, you are welcome to contact my Miami insurance claims dispute law firm. 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.