When your home suffers significant structural damage because of a severe storm or other peril, you may be faced with severe financial pressure especially if your home is not habitable. As a former claims adjuster and insurance claims lawyer, I know that periods when a claim is pending can be stressful if your insurer fails to answer your questions or properly resolve your claim. When policyholders are armed with more information about what to expect during the claims process, this knowledge can demystify the insurance claims process. This blog post provides answers to some more questions our insurance claims law firm receives about property damage claims.
Why do I need to provide a “sworn proof of loss” form after submitting a claim for property damage?
If you have homeowners insurance that covers a peril like a hurricane or fire, you will be required to comply with certain post-loss conditions. When a homeowner fails to comply with these conditions, the insurance carrier will frequently use non-compliance as a basis for denying the claim. One of the most important post-loss conditions is the requirement that the insured provide a sworn proof of loss. The form must detail your damages and the value of the loss.
Do policyholders need special wind coverage?
Although a number of policies contain coverage for perils related to storms like hail or wind, you might need to purchase special coverage if you live in areas particularly prone to such risks like near the coastline.
Does my flood coverage pay for damage to my basement?
Flood coverage will provide compensation for certain types of losses involving basements, but some forms of loss to personal property or the structure are not covered. Appliances and other items like wash machines, freezers, HVAC systems, dryers and certain utilities might be covered under your policy, but furniture, carpeting and flooring might not be covered.
Will I be required to pay more than one deductible if I make a claim for both structural damage and property damage?
How do I take care of my finances and documents in the event of a hurricane or other form of national disaster?
When a hurricane or other serious natural disaster occurs, your access to financial institutions or ATMs might be limited. If a hurricane is predicted, you might want to withdraw cash prior to the storm and ensure that you have a credit card with available credit to obtain necessities and supplies. Financial and legal documents should be kept in a safe place that you can access if the city is shutdown.
What do I do if I do not have enough homeowners insurance to cover the cost associated with replacing or repairing my home?
Depending on the circumstances, there may be a range of other resources that you can tap to cover the shortfall. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) might provide low interest financing or emergency financial assistance. Another option might be to declare a loss on your income taxes. There also is a possibility that you might have other kinds of insurance that apply to the loss.
If you have questions about Florida insurance claims, you are welcome to contact my Florida 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.