Most property owners in Florida purchase homeowners insurance coverage to provide financial protection against loss, injuries, and property damage that occurs on the premises of the covered property. When you submit an application for homeowner's coverage, the transaction is understood to be an exchange in which the insurer will financially assist the homeowner under certain circumstances provided the insured pays premiums. The essential product being purchased when you buy homeowner's insurance is the transfer of the risk of loss from covered perils to the insurance company.
When a peril causes damage to your home or someone suffers injury on the premises, the process of pursuing a claim will depend on the circumstances. If there is a risk of further injury or damage, the policyholder should initially focus on mitigating the risk of future injury or property damage. Once mitigation is addressed, the insured needs to notify the insurance company of the claim.
Although the precise manner of submitting a claim will differ between companies to some extent, claims typically can be filed electronically, in writing, or over the telephone. The insurer will require that certain basic information be provided which includes but is not limited to the following:
- Nature of the incident causing the loss or injury
- Basic background information about the homeowner
- Description of the damage or loss
Once the insurer has received notice of the claim, the insurer must assess the value of the loss. The insurer typically will request that the policyholder provide an inventory with estimated values of the items damaged or lost. Because the insurance company has a vested interest in lowballing the amount of any payout, you should not rely on the estimates regarding the loss or damage prepared by the insurance adjuster. If you have an independent contractor assess the loss, you will have a point of comparison against which to evaluate the insurance company’s determination of the value of the loss.
If the insurance carrier accepts the claim, the insurance company will determine the amount of the loss and send a check to the policyholder. If there is a mortgage on the property, the financial institution that holds the mortgage will be named as a party on the check to ensure that the property is repaired or rebuilt. If you must temporarily relocate while your home is being repaired, your insurance company may be required to pay you additional compensation to cover the additional living expenses associated with the relocation.
If the insurer denies the claim, the policyholder should receive a letter providing an explanation in writing for the decision to deny the claim.
You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at[email protected].