Although homeowners insurance policies cover many types of perils, there are some types of risks to homeowners in Florida that are more common than others. When your home is damaged by a natural disaster or wrongful act of a criminal offender, your insurance coverage provides the financial security to protect your home and your family’s financial future. As a Miami insurance claims attorney, I have assisted clients with homeowners insurance claims arising from many types of perils. This blog post highlights three of the most common types of claim filed by homeowners.
Hurricane Damage Claims
While we have been lucky to have an extended period without a hurricane touching down in Florida, they can cause catastrophic damage when they occur. Because hurricanes cause widespread destruction and a multitude of claims, they pose financial challenges for both insurance companies and policyholders.
The sudden glut of claims following a hurricane provides a financial incentive for insurance companies to develop strategies to minimize payouts. While insurance companies provide a service at a time when people are in trouble and often need humanitarian services, insurers are for profit businesses first and foremost. Insurance carriers employ a number of strategies to mitigate their liability for hurricane damage claims. The insurer may use deceptively worded provisions or hyper-technical interpretations of the policy to deny a claim. While the insurer might concede that hurricane damage is covered, for example, the carrier might claim that the damage was from water after the hurricane. Since water rather than wind caused the damage, the insurer might try to deny the claim based on the contention that it is “flood” damage as opposed to covered hurricane damage.
Insurers might also try to deny certain types of financial compensation. While your policy might entitle you to receive the cost of replacement or repair, temporary relocation expenses, transportation costs and storage costs, your insurer might dispute your right to have these costs covered. An experienced Florida insurance claims attorney might be able to help if your insurance company refuses to properly handle your claim.
Roof Damage Claims
Roof claims are extremely important because roof damage can expose the rest of the structure to significant damage. The type of roof on your home will dictate its strengths and weaknesses. Whether you have a flat top roof, slope roof or other type of roof, specific material will be used in the construction of the roof, such as concrete, tile, architectural shingles or other materials. The installation of the roof or choice of materials might have been faulty, which will often generate disputed roof damage claims. The insurance carrier also might rely on misleading contract terms or a less than candid engineer assessment.
Fire Damage Claims
While most people tend to think of nature related perils like wind and hurricanes as the biggest threat to their home, changing weather patterns have made fire a more significant risk. Climate changes have increased the risk of brush fires. Whether your home is damaged by a fire induced by weather or human activity, the result can be a total loss of your home. There are many forms of damage that can be caused by fire which include electrical problems, melting of materials, structural integrity issues, roof damage and more. Insurance carriers also can be unreasonable in their assessment of your loss. They will require you to prepare a sworn proof of loss that includes an inventory of the items lost along with their value. This can be extremely difficult even for seasoned insurance professionals let alone the average homeowner. If there are errors in terms of valuation or items included on the sworn proof of loss, these mistakes might be used to threaten criminal charges of arson. A Florida homeowners insurance claims attorney can help guide you past these traps.
If you have questions about Florida property insurance claims, 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.