Whether you are sued by a postal worker who fell on your property or your home suffered severe water damage from a burst pipe, a successful homeowner’s insurance claim can determine whether you suffer a devastating financial loss. While the function of homeowners insurance is to provide financial security against property loss caused by covered perils and liability claims for injuries on your property, insurers increase their profitability by underpaying or denying such claims. Because your communications with an insurance company will play an important role in getting your claim paid in a timely fashion, we have provided some helpful tips for handling these interactions.
- Keep Meticulous Notes: when you call your insurance company, you should anticipate being transferred between multiple parties. If a representative of the insurance company provides false statements, lies or misrepresentations that you rely on to your detriment, you may later need to recall the name of the person who provided the misleading information. Whenever you contact the insurance company, you should have a pen and paper handy. The following information should be noted:
- Dates, times, phone numbers, and names of anyone with whom you speak
- The subject matter of any conversations
The best approach is to organize your thoughts before calling, which means reviewing any relevant correspondence and policy language. It is also advisable to highlight important information you may want to reference during the call. If you are clear, concise and organized during telephone calls, you will tend to have better results.
- Confirm Oral Communications in Writing: while taking careful notes will provide an effective resource if you need to retrace your steps and explain your situation to a Florida insurance claims attorney, your understanding of the conversation may be radically different from that of the insurance company representative. In some cases, these discrepancies can be attributable to a genuine misunderstanding, but sometimes, the insurance adjuster or other representative of the insurance company might suffer from “selective recall.” Telephone conversations should be verified with a letter confirming the insurance carrier representative’s understanding of the discussion.
- Recorded Statements - Tread Carefully: an insurance company might ask you to provide a recorded statement that ostensibly will be used to investigate your insurance claim. Often, the real purpose of a recorded statement is to obtain information that will compromise your claim, such as damaging facts or inconsistencies. Policyholders should never provide a recorded statement without seeking legal advice from a knowledgeable insurance attorney.
- Let a Florida Insurance Attorney Speak for You: If your insurance company is refusing to cooperate in adjusting and paying your claim, you should seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer who can answer your questions, protect your rights, and help you avoid making critical mistakes. When you talk directly to your insurer, it is easy to make critical mistakes and damaging disclosures. Further, the insurer might ask you to participate in an examination under oath, which can be intimidating, so it important to have a Florida insurance claims attorney balance the scales of justice.
If your insurance company is using sharp practices or otherwise fails to process and pay your claim in a timely manner, you might have a legal claim for financial compensation. 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.