Tthe process of pursuing a claim can be complicated and riddled with potential traps for the unwary. Selecting a qualified Florida insurance claims lawyer can have a significant impact on the outcome of your claim. This blog post provides key suggestions about things a policyholder should avoid saying when making an insurance claim. Keep reading to learn more!
Avoid Characterizing Loss as Flood Damage: Homeowner’s policies will have their own stylized definition of a flood. Even if the floor of your finished basement is underneath six inches of water, the insurer might not consider the damage flood-related. Characterization of water damage as a “flood” after your sump pump burst might mean that your homeowner’s carrier can force you to pursue a claim through the National Flood Insurance Program. If you do not have flood insurance, which involves paying an additional premium, the scope of coverage and applicable policy limits may be impacted by a determination that your water damage was caused by flooding. The terms of your policy should be reviewed carefully with the caveat that “water damage” is more frequently covered and to a greater extent than “flood damage.”
Do Not Be a “Chatty Cathy:” While you may have opinions about the cause of a crash and observations about physical evidence, conversations with the other driver and/or his insurance carrier is usually ill-advised. A motorist’s perception also tends to be adversely affected by chaos and stress associated with a collision. This may result in you providing erroneous time and distance estimates that allow an insurer to claim that you had sufficient time to stop prior to a collision but that you failed to do so. The information you provide will be used by the other insurer to support a claim against you of comparative negligence or to reduce the amount of a damage award. Generally, you should stick to providing facts about which you are certain rather than hazarding a guess or providing an opinion.
Never Admit Fault: The shock, pain and stress of a vehicle accident can mean that a motorist is overcome by feelings of guilt and anxiety. Sometimes these emotions will motivate a person to blurt out “I’m sorry” or “It is all my fault!” These types of statements can be used by the insurance company to compel a low-ball settlement.
If you suffer a loss and need to pursue a Florida insurance claim, you should consult an experienced Florida insurance claims lawyer. 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 at 1-866-71-CLAIM.