Florida Insurance Claims Lawyers
The Florida insurance claim lawyers at Smith & Vanture can help you appeal a denied insurance claim or fight insurance companies when claims are delayed or underpaid. Under Florida law, homeowner’s insurance companies have a specific timeframe by which they must either pay your claim in full, pay the undisputed portion of your claim, or inform you in writing that your claim has been denied. If you submitted proof of loss forms and more than 90 days have passed, and you still haven’t heard from your insurance company, or if you have heard from insurance companies but believe your claim is being underpaid, the Florida insurance claim lawyers at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you.
A Florida insurance claim lawyer at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you if…
- Your insurance is acting in bad faith, by misrepresenting your policy, offering you a lower settlement than you are legally entitled to receive, or wrongfully denying your claim.
- You don’t have the time to read through your homeowner’s insurance policy’s fine print and would prefer to have a lawyer help you settle your homeowner’s insurance claim. You know that you can support the claim amount but need assistance putting together the evidence to negotiate a better settlement.
- Your insurance claim is complicated, involves multiple types of damage, or your home sustained damages due to covered causes and due to uncovered causes. For example, your home was damaged due to wind, which is covered, and also was damaged due to flooding which is typically not covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy. Differentiating between these types of damage can be challenging.
The aftermath of a major storm can be stressful and challenging. Your home may be seriously damaged, and you may be juggling trying to work, care for your children, get quotes for repairs, and settle your insurance claim. If your homeowner’s insurance claim was denied, delayed, or underpaid, the Florida insurance claim lawyer at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you.
How an Insurance Claim Denial Attorney in Florida Can Help You Appeal Common Causes of Insurance Denials or Underpayment
There are many reasons why a homeowner’s insurance claim might be denied or underpaid. Some of these reasons are valid and can be difficult to dispute. Other claim denials or underpayments may be open to negotiation and settlement. Let’s explore some common reasons why homeowner’s insurance claims get denied or underpaid and discover how a Florida insurance claim denial attorney at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you.
- Missed Deadlines or Lapsed Insurance. To make a successful claim, you’ll need to have valid insurance and meet your insurance company’s deadlines for filing a claim. Sometimes, insurance companies might claim your insurance has lapsed or you missed a deadline due to an error, misplaced documentation, or other issues. If you believe you should be covered and that your insurance company is claiming that your insurance has lapsed, an insurance claim denial attorney in Florida at Smith & Vanture may be able to submit evidence to your insurance company to prove coverage and may be able to present support for your timeline for making an on-time claim.
- Documenting Damages and Losses. The most common reason homeowner’s insurance claims get denied is because it can be difficult to fully document all damages and losses accurately. Insurance companies might sometimes try to reduce their liability when homeowner’s make claims by either saying that the damage was due to an excluded cause (like flooding) or by saying that the damage was due to negligence or neglect on the part of the homeowner. Let’s explore each of these issues. Most standard homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. To be covered for flooding, you’ll need to have separate coverage. But even if your policy excludes flood damage, it may still cover wind damage and water damage due to non-flood causes. Issues can arise if your insurance company wants to exclude all water damage because your home was flooded. Whether you’d be covered in this situation will depend largely on your policy. An insurance claim denial lawyer in Florida at Smith & Vanture may be able to evaluate your policy and build a case for the cause of damages. Another issue that can arise is the fact that after a storm, homeowners have the responsibility to secure their property and prevent further damage. An example of this might be a damaged roof. Even if you cannot repair the roof right away, you may still need to cover it with a tarp to prevent further water damage to your home. Unfortunately, after some storms, homeowners weren’t permitted to return to their homes for days or weeks after the storm due to bridge collapses and hazardous conditions. If this was an issue, a Florida insurance claim denial lawyer at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you. Other insurance adjusters may try to reduce liability by claiming that the home wasn’t properly maintained or was neglected. If you find yourself facing a denial or underpayment, an insurance claim denial lawyer in Florida at Smith & Vanture may be able to put together sufficient documentation to appeal or negotiate your claim. Putting together a strong case on your own can sometimes be difficult. After all, not all homeowners know the fine print of their policy. If you find yourself facing a denied or underpaid claim, the Florida insurance claim denial lawyers at Smith & Vanture are here to help you.
- Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost. The type of insurance policy you have can also have a significant impact on your claim and settlement amount. There are two main types of insurance coverage: actual cash value coverage and replacement cost coverage. Actual cash value coverage might not cover the full cost to replace all items damaged in your home after a storm. With actual cash value coverage, your insurance adjuster can consider depreciation when evaluating the value of your claim. Issues can arise with this kind of claim when your insurance adjuster takes too much off the value of an item for depreciation. A Florida insurance claim denial lawyer at Smith & Vanture may be able to provide support for a higher value settlement or appraisal of damaged items than your insurance adjuster might be offering. Sometimes insurance companies use algorithms or outdated data to estimate depreciation. For example, a blue book estimate of a car’s value may or may not reflect the actual value of that given car in your area. The same could be true for certain types of repairs, and certain other items damaged or lost. An insurance claim denial lawyer in Florida at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you properly estimate the value of your claim.
- Bad Faith. Sometimes insurance companies break the law, misrepresent the language in a policy, or grossly fail to properly investigate or adjust a claim. If you believe your insurance company is acting in bad faith, the insurance claim denial lawyers in Florida at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you fight for your rights and get the claim you may deserve under the law.
These are just some of the situations that can arise when a claim is denied in Florida. The more complicated your claim, the more ways your adjuster’s settlement offer could be wrong or lower than you might deserve. The insurance claim denial attorney in Florida at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you.
How a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim Attorney in Florida Can Help You
Under Florida homeowner’s claim bill of rights, homeowners have important rights and responsibilities when they make a homeowner’s insurance claim, including timelines by which an insurance company needs to let them know whether a claim is covered in full, partially covered, or denied. A homeowner’s insurance claim attorney in Florida at Smith & Vanture can help you meet your responsibilities and hold insurance companies accountable. What are your responsibilities as a homeowner making a claim, and what responsibilities does your insurance company have? Here are some things to keep in mind:
- It is your responsibility to document all losses thoroughly and to submit proof of loss forms on time. A homeowner’s insurance claim attorney in Florida at Smith & Vanture can review your proof of loss statements, review your damages, and make sure that your documentation is thorough and complete so that you can receive the best possible settlement permitted under the law.
- It is your responsibility to make temporary repairs. Any damages that take place because you didn’t make temporary repairs could be your responsibility.
- Your insurance company must acknowledge your claim within 14 days of your having made a claim, and if you make a request in writing within 30 days of submitting your proof of loss forms, your insurance company must let you know whether the claim is covered in full, partially covered, under investigation, or denied. When you submit your proof of loss forms you may be able to make this request. A homeowner’s insurance claim attorney in Florida at Smith & Vanture may be able to assist you with holding insurance adjusters and companies accountable if they fail to meet these timelines.
- Within 90 days of a homeowner submitting proof of loss forms, your insurance company must either pay your claim in full, pay the undisputed part of your claim, or let you know in writing that your claim was denied. If your insurance company wrongfully denies your claim or underpays your claim, you may be entitled to receive interest for the unpaid portion of your claim. A Florida homeowner’s insurance claim attorney at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you fight for the compensation you may deserve and receive interest for claims not paid on time.
These are just some of the rights and responsibilities homeowner’s insurance companies and homeowners have. The Florida homeowner’s insurance claim attorneys at Smith & Vanture can help you meet your responsibilities and hold insurance companies accountable to their responsibilities. Contact us today to learn more.
Contact a Florida Homeowner’s Insurance Claim Denial Lawyer Today
A Florida homeowner’s insurance claim denial lawyer at Smith & Vanture can help you appeal a denied claim, underpaid claim, or delayed claim. You don’t have to navigate the negotiation process or appeals process alone. Smith & Vanture is a Florida homeowner’s insurance claim denial lawyer that is here for you.