Underpaid Insurance Lawyers in Florida
The underpaid insurance lawyers in Florida at Smith & Vanture can help you if you believe your homeowner’s insurance claim was underpaid. Insurance adjusters may sometimes try to reduce their liability when homeowners make a claim. Insurance is a big business. The less an insurance company has to pay for a claim the more money insurance companies save. While insurance companies are required by law to honor their contractual obligations, it is also the responsibility of the homeowner to prove their losses. If you fail to adequately document you damages or losses, fail to correct errors made during the depreciation process, fail to correct errors an adjuster may have made during the repair estimate process, or fail to follow up when a settlement amount doesn’t cover the full costs of repairs, you might end up settling for less than you might deserve. The underpaid insurance lawyers in Florida at Smith & Vanture can review your claim, read the fine print of your insurance policy, estimate the value of your damages, and fight to help you get the settlement you may deserve under the law. If you believe your homeowner’s insurance claim was wrongfully underpaid or denied, the Florida underpaid insurance lawyers at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you.
Signs that Your Homeowner’s Insurance Claim Was Underpaid
Insurance adjusters are at an advantage when it comes to settling an insurance claim. Not only do insurance adjusters have a thorough understanding of your policy, but they also understand their rights and obligations under the law. Insurance adjusters have a financial interest in paying the lowest value settlement possible. Every dollar they save, is money they make. While your insurance company is legally required to honor its contractual obligations, in almost every homeowner’s insurance claim there might be a little “wiggle room.” Estimates of repairs can sometimes be higher or lower, costs of materials can change daily and weekly, and insurance adjusters can choose lower-value estimates over higher value ones. If you have an actual cash value insurance policy, your insurance adjuster would need to estimate the value of depreciation, and this can sometimes have a subjective element to it. A Florida underpaid insurance claim lawyer on your side at Smith & Vanture can evaluate the estimated settlement being offered, look closely at your policy and losses, and fight or negotiate with insurance companies to help you get the settlement you may deserve under the law.
What are some signs that your insurance settlement might be underpaid? Here are some red flags to look for:
- Your insurance adjuster didn’t take as long as your licensed contractor to assess damages. A licensed contractor, when providing an estimate of your damages, will need to look closely at the damages, assess what materials will be needed to make repairs, and get a good understanding of the kind of labor and complexity of work involved. An insurance adjuster has similar work to do. He or she won’t be repairing your home, but will need to assess damages, assess the kinds of repairs that must be made, estimate the value of these repairs, and the complexity of these repairs. If your insurance adjuster takes much less time to assess the damage to your home than your licensed contractor did, this could be a red flag that your adjuster might be missing crucial damage to your home. In the aftermath of a hurricane or major storm, homeowner’s insurance companies might be flooded with many claims. This still doesn’t give them an excuse to rush through the investigation process. If you believe your insurance adjuster rushed your inspection, and as a result offered you a lower settlement than you deserve, you may want to speak to the underpaid insurance claims lawyers in Florida at Smith & Vanture today. We can help you with your claim. Another thing to watch for is whether your insurance adjuster is trying to work with you when assessing damages. If you direct your insurance adjuster to look at damage, but he or she doesn’t take note of the damages, or doesn’t spend time assessing these damages, this could be a sign that crucial details might be missed.
- Your insurance adjuster missed damages. When you read through the assessment of damages your insurance adjuster provides, if damages were missed, then this an obvious sign that your claim has been underpaid. Any damages missed in the report will not be paid for. This will result in an underpayment of your claim because your insurance company cannot pay for damages it doesn’t acknowledge or take note of. Of course it is important to determine if damages were missed intentionally or because they weren’t covered. Remember, that most standard homeowner’s policies won’t cover damages for flooding.
- Your insurance adjuster’s estimate of the cost of damages is lower than the estimate provided by licensed contractors. Licensed contractors work in reality. They know the actual price of materials, labor, and repairs. Their estimate reflects what repairs actually cost in the real world. Insurance adjusters might often base their estimates of repair costs on algorithms, estimates, and formulas. If any piece of data in these estimates is wrong or outdated, the estimate your adjuster might reach could be much lower than actual costs. For example, a contractor will take into account waste when charging you for a project. If you are tiling a roof, some tiles will be thrown out because they have to be cut to fit. When an insurance adjuster estimates the same job, he or she may calculate the cost of materials in fractions or may even be using outdated estimates of materials costs which may not always reflect inflation. Labor costs can also vary. In the aftermath of a storm, labor costs may be higher because demand for repairs is higher. If your insurance company is estimating the cost of repairs from a time period when demand was lower, the estimate may be off. Other factors also need to be considered. Is your adjuster considering the cost of repairs using the exact same materials you used? Sometimes insurance adjusters may assume materials are of lower quality than they are. A contractor knows his or her materials, whereas an adjuster might sometimes make assumptions. If your insurance adjuster’s estimate of damages doesn’t match the one your contractor provided, then you may want to speak to an underpaid insurance lawyer in Florida at Smith & Vanture. We can look at every detail of your insurance adjuster’s estimate and find errors, correct them, and help you get the settlement you may deserve under the law.
- Your claim was denied, or portions of your claim were denied. There are aspects of the homeowner’s insurance claim process where disputes can arise. For example, if your home was damaged due to wind-driven rain and flooding, your insurance company might try to claim that all water damage was due to flooding because flooding isn’t typically covered in an insurance claim. Differentiating between covered and uncovered damages can be challenging. If your insurance company is claiming that your negligence led to worse damages, this might also be an aspect of your claim that you might be able to dispute. If you believe your claim is being wrongfully denied or underpaid, the underpaid insurance lawyers at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you. Contact our underpaid insurance claims lawyers in Florida today.
These are just some of the signs that a claim might have been underpaid. If you believe your insurance company is acting in bad faith or has underpaid your claim, you may want to speak to the underpaid insurance claim lawyers in Florida at Smith & Vanture today. Our lawyers understand how insurance policies work, and we can take the time to read the fine print of yours. We can work with independent adjusters and contractors to get a proper estimate of your damages and losses, and fight or negotiate with your insurance company to get you the settlement you may deserve under the law. If insurance companies are nickel and diming you or are claiming you are responsible for damages, Smith & Vanture may be able to help.
Contact an Underpaid Insurance Lawyer in Florida Today
Before you accept a settlement from your insurance company, you might want to find out if your claim was underpaid. The underpaid insurance claim lawyers in Florida at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you. Our lawyers can review your policy, look closely at your losses and damages, and fight to help you get the settlement you may deserve under the law.
You’ve paid your premiums and honored your obligations. When it’s time to make an insurance claim, your insurance company has a responsibility to honor its obligations to you. Underpayment of insurance claims is more common than you might realize. Insurance companies will more often underpay a claim wrongfully than wrongfully deny a claim. Insurance companies are betting that you won’t want to go through the hassle of disputing the claim, or that you won’t notice that you are entitled to more. Because there is always some wiggle room when it comes to estimating claims, insurance companies can offer a lower settlement than your claim might be worth and still not always be accused of acting in bad faith.
If you think your claim has been underpaid, you may want to take the time to read the fine print of your insurance contract, ask your insurance adjuster how he or she arrived at the settlement amount he or she is offering you, make sure you get estimates from licensed contractors or hire a private insurance claim adjuster, and if you cannot resolve your case or aren’t sure what your next step should be, consider reaching out to a Florida underpaid insurance claim lawyer at Smith & Vanture today.