Port Charlotte, Florida Insurance Claims Lawyers
The Port Charlotte, Florida insurance claims lawyers at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you if your homeowner’s insurance claim was denied or underpaid. If your home was damaged due to a hurricane, wind, fire, hail, theft, or other unexpected disaster, you may be entitled to file a claim and seek a settlement to cover repairs and the replacement of damaged property. While different homeowner’s insurance policies will each have their own deductibles, exclusions, and methods for calculating settlement amounts, homeowners sometimes find themselves in the tough position of learning that their settlement won’t cover the full costs of damages or repairs. In the aftermath of a storm or other unexpected disaster, this can be devastating.
Underpaid insurance claims are more common than denied claims. It is easier for an insurance adjuster to underestimate the value of damages, or to try to reduce liability by claiming that damage was either preexisting or due to negligence or due to an excluded cause. Insurance adjusters may also sometimes improperly estimate depreciation and repairs. Your insurance company has a responsibility to pay your claim properly and on time. Yet, adjusters are at an advantage when it comes to settling your claim. They understand the fine print of your policy and know where they have room to negotiate your settlement amount. Too many homeowners may accept the first settlement offered, not realizing that they have the right to ask for more, or not realizing that the estimate may have not included all damages or accurately calculated depreciation or exclusions.
A Port Charlotte, Florida insurance claims lawyer at Smith & Vanture can give you the advantage you need, read the fine print of your policy, help you understand your rights under your coverage, help you properly assess the damage to your property, and fight to help you get the settlement you may deserve under the law. Homeowners pay their insurance premiums on time and when disaster strikes, they rely on their insurance companies to pay their settlement so that they can begin to rebuild. If your claim was underpaid or denied, you may be facing immense stress and may wonder what your next steps should be. Reach out to the Port Charlotte, Florida insurance claims lawyers at Smith & Vanture today. We can help you fight a wrongfully denied or wrongfully underpaid homeowner’s insurance claim.
How an Insurance Claim Denial Lawyer in Port Charlotte, Florida Can Help
An insurance claim denial lawyer in Port Charlotte, Florida can help you appeal a denied or underpaid insurance claim. Our lawyers understand how the claims process works and understand what might go into estimating the value of your claim. We can look closely at how your adjuster investigated your claim, look at what formulas or data your insurance adjuster used to estimate the value of your repairs or losses, hire a private adjuster to properly assess the value of your losses, read the fine print of your policy to determine exactly what is and isn’t covered, and fight your insurance company either inside or outside court to help you get the settlement you may deserve under the law.
Here are some ways an insurance claim denial lawyer in Port Charlotte, Florida at Smith & Vanture can help you.
- We can work with an independent adjuster to properly estimate the value of your losses. In the aftermath of a major storm or hurricane, insurance adjusters may be overworked. Their job is to close claims quickly. This means that some insurance adjusters may miss damages or may not take the time they need to properly investigate your claim. While it is your responsibility to properly document your losses and submit these in proof of loss forms, insurance adjusters can’t be counted on to point out any damages you might have missed. Smith & Vanture is an insurance claim denial law firm in Port Charlotte, Florida that can work with an independent adjuster to properly estimate the losses and costs to repair your home.
- We can look closely at your policy to help you understand what is and isn’t covered, and work with your insurance company if they are trying to wrongly reduce their liability. Understanding exclusions in your insurance policy can get complicated. While most standard homeowner’s insurance policies will exclude flood damage, things can get confusing if your home was damaged due to wind-driven rain and flooding. Differentiating between covered and uncovered perils can be challenging. Some policies might exclude all water damage if flooding was also a cause, while others will send an adjuster to differentiate between covered and uncovered damage. Other issues can also affect coverage. If your insurance adjuster claims that liability for a claim should be reduced because you didn’t make temporary repairs, this can also complicate a claim. After all, how can your insurance adjuster know what water damage happened during a storm, and what water damage happened because you didn’t put a tarp on your roof in the days after? If your insurance adjuster is claiming that you were negligent in securing your property, you may also have the opportunity to defend yourself. For example, after the devastation left by hurricane Ian, bridges were damaged, and neighborhoods flooded. Many homeowners were simply unable to return to their homes in the wake of the storm. If you simply could not return to your property, you shouldn’t be held liable for damages because you couldn’t secure it. Another way adjusters might try to reduce liability is by claiming that damage was preexisting. Yet, it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between preexisting and existing damages. The Port Charlotte, Florida insurance claim denial lawyers at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you if your insurance adjuster or company is trying to reduce its liability. Sometimes exclusions aren’t covered, but sometimes insurance companies might try to take advantage of exclusions to reduce their liability.
- If you have a cash value insurance policy, your insurance policy won’t cover the cost to replace items with new ones. Instead, your insurance adjuster will calculate the value of the damaged items and cut you a check for this value. After all, it costs less to buy a used couch than a new one. Yet, issues can arise when the estimates are off. Sometimes insurance adjusters may use outdated value tables or estimates. Or they may use formulas that consider old labor costs or may not consider factors like inflation. If your roof needs to be repaired and you have a cash value policy, your insurance adjuster will need to consider depreciation when estimating the value of your claim. An insurance claim denial lawyer in Port Charlotte, Florida can review the settlement offer your homeowner’s insurance company might be making and negotiate with your insurance company to help you get the best possible settlement permitted under the law. The insurance claim denial lawyers in Port Charlotte, Florida at Smith & Vanture can gather evidence to support your claim, get estimates and appraisals, and fight to help you get the settlement you may deserve.
- Fighting Bad Faith. If your insurance company acted in bad faith or wrongfully denied your claim, the Port Charlotte, Florida insurance claim denial lawyers at Smith & Vanture can fight your wrongfully denied claim.
These are just some of the ways an insurance claim denial lawyer in Port Charlotte, Florida at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you. Sometimes the claims process can be complex, especially if many items in your home were damaged or if you need to completely rebuild. Smith & Vanture is a Port Charlotte, Florida insurance claim denial law firm that can help you navigate this complexity to get you the best possible settlement under the law.
A Homeowner’s Insurance Claim Denial Lawyer in Port Charlotte, Florida Can Help You Rebuild
If your home was destroyed in a hurricane, a fire, or other natural disaster, you may need to completely rebuild. Homeowner’s insurance may cover the costs of rebuilding, but these claims can be complex, and there may be limits. If your home was completely destroyed in a fire, hurricane, or other natural disaster, you can choose to buy a new home or rebuild your home. Standard homeowner’s insurance policies will cover either replacement cost or actual cash value cost to rebuild your home. Replacement cost insurance will cover the full cost of materials and labor to rebuild your home. It is important to note that replacement cost won’t give you the money that your home was worth, but rather will pay contractors to build you a new home up to the same standard of your former home. Cash value insurance will consider depreciation when assessing the costs of materials and rebuilding, and this type of policy may not cover the full costs of rebuilding your home after a major disaster.
The money you might need to rebuild your home might be more than it would cost to build a new home in normal times. This is because the costs of rebuilding may also include costs to remove debris or demolish your former home if it is uninhabitable. You may also need to replace the items and furniture in your home, and this will also increase the value of your claim.
If you need to rebuild, you may need to live somewhere else temporarily, may need new clothes, and may not be able to cook if you don’t have a kitchen. Homeowner’s insurance can also cover these costs, up to a point. Rebuilding after a hurricane, fire, or major disaster can also be costlier because after a major disaster like a hurricane, demand for contractors is high, and labor costs might likewise be high. Unlike the process of building a new home where a contractor can plan and give you a timeline, rebuilding often comes with the added pressure of trying to get the job done quickly so you can have a home again. Some insurance policies will also not always take inflation into account when the time comes to payout for repairs.
While your homeowner’s insurance policy should cover most of the value to rebuild your home, it may not cover all your costs. When it comes time to rebuild, every penny counts. If you have a complex claim after a hurricane, fire, or other natural disaster, you may want to speak to the Port Charlotte, Florida homeowner’s insurance claim denial lawyer at Smith & Vanture. We are here to help you. We can determine the kind of policy you have, bring in a private adjuster to assess costs to rebuild and to evaluate your damages, and fight insurance companies to help you get the best possible settlement permitted under the law.
Hurricane Damage Lawyers in Port Charlotte, Florida
Hurricanes can leave homeowners with major damage and the need to make costly repairs to their homes. Hurricane Ian was one of the most damaging recent hurricanes to hit Florida and estimates of damages range from $53 billion to $74 billion in total damages. Hurricane damage to a home can include broken windows, structural damage, a damaged roof, water damage, damaged fences, and damaged landscaping. If your home was destroyed in a hurricane, you may be wondering how you’ll rebuild or repair your home and how you’ll afford these costs. If you have homeowner’s insurance, your insurance company may be able to pay for some, or all, of these repairs. Unfortunately, sometimes insurance adjusters may try to reduce their liability by claiming that some types of damage are not covered or by failing to properly estimate depreciation and other costs. If your homeowner’s insurance claim was denied, or underpaid, the hurricane damage lawyers in Port Charlotte, Florida at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you.
Contact a Hurricane Damage Insurance Claim Lawyer in Port Charlotte, Florida Today
A hurricane damage claim lawyer in Port Charlotte, Florida at Smith & Vanture can help you if your home sustained damage in a storm. Our hurricane damage insurance claim lawyers understand the claims process, can read the fine print of your insurance policy, and can fight to help you and your family get the money you need to rebuild. The aftermath of a hurricane can be a stressful time, but fortunately you don’t need to navigate the insurance claim process alone. Reach out to the hurricane damage insurance claim lawyers in Port Charlotte, Florida at Smith & Vanture today.