It is common to assume that one of the benefits of purchasing property insurance is the ease of receiving reimbursement in the event of a loss. While this can be a correct assumption in some cases, there are times when you cannot successfully handle your own claim.
The key to protecting your rights is to know when you need help. Our Broward County property damage lawyers help you identify situations when you should — or should not — go it alone.
Understanding Available Resources Can Protect Your Rights
You have three basic options for handling property damage claims:
• Do-it-yourself: A call to your insurance company is generally all it takes to initiate a claim. That call sets the wheels in motion, typically involving a visit from an insurance claims adjuster and any number of phone calls to get information from you. This can be a perfectly valid option, particularly when your losses are relatively small and well-defined (and when you have the documentation you need to support the value of your claim).
• Public adjuster: Insurance company adjusters represent their employers, so you can expect them to take every opportunity to reduce the value of your claim. This is not necessarily at issue for low-value claims. However, if you experience major losses in a big storm, or if the source of the damage is complicated (common with damage involving water), it can help to have someone on your side. Retaining a public adjuster helps offset decisions made by insurance company adjusters by providing compelling evidence to support your claim.
• Property insurance claims attorney: When your insurer is not responding promptly to your initial claim, delaying decisions with endless questioning, making unfair settlement offers or fully denying a claim that you believe is valid, you need to consider taking legal action. An experienced insurance claims lawyer can quickly identify unfair insurance treatment and explain your options for pursuing the compensation you need and deserve.
Depending on the value and complexity of your claim, you might choose more than one of these options. In fact, our office often works in conjunction with skilled, experienced claims adjusters to maximize the value of your claim. By understanding your basic options, however, you know where to go next to help protect your interests.
Florida Law Provides Specific Rights to Policyholders
Every policyholder should take a moment to review the Florida Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights. This information specifically applies to homeowners, but it can help both home and business policyholders identify the times when they need assistance for their claims.
If you have even a slight suspicion that your insurance company is not treating your claim fairly, do not sign on the bottom line until you seek guidance from a dedicated insurance claims attorney who can advise you of your next steps. Call us at (954) 767-6333 or use our convenient online contact form.