Homeowners Insurance Claims
Individuals and families purchase homeowners insurance as protection against issues out of their control. They live their life predicated on the thought that these insurers will have their back under adverse conditions. When your home or property is subject to serious damage, be it structural issues, storm damages or another catastrophic problem, it can be assumed that your insurance policy will cover the expenses.
Unfortunately, in many cases theses assumptions fail to materialize because the insurance company is looking out for their own financial interests. Using ambiguous and complex language, insurance coverage contracts are routinely used in a deceptive manner by providers. Whether they are denying coverage or delaying payment, it is important that you hold these companies accountable for their actions (or inaction) if you are negatively affected by their business practices.
According to Florida Statute § 624.604, property insurance covers damage to all real or personal property, including homes or business structures. If insurance providers do not hold up their end of the bargain, it is your right to challenge their decision. With the legal counsel of a qualified Florida insurance attorney, demanding the protection that you expected all along can be done so in a professional and effective fashion.
Orlando Homeowners Insurance Claims Attorney
A claim dispute or legal action must be taken proactively, so as to force the provider to clarify their stance. If it is found that the insurance company acted improperly, it is much more likely that you can get the payment you expected and deserved. A capable Florida civil litigation attorney will be able to identify the flaws in their reasoning and hold them accountable for the wrongs they may have caused.
Lee Jacobson, of Hale, Hale & Jacobson, is an experienced and aggressive attorney who has a strong legal understanding of homeowner's claims and can bring this prior knowledge and casework to help you demand proper compensation. Taking a fact-based and pragmatic approach to representation, Lee Jacobson and staff will study and analyze the relevant details of both your insurance contract and claim to develop a legal strategy that proves the company denying payment is wrongly doing so.
We are a comprehensive practice, so Hale, Hale & Jacobson will handle every aspect of your case so that you can focus on what is important and start moving forward with your life. Our firm proudly represents individuals and families throughout Orange County, Seminole County and Osceola County in Central Florida. This includes the cities of Orlando, Apopka, Maitland, Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Altamonte Springs, Casselberry and Lake Mary, among many others.
If you would like to schedule a time to meet with an attorney about your homeowners insurance claim dispute in a risk-free and confidential setting, our firm offers free initial consultations. Please call (407) 425-4640 or send an online message to set up a meeting today.
Homeowners Insurance Claims Information Center
Back to top
Homeowners Insurance Claims Areas of Practice
Water or Flood Damage
At such a low altitude, there is always the possibility of water or flood damage for large portions of Florida. Add this to a long list of possible issues related to structural or plumbing issues in the residence, and you have a strong call for having insurance to protect your interests.
Not only can a provider deny coverage from the outset, the manner in which an insurance provider conducts itself during an initial claim can also lead to even more problems in the future. One such example can be a restoration contractor reviewing your claim and inadequately assesses the damage. This can lead to both a low ball estimate on the damages, but also presents a situation where missed water damage can result in mold or other health related problems down the line.
With a double-edged sword, water damage claims should not be taken lightly. If you feel as though you are not being given a fair shake, an attorney can look at the situation objectively and offer you a truly accurate understanding of what the damage is actually worth. Qualified legal counsel will also be able to establish connections between the insurance companies bad business practices and you current issues, giving weight to your argument.
Almost as certain as death and taxes, hurricanes are an inevitability in the state of Florida. In 2011 there were seven hurricanes moving over the Southern United States, with four of those storms considered major. The size and destruction of a hurricane can be both over and underestimated, but the chance is always there.
Hurricanes are tough on insurance providers as well, and commonly lead the providers to attempt to minimize the cost of the storm. This reflects on homeowners in smaller than expected payouts. No matter how big the hurricane itself, it is the provider's obligation to provide that service.
Considering insurance companies are profit-driven businesses first, humanitarians second, there are many ways providers attempt to circumvent large payouts. They have been known to deceptively word their contracts, and can deny claims based on such excuses as, "The damage was caused by water after the hurricane occurred, so it should be viewed as flood damage, and therefore not eligible under your hurricane coverage." This happens much more than is commonly understood, and you should not allow this to happen.
Some of the benefits that most hurricane policies should afford to their customers include the cost of repairs, temporary residence costs, storage costs and transportation costs. If your insurance company is withholding payment or not offering a satisfactory amount, Hale & Hale & Jacobson can help.
Many individuals and families in Florida place a large proportion of their concerns on the possibility of water and hurricane damage. Although this focus on the wetter side natural disasters is natural considering the state in question, fire damage is always a possibility for homeowners as well. Extreme weather is now proving to work both ways, with brush fires adding to the burden of hurricanes. Adding the ever present possibility of human induced fires, there are plenty of situations where your house may be at risk.
Fire can cause major problems, including roof damage, melting issues, plumbing or electrical damage and structural damage, just to name a few. Furthermore, insurance companies can be quite stubborn in their assessment of the damages, even requiring some individuals to file out a Proof of Loss or content inventory form that asks the actual cash value of each item was destroyed. This is difficult for professionals to accomplish, let alone homeowners, and can easily lead to incorrect valuation or disputes farther in the process. With an attorney you will be able to iron out these issues and develop a plan that effectively proves that you deserve the payment that was expected of you insurance company.
If there was ever an analogy to compare houses to football teams, the roof would be considered the fullback. A fullback is required stand up to the biggest threat and provide a layer of protection for the ball carrier. Just like a veteran fullback, roofs are put through a lot of abuse and will eventually break down if their physical threshold is ever crossed. If the fullback is unable to perform his duties, the whole team suffers. This is exactly like a roof, where one leak or deficiency can expose the rest of you house to the elements.
There are many types of roofs, each of them bringing a different set of strength and weaknesses. This includes slope roofs, flat roofs, bitumen torch down and membrane, among others. There are distinct materials used, be it 3 tab shingles, architectural shingles, concrete or tile. Sometimes these roofs are improperly installed or contain major structural deficiencies. There can be underlayment issues, nail down problems, or flaws to the decking or rafters. All of these factors are important when fighting an insurance company over coverage or payment issues.
Insurance providers commonly argue against roof claims and make it difficult for their customers to receive the compensation they deserve. Many factors can lead to a denial of payment for roof damage. This can come from reference to a deceptive contract or an inaccurate engineer assessment. Even if the insurance company refuses to pay, it is by no means the final say. An attorney will be able to identify the exact reason for the denial and develop a case that proves the are liable for the aforementioned damage.
Back to top
Benefits of Insurance Claim Representation
Our firm will take care of a large proportion of the reporting and assessment duties, along with providing a legal voice during negotiations. Some of the vital aspects of our firm's duties regarding insurance claim disputes include:
- Reviewing the insurance policy in full detail
- Providing advice about your entitlements for your claim
- Fully documenting the insurance claim
- Providing the insurance company with a detailed building repair estimate
- Preparing a detailed physical inventory and appraisal of all damaged personal property
- Photograph and/or Video your damages
- Providing experts, if needed, to support the claim (outside vendors, such as attorneys, forensic engineers, contractors, roofers, plumbers, emergency dry out experts to assist you)
- Presenting the fully documented claim to your insurance company on your behalf
- Negotiating the best possible insurance claim settlement
Back to top
Homeowners Insurance Laws in Florida
Florida has a few statutes that related directly to illegal business practices by insurance providers and administrators. These can be used against the provider if the case goes to court. The most relevant of these statutes include:
- Fla. Stat. § 626.9541(1)(i) – This statute covers laws for individuals and businesses who engage in unfair claim settlement practices;
- Fla. Stat. § 626.9541(1)(o) –This statute goes over insurance providers who engage in illegal dealings in premiums;
- Fla. Stat. § 626.9541(1)(x) – This statute discusses issues prior to setting up and insurance policy and focuses on a providers refusal to insure for discriminatory reasons;
- Fla. Stat. § 627.7283 – This statute references the proper procedure for the return of premium for cancelled insurance policies.
Back to top
Resources for Homeowners Insurance Claims
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation – This link sends you to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation home page. This site offers information on insurance types, industry data, government affairs and consumer resources. You can also research the state laws on regulation of the insurance industry and your rights as a consumer and policyholder.
Florida Insurance Council – Clicking on this link will take you to the home page of the Florida Insurance Council. The council covers Florida insurance matters and is considered the voice of the Florida insurance community. The site itself offers information to consumers about the insurance market and the industry itself. Although a site primarily used to put insurance companies in a positive light, it still includes valuable information that can be used in your claim.
Insurance Information Institute – This website is the home of the Insurance Information Institute, a national organization that offers information to improve the public's understanding of insurance. This includes what insurance does and how it works. The site has a large section on various types of homeowners insurance and the important aspects of each.
Hale, Hale & Jacobson | Homeowners Insurance Claims Lawyer in Florida
If you have been struggling to receive payment for a homeowners insurance claim, or your provider is engaging in questionable business practices, you have the right to challenge them in court.
Choosing Hale, Hale & Jacobson to lead your legal dispute will guarantee that you will have a strong advocate at your side, defending the interests of you and your family. Although businesses are concerned with profits, insurance companies should be held to a higher standard because of the services they provide and how much residents of Florida count on them to provide security during unavoidable problems.
Lee Jacobson and staff are ready and willing to represent you for as long as the process takes. We will start by attempting to settle out of court, but have no issue with holding the insurance company accountable in a court setting if need be. Working on a contingency basis, the firm will not get paid unless you do, putting both attorney and client in the same boat with regards to urgency.
As a Central Florida legal practice, Hale, Hale & Jacobson is a convenient option for residents of Orange, Osceola and Seminole County. We gladly extend our representation to individuals and families throughout Orlando, Ococee, Winter Park, Kissimmee, Longwood, Oviedo and Sanford, among many other cities.
Our firm will immediately begin working on your case after the initial consultation with an attorney. To schedule this free and confidential meeting, please call (407) 425-4640 or send an online message today. A quick response and emphasis on timely representation guarantees that our lawyers will start right away.