How to Fight and Win a Denied Homeowner’s Insurance Claim in Florida
Imagine: you file an insurance claim for damage to your property and your carrier denies the claim. The next steps you take can make or break your insurance claim.
What Does It Mean When Your Insurance Company Denies Your Claim for Pre-Existing Damage?
Let’s review the basic steps you need to take to fight the denial of your insurance claim.
Step 1: Document, Document, Document
Start by documenting your loss:
Take lots of pictures of the damaged property
Take videos of the damaged property
Keep a log of the people you spoke with at the insurance company
Confirm in writing any conversations you had with the carrier’s adjuster by sending an email
The last bullet point is critical. If you don't confirm all damages to your property in writing, the carrier can claim that you never mentioned some of them.
“Well, you didn’t tell us the gutters were damaged, too.”
An email confirming your verbal conversation dramatically reduces any attempt by the carrier to misconstrue your words. Remember: as far as your insurance company is concerned, if it is not in writing, it didn’t happen.
Step 2: Consider an Independent Evaluation With a Loss Consultant
Insurance carriers hire adjusters to evaluate your insurance claim. As the saying goes, “if someone pays your rent for years, you tend to be fond of them.” Adjusters hired by the carrier are NOT on your side.
Understanding Your Homeowner’s Insurance Claim Appraisal
An independent evaluation is conducted by someone who is not associated with or working for the insurance company. This individual is known as a "loss consultant."
So how do you find a reputable loss consultant? If your claim is for a roof leak, you would want a reputable roofer to inspect it. If it is a pipe burst, you would want a general contractor or someone who handles interior work to inspect the damage.
This independent inspection will help determine whether the carrier's denial is justified. In my experience, 80% of the claims denied by carriers are not.
Step 3: Consult With an Attorney Who Specializes in Homeowner’s Insurance Claims
If your loss consultant confirms the carrier’s denial is likely mistaken, talk to an attorney who specializes in homeowner’s insurance claims. Share a copy of the denial letter, any photos or receipts as well as a copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy. Your attorney can advise you on whether to seek legal redress in court or a pre-suit settlement.
What You Can Expect After Your Lawsuit Is Filed
Contact PZ Law Firm, P.A. TODAY at (407) 500-EZPZ (3979) if your property damage claim has been denied. PZ Law Firm handles damage claims throughout Florida. Information is power, and power is what you need when you are suffering a property loss or damage to your home.
Disclaimer: This column does not create a client-attorney relationship and is not intended as legal advice. Should you need any legal advice, speak to an attorney who is skilled in the area and jurisdiction you require.