The mid-2000s were particularly devastating to the state of Florida in terms of hurricane damage. Hundreds of homes were severely damaged or destroyed by storms like Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne (2004) and Katrina and Wilma (2005). Following these powerful storms, which caused an extensive loss of property and life, Florida legislation was put into effect to increase hurricane preparedness.
The primary focus of the new legislation was to double Florida homeowners insurance discounts for those residences with increased hurricane-safe standards. For a few years following, hundreds of thousands of homeowners began inspections and improvements to their homes to take advantage of the Florida homeowners insurance discounts.
Unfortunately, as more homeowners applied for the Florida homeowners insurance discounts, more insurance companies began complaining about the costs. Soon, legal battles began over denial of discounts and many homeowners needed to hire a Florida homeowners insurance attorney to resolve these conflicts.
Unfair Florida Homeowners Insurance Discounts
To avoid the doubled reduction rates, many insurance companies began complaining there were unfair practices with the home inspectors. As a result, a Florida homeowners insurance attorney is often necessary to help honest homeowners prove their home inspection reports are valid in light of the many false reports that have surfaced.
The insurance companies often accuse inspection companies of falsifying records to approve homes for hurricane-safe standards. As insurance companies became more frustrated with falsified claims, it became more difficult for honest homeowners to apply for their Florida homeowners insurance discounts.
New Legislation for Florida Homeowners Insurance Discounts
In response to the insurance company complaints, new legislation was introduced in 2008 and 2009 to reinforce discount regulations, impose penalties on dishonest home inspectors, and update the guidelines for approval. This created a whole new set of standards which a homeowner must follow to obtain approval for Florida homeowners insurance discounts.
Many homeowners now benefit from the help of a Florida homeowners insurance attorney when seeking approval for their Florida homeowners insurance discounts. Your attorney can help explain the full requirements your home must meet to be eligible for your discount, as well as determine any wrongful conduct between the insurance company and home inspectors.
Some of the new changes to the legislation include:
- penalties for inspectors who knowingly submit false verification documents;
- a requirement for photographic evidence of each home upgrade adding to the home’s hurricane safety;
- product approvals required for certain home features such as garage doors;
- allowing insurance companies to designate their own inspectors to verify upgrades; and
- updates to requirements such as roof coverage percentages.
The Confusion of Florida Homeowners Insurance Discounts
The full legislative changes to the Florida homeowners insurance discounts are much more extensive than the few points listed above. An experienced Florida homeowners insurance attorney can help you review these changes against your former policy discounts to determine your current eligibility under the new laws.
Because things have changed so drastically in the recent years, discounts that applied last year may no longer apply this year under the new legislation. When reviewing your policy renewal, if you are missing discounts or believe you have been unfairly denied discounts, you may need the help of a Florida homeowners insurance attorney to straighten out your policy terms.
Many insurance companies are scrutinizing the claims for Florida homeowners insurance discounts more closely and taking the extra step to require more proof of improvements. Even though the insurance company must pay the expense for its own inspectors, in several cases the company will pay the extra cost to determine if your claims are valid.
Getting the Help of a Florida Homeowners Insurance Attorney
The Florida homeowners insurance attorney team at Falk & Falk Law Firm knows how important it is to you and your family to receive all your eligible Florida homeowners insurance discounts. Our Florida homeowners insurance attorney team has experience in helping victims of natural disasters—and other homeowners’ nightmares—recover from their loss.
An experienced attorney can help you to fight for the compensation you deserve and navigate the tricky world of homeowners insurance. To help take the confusion out of the current laws regarding eligibility for Florida homeowners insurance discounts for hurricane safety, contact us today – 305-742-0878.