Understanding the ins and outs of your Florida homeowners insurance can be tricky. Once you’ve signed the paperwork and purchased your policy, you probably think you’re good to go—that is, until a disaster, such as theft, storms and sinkholes strike. It’s then you may wish you had studied up on the fine print of your homeowners insurance company documents.
A Lack of Knowledge Could Hurt Your Claim
Insurance adjusters often rely on your lack of knowledge when dealing with your Florida homeowners insurance claim. This is because insurance adjusters work for homeowners insurance companies and are focused on their bottom line, not your well-being through a Florida homeowners insurance claim. To keep from being taken advantage of when you file a claim, there are several basics you can brush up on that may help.
Things Your Homeowners Insurance Company Won’t Tell You
When filing a Florida homeowners insurance claim, a few things your homeowners insurance company may not want you to know include:
- you may be entitled to have your property or a part of your home completely replaced instead of just repaired (if you purchased replacement cost in your policy);
- your homeowners insurance company must front the bill for your living expenses (if the extent of damage warrants);
- you may be able to file a claim for more than the total of your policy (if you purchased inflation coverage);
- you may be able to get a number of special services covered (like debris removal, pool enclosures and repairs to bring the home back to code); and
- you may be able to get coverage even when flooding occurred (burden of proof lies with the insurance adjusters and company to demonstrate that the water damage meets the specified definitions for flood damage).
What Insurance Adjusters Won’t Tell You About Water Damage
Water damage is an especially big issue for many homeowners in Florida, as so much property is close to coastal areas, canals, swamps and low-lying lands. While flood damage alone is not covered by your homeowners insurance company (but rather by flood insurance), it is up to your homeowners insurance company to prove that your water damage was the result of a flood.
To do this, your homeowners insurance company must prove the narrow definition of flood damage to avoid paying your claim. This means if you sustained water damage because of wind and flooding, you may receive compensation, since wind can be covered through a Florida homeowners insurance claim.
What Insurance Adjusters Won’t Tell You About Inflation Guard
When your home has sustained severe damage, a Florida homeowners insurance attorney can review your policy to determine if you may be entitled to more than the amount for which your home is insured. This is true if you purchased inflation guard.
Even with this coverage, your homeowners insurance company may still try to devalue your Florida homeowners insurance claim. For instance, if your home is insured for $200,000 and your inflation coverage accounts for $300,000, your Florida homeowners insurance attorney can advocate that you receive what you deserve.
Safeguarding Your Florida Homeowners Insurance Claim
These are just a handful of things insurance adjusters may hope you are not aware of when dealing with your Florida homeowners insurance claim. To protect your rights at the outset of your claim, you may want to work with a Florida homeowners insurance attorney, who is well-versed in the claims process and will be able to quickly assess your rights within your specific policy.
Understanding the limits and “loopholes” of your coverage when filing a claim is important in any state but the ramifications are perhaps most pronounced in Florida, where homeowners insurance companies commonly reject claims.
Since you want the maximum amount of compensation possible and insurance adjusters want the exact opposite, you may want to consider the value a Florida homeowners insurance attorney could bring to your case, to make sense of the fine print of your policy, and perhaps the things your homeowners insurance company doesn’t want you to know.
Attorneys in Florida Who Focus on Homeowners Insurance Claims
The Florida homeowners insurance attorneys at Falk & Falk Law Firm know how important it is to you and your family to get the settlement you need in order to move on with your lives. Our Florida homeowners insurance attorneys have experience in helping victims of hurricanes, theft, vandalism, fire, sinkholes and more to recover from their loss. An experienced attorney can help you to fight for the compensation that you need and navigate the tricky world of homeowners insurance in Florida. Contact us today – 305-742-0878.