Property insurance is vital protection necessary to compensate a homeowner, renter, business, or other property owner following a loss caused by theft, vandalism, or natural disaster. Many property owners rely of property insurance to cover the cost of repairs or any loss related to the property damage.
Many insurance companies will deny or dispute a property insurance claim due to unclear provisions in the policy or the amount of damage. Denial or dispute of a property insurance claim can be financially devastating for a property owner.
If your property has been damaged by a natural disaster, “act of God”, theft, vandalism, or other daily occurrence it is important to consult a Tampa property insurance attorney. An experienced property insurance attorney can help you gain compensation for your losses.
Tampa Property Insurance Lawyer
Contact Germain Law Group, P.A. at (813) 835-8888 for a consultation about your property insurance claim or dispute in Tampa, Florida. The experienced attorneys at Germain Law Group, P.A. will review your policy, explain your legal rights, and skillfully negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you are rightfully compensated.
Michael Germain of Germain Law Group, P.A. has years of experience representing individuals in insurance matters involving all types of property insurance, including personal property, homeowners, condominiums, rents, commercial property, and business interruption.
Germain Law Group, P.A. represents individuals throughout Florida, including Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Polk County, Hernando County, Citrus, County, Sumter County, and surrounding areas.
Florida Property Insurance Information Center
- Property Insurance Coverage in Florida
- Types of Property Insurance in Florida
- Common Property Insurance Disputes
- New Property Insurance Law in Florida
- Tampa Property Insurance Resources
Florida Statute Title 37 Chapter 624.604 defines property insurance as insurance on real or personal property, including land, water or air, against loss of damage from any and all hazard or cause and against any consequential loss or damage other than non-contractual legal liability for such loss or damage.
Property insurance may contain a provision for accidental death or injury as a multiple peril homeowner’s policy.
The extent and limitations of a property insurance policy may vary. It is important to closely read and understand the provisions of each individual policy. Property insurance usually covers the following types of property damage:
- Houses where the primary policy holder resides
- Rental homes
- Dwellings and other structures
- Boilers and machinery
- Debris removal
- Trees / shrubbery damage
- Sinkhole damage
- Hail damage
- Windstorm damage
- Smoke damage
- Fire damage
- Lightning damage
- Damage from falling objects
- Damage from theft or vandalism
Florida law permits a wide protection for real and personal property in Florida. The following are common types of property insurance:
- Personal Property
- Condo Associations
- Commercial Property
- Builders Risk
- Business Interruption
- Boiler and Machinery
- Ordinance or Law Coverage
After a natural disaster, property crime, or other damage, a policy holder may file a claim with the insurance company. Most policy holders rely on compensation from the insurance policy to cover any damages or losses.
However, commonly insurance companies dispute or deny property insurance claims for the following reasons:
- Policy Restrictions: Property insurance coverage agreements often contain provisions, which exclude certain types of property or damage. Commonly, property owners are unaware or do not completely understand these provisions until a claim is disputed or denied.
- Dispute over Value of Damage: The insurance company may dispute that the amount claimed exceeded the extent of damage or the value of the property damaged.
- Negligence of the Property Owner: The insurance company may dispute or deny the claim, because the damage occurred because of negligence of the property owner or some other cause not covered in the insurance policy.
- Bad Faith Actions by Insurance Company: Although not a formal dispute or delay, an insurance company may intentionally delay the investigation or payment of the claim. The insurance company may not answer phone calls, assign different insurance adjusters, or request unnecessary documentation before processing the claim.
If you encounter any of these circumstances, it is imperative to consult an experienced Tampa property insurance lawyer.
In 2011 Governor Rick Scott of Florida signed Senate Bill 408 (SB 408) into law. SB 408 made several changes to property insurance law, including the following:
- Reduction of statute of limitations in hurricane and windstorm claims
- Limitation of sinkhole coverage
- Breach of property insurance claim statute of limitation commencement date
Reduction of Statute of Limitations in Hurricane and Windstorm Claims
SB 408 reduced the statute of limitations or the time required to file windstorm and hurricane insurance claims. Under the new law, the statute of limitations is reduced from five to three years from the date of the event giving rise to the claim. After the three-year statute of limitations, a policy holder can no longer bring an action for damages.
Limitation of Sinkhole Coverage
The new legislation allows insurance companies to limit sinkhole coverage to primary structures, hold back replacement value payments on home damage until the repairs have been made, and allows insurance companies to increase their rates by up to 15% to cover reinsurance costs.
Breach of Property Insurance Statute of Limitations
Under the new law the statute of limitations in breach of property claims begins running from the date of loss rather than the date of breach. The statute of limitations in breach of property claims remains five years.
SB 408 is primarily beneficial to insurance companies and provides more stringent requirements for policy holders. Laws regarding all forms of insurance, including property insurance, are constantly changing. It is important to consult an experienced property insurance attorney regarding any changes and your rights under these changes.
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation – The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation serves the state’s citizens by regulating and enforcing statutes related to the insurance business in Florida.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners – The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is an organization of elected or appointed state government officials who regulate the conduct of insurance companies and agents in each state.
Florida Statutes Online – This website provides links to Title XXXVII of the Florida Statutes, entitled “Insurance,” which contains the state’s rules insurance companies must follow, definitions of certain insurance terms, and other provisions regarding rates, statutes of limitations and insurance contracts.
Germain Law Group, P.A. ǀ Hillsborough County Property Insurance Attorney
Contact Germain Law Group, P.A. at (813) 835-8888 or submit an online form for a confidential consultation regarding your property insurance claim in Hillsborough County, including Tampa, Plant City, Temple Terrace, Clair-Mel City, Sun City Center, Hunters Green, Sweetwater Creek, Bay Crest Park, and surrounding communities.