Home or House Insurance

Owning a home is a big expense and when an unforeseen accident happens you want your insurance company to have your back. That’s why you bought insurance in the first place. However, what happens if your insurance company delays, disputes or denies your claim?

If your claim was recently disputed or denied, it’s time to get in contact with an experienced property insurance lawyer. A skilled attorney can assess the situation and advise you what the best step forward is. They can then collect evidence to contest your insurance company’s payout. Don’t wait another moment to collect what’s yours and get legal representation today.

Home Insurance Lawyer in Tampa, Florida

Contact Germain Law Group, P.A. for an attorney whose practiced homeowner’s insurance for years. Michael B. Germain will sit with you and answer all your legal questions. He will speak to adjusters, collect evidence and even draft and file the claim for you. Start protecting your home today with Michael B. Germain.

You can contact us for a free consultation at (813) 835-8888. Attorney Germain provides effective and efficient representation for people throughout the greater Hillsborough County area and surrounding counties including Sumter County, Paso County, Polk County, Pinellas County, Orange County, Sarasota County and Hernando County.

Overview of Home Insurance in Florida

What Does Home Insurance Cover in Florida?

When purchasing a home most people sign up for insurance to protect their assets in case of an unanticipated accident or natural disaster. What your insurance covers depends what’s listed on your policy. Before file a claim, it’s recommended you thoroughly examine your insurance contract, so you know what’s excluded in your policy.

Below are several types of coverage your homeowner’s insurance may provide.

  • Dwelling – Coverage for physical damage to the structure of your home including fire damage, water damage, lightning damage, and other common perils.
  • Other Structures – Your policy may also cover other structures and buildings such as a detached garage, pool, shed, fences or sea deck.
  • Contents or Personal Property – Some insurance policies cover loss of personal property such as household items and furniture lost to a tornado.
  • Additional Living Expenses – Your insurance may cover additional living expenses that are used to continue, as nearly as possible, your normal standard of living until repairs to the home are made. Normally, there is a policy cap for additional living expenses.

It’s important to know some perils are excluded in general homeowner’s insurance such as flooding or hurricane-related damage. For these types of perils, you will need additional or supplemental insurance to ensure coverage.

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Why Was My Home Insurance Claim Disputed or Denied?

Insurance is a business, so they’re out to make a profit. This means some insurers will do whatever’s possible to minimize payouts to policyholders. Because of this, insurance adjusters will review policies to identify any loopholes which will allow them to dispute your claim.

Some insurance adjusters will claim your type of damage is excluded under your policy. These perils are known as exclusions and can keep you from collecting your payments. A common peril commonly excluded from homeowner policies is flooding. Many people require separate or a special form of insurance to cover flooding-related damage in Florida.

Your adjuster may also state that pre-existing conditions or negligence was the reason for your damage. Insurance companies only cover expenses for unanticipated events, storms or criminal acts. If the damage was caused by normal wear and tear or simple negligence, then the company may try to dispute or deny the claim.

Another common disagreement between policyholders and adjusters is the value agreement. Normally, an insurance company will send out someone to examine the damage done to your home. They will then calculate a value after some careful analysis and offer you a settlement. In some cases, insurers will try to undervalue the damage of your claim so they can ultimately make a profit.

Some insurance companies will act in bad faith by intentionally delaying the claims process. They do this knowingly by not answering phone calls, emails, or assigning different adjusters so they can slow the investigation and value assessment of the claim. Insurance companies do this hoping the policyholder will be fed up with the process and accept an undervalued or denied claim.

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What Do I Do If My Claim Was Disputed or Denied?

You’ve called your insurance company about the damages done to your home, but they’re not budging. What do you do? Thankfully, here’s a few tips you can utilize to hold your insurance company accountable.

  1. Document everything associated with your damage. This includes photos, videos, eye-witness statements, financial documents, and other important relevant information.
  2. Protect your property from further damage by making reasonable and necessary repairs. This is to ensure your property isn’t damaged further.
  3. Call your insurance company again to reiterate why they’re delaying, denying or disputing your claim. Be very careful with your wording such as the term “flood,” so you don’t give the adjuster more reasons to dispute your claim. Take notes of the conversation so you can refer to them later.
  4. Hire legal representation to assist you. A property insurance attorney has an in-depth knowledge of how insurance law functions and what to do next. They can examine your policy to see what the best course of action is.

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Additional Resources

Homeowner’s Insurance – Visit the official website for the Florida Bar and read an consumer pamphlet regarding home or house insurance. Access the document to learn more about deductibles, post-loss policy obligations, and your insurance company’s obligations.

Insurer Conduct Penalties – Visit the official website for the Florida Administrative Code & Register and learn more about the penalties for breaching insurer’s conduct. Access the site to learn the consequences of denying, delaying or undervaluing a claim in bad faith.

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Insurance Lawyer for Homes in Hillsborough County, Florida

If your home has been damaged by an unforeseen event, don’t let your insurance company off the hook. Contact Germain Law Group, P.A. for a thorough assessment of your policy. Michael B. Germain can evaluate your insurance contract and find a way to get you coverage.

Call Germain Law Group, P.A. now at (813) 835-8888 to set up a free consultation with attorney Germain. He accepts clients throughout the greater Tampa metropolitan area including Bradenton, Tampa Bay, Brandon, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey and Temple Terrace.

This article last updated on June 21, 2019.