Your home is your pride and joy, and being faced with storm damage, flooding, or other property damage can be stressful and heartbreaking. Homeowners insurance exists to act as a buffer against those expenses, but making a claim isn’t always easy. At Klotzman Property Damage Law our goal is to help homeowners claim the funds they’re entitled to. We deal with the paperwork and help homeowners like you work through the legal system successfully. If you need help with your homeowners’ insurance claim, give a Hollywood homeowners insurance lawyer a call at 954-915-7405 today to get free, impartial advice.
What Are Common Issues With Homeowners’ Claims?
Your homeowners’ insurance is supposed to cover the cost of repairing certain kinds of damage. Most issues relating to homeowners’ insurance claims are either caused by a disagreement over the true cost of repairing the damage or the claim being denied outright.
In some cases, the insurance company will attempt to reduce the amount they pay out because their adjuster believes the repair can be done more cheaply than the quotes you provided. In other cases, the insurance company may claim the damage was deliberate, caused by negligence, or otherwise not something that qualifies for cover.
Another common issue is for the insurance company to refuse to cover certain repairs because they’re not directly part of the policy. For example, if your homeowners’ insurance includes water damage coverage, the insurer may be happy to cover replacing the floor tiles due to flood damage. However, they may later refuse to assist with the mold problem that was caused by the flood, even though there is a clear causal link.
While insurance companies often settle small claims quite quickly and without disputing them, larger claims can involve lengthy and complex back-and-forth debates and appeals. When you’re faced with a flooded basement or a damaged roof, these delays make an already stressful situation worse. It’s those situations where having the help of a homeowners insurance claim attorney can simplify the process and help you put together a claim that is more likely to sail through the adjustment process and be paid out.
Working with a homeowners’ insurance claim attorney can help you get through the claims process and get the payout you’re entitled to. The attorney will deal with the paperwork and answer the insurer’s questions on your behalf, saving you time and stress.
Appealing a denied claim can be difficult because the insurance company is unlikely to reverse the claim unless they’re presented with new evidence. Appeals can succeed, but you’ll most likely have a better experience if you work with a property damage law firm from the start of the process.
What Is The Homeowners’ Claims Process Like?
If you need to make a claim on your homeowners’ insurance, the first step is to assess and document the damage to your home. If the damage was caused by a crime (e.g. vandalism or a burglary) you’ll need to inform the police and get a crime reference number, because the insurance company will need this for their records.
Next, contact the insurance company and provide them with details of the damage and how it happened. Once the insurance company is aware of the issue, conduct any emergency repairs that must be done in order to secure the property and prevent further damage. Make a record of everything you do, and keep receipts for any costs you incur. Most insurance companies require homeowners to perform emergency repairs to protect the property from additional damage because it’s mutually beneficial for this work to be done. You can start getting quotes for non-emergency work, but don’t start the work until the insurance adjuster has visited the property.
The adjuster will give their feedback to the insurance company, and they’ll work with you to agree on a payment amount. For smaller, simple claims there is usually little issue and the homeowner’s claim is approved. If the damage is extensive, or the repair is expensive, the insurance company is more likely to dispute the cost of the repair, and that’s where a homeowners insurance claim attorney can be helpful. At Klotzman Property Damage Law we are well versed in the rules insurance companies must follow, so we can help you make successful claims and dispute unfair denials.
Bad Faith Homeowners’ Claims
Insurance companies have a duty to act in good faith when they investigate a claim and are asked to pay it out. If they fail to do so, they can be classed as acting in bad faith. The most common example of acting in bad faith in homeowners’ insurance is denying a claim unfairly. Other examples include:
- Unreasonable delays in making a payment
- A failure to investigate a claim
- Failure to uphold proper standards when carrying out an investigation
- Failure (or refusal) to communicate with you about the status of your claim
- Intentionally misrepresenting facts about the policy, such as the limits of coverage
Insurance companies sometimes offer an amount far lower than the true cost of the required repairs quite quickly in the claims process, then take a long time to resolve disputes, forcing the homeowner to go through a long process of getting quotes, speaking to adjusters and other experts and waiting for an unreasonable period of time between responses. Working with a homeowners insurance claim attorney can often speed up the process of an appeal and means it is easier for you to defend yourself against any misrepresentation of the policy.
What Defense Do I Have Against My Insurance Company?
Homeowners insurance providers must follow certain rules and regulations. If you feel they’ve acted in bad faith or that your claim was unfairly denied, you have the right to appeal their decision. If you choose to appeal, the company can deny the appeal, reverse its decision or offer a settlement. The ideal outcome of the appeal would be a reversal of the initial decision.
If a settlement is offered instead, it’s important to seek advice before accepting it, because accepting a settlement will usually block you from being able to make further appeals or sue the insurance company over that specific claim. If you’re unsure whether you’re happy with the settlement that’s offered, our property damage law experts can help you make an informed decision about your chances of succeeding with a legal claim.
To be able to sue your homeowners insurance company successfully, you’ll need to show that they have acted in bad faith and that your claim should have been approved. This means showing the policy covers the things you’re claiming for, and that the quotes you had from your contractor are fair.
How Much Does a Hollywood Homeowners Insurance Lawyer Cost?
The cost of a homeowners’ insurance claim case will depend on the type and complexity of the case. If you’re considering working with Klotzman Property Damage Law for your case, you can book a free initial consultation with one of our team. During this consultation, we’ll discuss your case with you and give you an idea of projected costs so you can decide whether you’re like to instruct us to pursue the case.
How Can a Klotzman Property Damage Law Attorney Help Me With My Homeowners Claim?
Klotzman Property Damage Law’s team of attorneys can help you with your homeowners claim, whatever stage it’s at. We often work with homeowners who have high-value claims, such as fire damage or extensive storm damage. We can also assist with claims in scenarios where it’s hard to establish fault, or where you and the insurance adjuster disagree on the value of the repairs from the start of the process.
While it is possible to have us represent you in an appeal or step in if it looks like the claim is going to be complex, the earlier you bring us into the case the more likely it is you’ll have a smooth claim experience. If you’re faced with extensive property damage and a large repair bill, talking to one of our team before you contact the insurance company will help you avoid miscommunications and common pitfalls that lead to denied claims. Our insurance experts will discuss the nature of your claim with you and tell you whether it’s worth proceeding with. If we do think you have a valid claim, we’ll use our knowledge of the insurance industry to make sure the claim progresses as smoothly as possible.
Contact a Hollywood Property Damage Attorney Today
At Klotzman Property Damage Law, we understand how stressful it can be to need to make a homeowner’s insurance claim. Our goal is to get your claim processed smoothly and efficiently. By consulting with our property damage law experts at the start of the process you’ll increase the chances of your claim being approved at its full value and without delays. If you need to make a claim on your homeowners insurance and aren’t sure where to start or are worried about the claims process, call us today at 954-915-7405 to talk to one of our homeowners insurance attorneys for a free consultation.