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Can You Sue Your Insurance Company if They Deny Your Property Damage Claim?

When you buy your new house, the last thing you think about is it being destroyed in some sort of natural disaster. You know you’re required to carry homeowner’s insurance so you buy a policy and continue to make payments on it. But what happens if your home insurance claim is denied? A Ft. Lauderdale property damage attorney will be able to help.

If you have a mortgage, you’re required to maintain homeowner’s insurance until your home is paid off. After that, it’s technically up to you as to whether you continue to pay for your policy. Over the years, people pay thousands of dollars for this protection. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a homeowner would be frustrated to learn that their insurance claim has been denied.

Here, we will discuss what happens when your homeowner’s insurance claim is denied. We will also explain what steps to take before you file a lawsuit against the insurance carrier. If you still have questions or concerns about your own property damage claim, contact our office directly. We offer new clients a free, initial consultation so they can find out if their claim is worth pursuing further.

The First Thing You Need to Do Is File Your Home Insurance Claim

Obviously, the first thing you need to do after your home or personal property is damaged is file your insurance claim.

Once you file your property damage claim, the insurance company has 14 days to acknowledge receipt. At that point, you’ll be required to submit a proof-of-loss statement. This statement outlines all the items that were damaged in the event.

You will also have to provide the following information:

  • The date of the event or incident
  • A description of what caused the damage
  • A list of the items that were damaged (including damage to the dwelling itself)
  • The type and extent of loss for each particular item
  • Pictures or videos of the damaged property
  • The estimated cost of replacing the damaged property
  • A list of people who may have a financial interest in the damaged property

If you send a written request for a statement on the status of your claim, the insurance company must provide one within 30 days after you submitted a proof of loss statement.

The insurance company has 60 days to pay or deny the claim or a portion of the property damage claim unless it’s impossible due to factors beyond the company’s control.

What Happens With Your Property Damage Claim After You Submit Proof-of-Loss

The insurance company’s decision could be any of the following:

  • Accepted and the insurance company will be issuing payment in full
  • Partially accepted and you will be receiving partial payment
  • A denial of the claim
  • A determination that further investigation is needed

You will receive a letter or email letting you know what the insurance adjuster’s decision was. Once you read this letter, make sure to show a copy to your Ft. Lauderdale property damage attorney. They will be able to see what the specific reason for denial was and what the insurance adjuster based it on.

After you receive the final decision from the insurance company, one of two things will happen. You will wait for payment of your property damage claim as promised, which must happen within 90 days of the company’s receipt of your proof-of-loss statement.

Or, if your home insurance claim is denied, your Florida property damage lawyer will file a request for an internal review. This process will be explained in detail below.

a home insurance claim for property damage

Your Ft. Lauderdale Property Damage Attorney Can Request an Internal Review First

As mentioned briefly above, the first step you can take after your property damage claim is denied is to request an internal review.

The problem with this is that the person doing the review works for the insurance company. There is little reason to think that the second evaluation and review will yield a different result. If this is the case and your property damage claim is still denied, you still have options.

Your Lawyer Will Help You File a Complaint

If your property damage claim is denied after the internal review, your Florida property damage lawyer can file a complaint with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. You will have to submit the following information when you file a complaint. This includes:

  • The same information you provided in your proof-of-loss statement
  • A copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy
  • A copy of your initial claim
  • Copies of all correspondence related to the loss
  • An explanation of what happened when the insurance company received your claim

When you get a response from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, your Ft. Lauderdale property damage attorney will decide how best to proceed. If they truly believe your property damage claim is strong, they can file a lawsuit against the insurance company.

Once they do this, it will be treated like any other insurance lawsuit. They will have to demonstrate that the insurance company did not exercise good faith when they evaluated your property damage claim.

Contact a Ft. Lauderdale Property Damage Attorney!

The Florida legislature has made several promises to protect homeowners who suffer damage to their homes. The State has implemented the Homeowners Bill of Rights which streamlines the insurance claims process. They have also imposed strict time limits on the homeowner’s insurance carriers.

As your Florida property damage lawyer knows, insurance companies still have immense power. They have the right to deny any property damage claim that comes across their adjusters’ desks. This means that, despite the Bill of Rights, the insurance claims process is still quite complicated. Many homeowners quit halfway through because they feel either overwhelmed or hopeless.

Thankfully, our Florida property damage lawyers offer homeowners a free, initial consultation. They can review whatever documentation you have and look to see if the insurance company has acted in good faith. If not, they can file a lawsuit against the insurance carrier on your behalf. Contact us today.

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