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Can a Hollywood Property Damage Lawyer Help if Your Claim is Underpaid?

When your home is damaged by a storm, theft, or another event, you should be able to count on your insurance company to pay your claim. If this doesn’t happen, an experienced Hollywood homeowners’ insurance lawyer can help.

Your Homeowners’ Insurance Lawyer in Hollywood Will Need to See Your Policy

Before your homeowners’ insurance lawyer in Hollywood can file any action, they’ll need to see a copy of your policy. Every policy is unique. This is where your attorney can find out whether you were entitled to the replacement value or the actual value of your property.

Many people assume that their insurance company will pay the replacement value of their damaged property. After all, why pay for insurance if you’re still going to have to pay out-of-pocket to repair your property and replace your possessions?

Your Policy Will Indicate Whether You’re Entitled to Replacement or Actual Value

Your homeowners’ policy is going to state very clearly how your claim will be paid. Some policies state that you are only entitled to the actual value of your property. For example, if your electronics are ruined, you’ll only receive the amount you paid for them.

If your policy covers the replacement value for your property, you’ll be in better shape. These policies entitle you to receive whatever it will cost to replace the item in today’s market. This is especially important when your property is dated or used heavily.

Your Hollywood Property Damage Lawyer Will Also Need a List of Your Damaged Property

In addition to a copy of your policy, your Hollywood property damage lawyer will need your list of damages. In the hours after your home is damaged, you’ll need to take an inventory of everything that was damaged or destroyed.

This list is critical if you expect to be paid in full for your claim. Your homeowners’ insurance lawyer in Hollywood will have to justify your claim to the insurance adjuster. They can only do that if they have a complete inventory.

It Is Not Always Possible to Prove the Actual Value of Your Property

One of the problems our clients run into is the fact that it’s nearly impossible to prove the actual value of your property. For example, imagine that a painting you love was destroyed in a house fire.

If you’re organized, you may have a copy of a receipt for the painting. However, what if it was a gift? Or what if you bought it at a thrift store but it was valued much higher than the amount you paid?

Very Few People Keep Receipts for Fixtures and Personal Property

If you’re like most people, you don’t keep receipts for most of your home purchases. When the insurance company demands proof to substantiate your claim, you may not have anything to give them.

What your Hollywood property damage lawyer can do is help you track down evidence of your purchases. For example, if you bought certain items on your credit or debit card, you may be able to go back and find proof of these purchases.

Call us if your homeowners’ insurance claim is underpaid.

Your Homeowners’ Insurance Lawyer in Hollywood Can Help Find an Appraiser

If you have no idea what your damaged property was worth, that’s okay. Your homeowners’ insurance lawyer in Hollywood can refer you to an appraiser. They will come in and take a look at your damaged items.

Appraisers are great tools whether you need to find out the actual or replacement value of your property. This is what they do for a living. Then, your attorney can submit a copy of their appraisal to the insurance carrier.

Your Attorney Can Help You File an Appeal

If your insurance company won’t listen to reason, your attorney can file an appeal on your behalf. The problem with this is that the insurance company has already decided not to pay your claim.

The odds of a second person at the insurance company reversing their own colleagues’ decision are low. All this may do is delay things. However, you will need to file an appeal before you file any legal action.

Your Hollywood Property Damage Lawyer Will Submit a Copy of Your Appraisal

When your Hollywood property damage lawyer files your appeal, they will have to include certain information. For example, they will need to submit a copy of your inventory list.

In addition to your inventory of loss, you will need to submit a copy of your appraisal. This will show the insurance company that you mean business. They will know that you have retained a lawyer and intend on pursuing the matter further.

If Your Appeal Doesn’t Work, You Still Have Options

If you’re lucky, the insurance company may review your appeal and agree to issue payment. This means you’ll be entitled to the difference between what you were already paid and what the full value of your claim is.

You won’t have to negotiate payment of your claim on your own. That is why you hire a Hollywood property damage lawyer. If your attorney isn’t able to resolve the issue, you still have options.

Your Attorney Can File a Complaint with the Florida Division of Consumer Services

One thing your homeowners’ insurance lawyer in Hollywood can do is file a complaint with the Florida Division of Consumer Services. Florida no longer has a special, dedicated Department of Insurance.

In 2003, this department was merged into the Department of Financial Services. They oversee complaints about insurance companies. Unfortunately, they don’t have much power. All they can do is demand a statement from the insurance company about your denial. Then your case will be closed.

Your Best Option is to Meet with a Hollywood Property Damage Lawyer So They Can File Legal Action

Rather than waste time going through the Division of Consumer Services, your Hollywood property damage lawyer can file a legal claim instead. All you do by waiting for a response from the Division of Consumer Services is give the insurance company yet another advantage.

Instead of doing that, your lawyer can file a claim against the insurance carrier for bad faith. If they can prove that the insurance company didn’t properly handle your claim, you may be entitled to damages.

Reach Out to an Experienced Homeowners’ Insurance Lawyer in Hollywood

If you believe your homeowners’ insurance company has not paid your claim in full, you have options. You should contact one of our Hollywood property damage lawyers and find out the best way to proceed.

We suggest you call our office today and schedule your free, initial consultation. You’ll be able to protect your rights that way and fight to get the compensation you deserve.