You would be surprised to learn just how many adult homeowners have no idea how homeowners insurance works. When our home insurance claim lawyers in Hollywood, Florida first meet with a new client, they are often met with a barrage of questions.
One of the most obvious questions is whether their claim will be approved. Most clients also want to know exactly what their home insurance policy covers. They also worry about what is not covered. Here, we will discuss the various things that are covered by most homeowners insurance policies. We will also specifically discuss the items that are usually not covered by homeowners insurance.
If you still have questions about your own situation or about homeowner’s insurance policies in general, contact our office. We offer new clients a free, initial consultation to give them a chance to talk with an experienced Hollywood property damage lawyer.
Who is Required to Maintain Homeowners Insurance in Florida?
If your property has a mortgage on it, then you are required to carry homeowners insurance. Your insurance coverage must be at least as high as the amount due on your mortgage. For example, if you purchased your home for $300,000 and still owe $100,000, your homeowner’s insurance policy must have at least $100,000 in coverage.
Since most homeowners’ policies do not include damage caused by earthquakes or flooding, you may also be required to pay for additional insurance. This is one of the unfortunate byproducts of living in a state that is constantly barraged by hurricanes, tropical storms, and floods.
There Are Six Main Types of Coverage Offered by the Homeowners Insurance Company
You may or may not be aware that there are six main types of homeowners insurance coverage available. When you buy your policy, you will get to determine how much coverage you want on each type of coverage offered. Basically, the six types of coverage offered by your homeowner’s insurance policy include the following:
- Any damage to your dwelling or main living structure
- Damage to other structures that exist on your property such as a shed or garage
- Damage to your personal property and belongings
- The costs of medical bills if a guest or visitor gets injured while on your property
- Liability protection in case anybody suffers a financial loss or personal injury while on or near your property
- Additional living expenses should you need to vacate the home while it is repaired or rebuilt
Knowing the types of coverage that are available to you should help you determine which property items are covered by your policy.
There Are Natural Disasters and Weather Events Excluded From Coverage
When people think of homeowners insurance, they typically think of natural disasters or “Acts of God” as they are called. While it is safe to presume that many natural disasters are indeed covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, there are many that are not covered.
As mentioned here, most policies exclude damage caused by flooding, earthquakes, and sinkholes. These policies also tend to exclude any damage caused by a first sewer line or sewage backup. Additionally, homeowners insurance may not cover water damage depending on what caused it.
If you believe that the damage to your home and personal belongings was caused by an excluded event, there may not be much that your Hollywood property damage lawyer can do to help.
Why Would Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover Additional Living Expenses?
Some of our clients are surprised when they hear that their homeowner’s insurance covers additional living expenses. If the damage you sustained to your property is so extensive that you and your family cannot live there, the insurance company may pay for you to live somewhere else. This coverage is meant to help you in case you need to live elsewhere while your home is repaired or rebuilt.
It typically includes such things as short-term rental fees, hotel fees, and food expenses. Our Hollywood property damage lawyers have even had clients whose homeowner’s insurance policy covered fees for the laundromat and pet boarding.
What If Your Home Insurance Claim Is Denied?
One of the reasons we suggest that you hire one of our Hollywood property damage lawyers early is so that they’re already there if your claim is denied. For the most part, small claims are typically paid rather quickly. It is only the larger claims, as well as the suspicious ones, that are denied.
If your claim is denied by your homeowners’ insurance carrier, then your Hollywood property damage lawyer can file an appeal on your behalf. If this is not successful, you may have the right to take legal action against the insurance company. This will be a last resort. However, if you do need to sue, you’ll want an experienced property damage attorney by your side.
If You Need to File a Claim, Contact One of Our Hollywood Property Damage Lawyers
If you’ve experienced some sort of damage to your home, then you probably need to file a claim against your homeowner’s insurance policy. While there is nothing wrong with doing this on your own, it may be in your best interest to speak with a Hollywood property damage lawyer first.
Your attorney will be very familiar with how homeowners insurance works in general. They can also conduct a detailed review of your policy to help determine what is covered and what is not. Usually, this information is written in fine print in the hopes that the average homeowner will not read it. While this may not seem like a very fair thing to do, it is perfectly legal.
By having a seasoned property damage lawyer review your policy, you can ensure that your rights are protected. If your claim has already been denied, contact us today. We offer new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you a chance to sit down with one of our attorneys and go over your claim.