Imagine that you’ve worked hard to buy your vacation home. Then imagine that your vacation home is damaged by fire, theft, or a weather-related event. If the insurance company denies your claim, a Miami property damage attorney can help.
You Should Maintain Homeowner’s Insurance on Each of Your Properties
When you own two properties, you will need to purchase a separate insurance policy for each home. They will both offer the same sort of protection. However, your vacation home is more vulnerable to suffering property damage.
Our property damage lawyers in Miami have met with many clients whose vacation home was nearly destroyed. They had hoped their insurance company would do the right thing and pay their claim.
When they learn that their claim was denied, they’re angry and afraid. Depending on where your vacation home is located, it may be worth a significant amount of money. To think that you won’t be able to repair your home is devastating.
It’s Not Possible to Insure Both Properties Under a Single Policy
Even if you wanted to insure both properties under one policy, you won’t be able to do it. You can purchase a separate policy for each home from the same insurance company. In fact that makes more sense than using two different companies.
The problem with this solution is that you’ll have all your eggs in one basket. If your insurance company denies your claim on the vacation home, your only option will be to hire a Miami property damage attorney.
Vacation Home Insurance Usually Costs 2 to 3 Times as Much
One reason our clients are so frustrated when their vacation home insurance claim is denied is that their policy costs so much. Insurance on vacation properties typically costs two to three times as much as it does for your primary residence.
Given the higher price for your coverage, your property damage lawyer in Miami may have a better chance of suing the carrier for bad faith. Insurance companies are supposed to pay valid claims. They are also supposed to explain why a claim has been denied.
There is a Higher Chance That the Insurance Company Will Deny Your Claim
For obvious reasons, the insurance company is more likely to deny a claim on a vacation home than on your primary residence. This is because they know that most people spend little time at their vacation property.
When people leave their vacation homes vacant, they become very susceptible to damage. For example, when you aren’t at your vacation home for weeks or months on end, people are more likely to break in.
The Insurance Adjuster Will Argue That You Left the Home Vacant
When a property is vacant, it does become vulnerable to property damage. Some of the cases our property damage lawyers in Miami have handled include the following types of damage:
- Damage in a hurricane, flood, or other weather events
- Burst pipes or leaks
- Burglary and theft
Any one of these things can cost you thousands of dollars to fix. Depending on the nature and extent of the damage, it may cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix.
If You Rent Your Vacation Home Out, It May Cause Problems
Of course, one way to keep your vacation home from being vacant is to rent it out. However, this comes with its own set of problems. Your insurance carrier may still deny your claim, arguing that you took the risk by letting strangers live in your home.
In the past, our Miami property damage attorneys have found that this is the case. Some of the damage you may experience if you rent out your vacation home include:
- Damage to your dwelling and other structures
If the insurance adjuster denies your claim, your best option is to have an experienced property damage lawyer in Miami go to bat for you. They won’t let the insurance company get away with acting in bad faith.
Your Miami Property Damage Attorney Can Sue for Bad Faith
If your claim was denied, you shouldn’t waste any time contacting a Miami property damage attorney. They can review your policy and determine if your claim was valid. If they believe it is valid, they may have grounds for filing legal action.
While you would not normally sue the insurance company for personal injury, you can still pursue a legal claim. Your attorney can file a lawsuit for either breach of contract or bad faith.
What Are the Grounds for Proving Bad Faith on the Part of the Insurance Company?
Typically, when our property damage lawyers in Miami file a claim against an insurance company, it’s for bad faith. Breach of contract does not always work out in your favor. However, a bad faith claim may result in your home being repaired. It may also bring you additional damages.
To succeed in your claim for bad faith, your lawyer must prove one of the following things:
- The insurance carrier denied your claim (or delayed payment) even though your claim was valid
- The insurance adjuster refuses to respond to your appeal or inquiries
- Your Miami property damage attorney doesn’t believe they conducted a thorough investigation
- The insurance adjuster demanded additional information when you know they had all the information they need
- The insurance company refuses to provide your lawyer with a reason for the denial
What Kind of Damages Can Your Property Damage Lawyer in Miami Demand?
If your claim for bad faith is successful, you can expect to receive certain damages. Your property damage lawyer in Miami will demand the following:
- The replacement value for any personal property damaged in the event
- Compensation to repair your dwelling or other covered structures
- Medical bills for anybody injured during the event
- Compensation if you or your tenants need to relocate while the house is being fixed
Contact One of Our Miami Property Damage Attorneys Right Away
If you’ve suffered property damage to your vacation home, the insurance company should pay your claim. If they refuse to pay your claim, you may have a case for bad faith. The best way to know for sure is to call one of our Miami property damage attorneys right away.
Given the short window in which you can file an appeal, we suggest you meet with a property damage lawyer in Miami sooner rather than later. You don’t want to lose your chance to pursue legal action.