If you have ever had to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance carrier, you know that getting paid for damaged personal property is like pulling teeth. Insurance companies never want to part with their money. They will delay and question your claim for as long as they can. If you have a feeling the insurance company is going to give you a hard time, call our office right away.
Our Ft. Lauderdale property damage attorneys are familiar with the local insurance companies. We also know the tactics that insurance adjusters use to get out of paying a claim. Your Florida property damage lawyer will do their best to negotiate payment or settlement of your claim.
Here, we will discuss the various coverage you can purchase for your personal property. If you still have questions, feel free to contact our office directly. We can always schedule your free, initial consultation with one of our Ft. Lauderdale property damage attorneys over the phone or you can contact us through our website.
What Kind of Coverage Did You Purchase?
When you buy your homeowner’s insurance, you get to choose what kind of coverage you will purchase. Almost every homeowner’s insurance policy includes coverage for personal property. How extensive this coverage is will depend on your policy.
If you buy a named peril policy, it will only cover losses that were specifically listed in the policy itself. If, on the other hand, you buy an open peril policy, you will be covered for all personal property except for that property excluded from the policy.
Additionally, you need to remember that, regardless of the type of coverage you buy, the cause of the loss still matters. If your policy doesn’t cover certain events, such as a flood or hurricane, then it won’t matter whether you have personal property coverage. If the event is excluded, then your losses will not be covered either.
Most Homeowners Policies Cover a Certain Percentage of Your Dwelling’s Value
The way most homeowner’s policies work is that they offer personal property coverage, but only up to a certain point.
Usually, you will be entitled to coverage equal to a percentage of the value of your dwelling. Most policies offer personal property coverage anywhere from 50-70% of your dwelling’s value. So, if your home is insured for $300,000, your personal property coverage limit may be somewhere between $150,000 to $210,000.
Your Ft. Lauderdale property damage attorney will review your policy to see just how much coverage you should have been entitled to. If your insurance carrier does not honor the terms of the contract, you may have to file legal action against the insurance company.
Your Homeowner’s Policy Covers More Than Just the Interior of Your House
Most people are surprised to learn that most homeowner’s policies cover the items both inside the home and in other areas of your property. For example, many of the cases our Florida property damage lawyers handle involve personal property damage that occurred outside the technical home. You may be covered for damage to any property located in the garage or shed. You may also list items that were inside your car at the time of the storm or other triggering event.
You Can Always Opt for a Scheduled Personal Property Endorsement
What we recommend to a lot of our clients is that they purchase a scheduled personal property endorsement. This will extend the amount of coverage offered by your insurance policy. Instead of being limited to 50% of your personal property damage, you may be able to increase it to 75-80%. You may even be lucky enough to find an endorsement that offers 100% coverage.
It all depends on the insurance company you are with and what they offer. If your Ft. Lauderdale property damage attorney can prove that you have this endorsement, they may be able to negotiate payment of your claim.
If the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim, You Should Talk to a Florida Property Damage Lawyer
If you learn that your insurance claim has been denied, you don’t want to waste any time. You need to call one of our Florida property damage lawyers as soon as possible. They will need to help you find a property adjuster to create an accurate list of items damaged or destroyed in the disaster.
Your attorney will also try to get in touch with the insurance adjuster and see if they are willing to negotiate payment. If not, you may have no choice but to pursue legal action. Before you do so, however, your Ft. Lauderdale property damage attorney will review your paperwork and make sure your claim will stand up in court.
Your Ft. Lauderdale Property Damage Attorney Can Help You File an Appeal
If your insurance claim is denied, you may want to talk to a Ft. Lauderdale property damage attorney. Our associates meet with clients every week who thought their claim would be paid only to learn that they were wrong. We understand how frustrating this can be.
You pay your insurance premiums for years. Then, when it comes time to file a claim, you are told that the insurance company won’t pay it. Your Florida property damage lawyer can always review your policy to see what exclusions were written in it. They can also look to see if you ever purchased additional coverage, such as a scheduled personal property endorsement.
If you have not, it may be quite difficult to convince the insurance company to pay your claim. Your Ft. Lauderdale property damage attorney can parse out the personal property that should have been covered. They can also try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
If this isn’t possible, you’ll have two options. You can accept the loss and purchase the requisite insurance to protect yourself in the future. Or you can pursue legal action against the insurance carrier. It all depends on whether your Florida property damage lawyer believes you have a valid claim for damages.
We do offer new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you a chance to get an honest opinion from a seasoned Ft. Lauderdale property damage attorney. If they believe you have a right to damages, they will be more than willing to help you. However, if they do not feel there is any liability on the part of the insurance company, they will let you know.