A property damage claim settlement is an important step, but it can be difficult to know whether it’s the right choice for you. Our Florida homeowners insurance lawyers want to help you make an informed decision.
Read our guide to find out the pros and cons of settling your property damage claim and learn helpful tips for negotiating a settlement.
What Is a Property Damage Claim Settlement?
A claim settlement occurs when a homeowner agrees with the insurance company to receive a certain amount of money as payment to repair the damage to their property.
Insurance adjusters must visit those who have filed a claim before a specific deadline, following any disaster or destruction. This is usually the first contact made by the insurance company.
In some cases, your insurance may offer a quick financial settlement, but it’s important to evaluate the offer carefully before accepting. Make sure you understand the terms and if they are fair and just.
Watch Out for Red Flags
The insurance company may offer you an unfair settlement, especially if you have not hired a Florida property damage lawyer. It’s important to know your rights as an insurance consumer.
Low Settlement Offers
Insurance companies tend to initially offer very low settlement offers that are insufficient to cover repair, replacement, and damage costs. If you’re a homeowner in desperate need of money, it’s easy to be tempted by low settlement offers, since they often come quickly.
However, in those cases, hiring a lawyer for insurance claims is often extremely beneficial since they can guide you through this process. Keep in mind that waiting for a fairer settlement may be worth it in the long run.
Proof of Loss Requirement Is Waived
Following a disaster, certain companies may choose to omit their requirement of a proof of loss form if an adjuster has been consulted, particularly when the claim is not complicated. This form explains what’s been damaged and how much money you’re claiming.
However, the choice of repair firms is yours. If your home is adequately insured, you shouldn’t have to settle for anything less than you had before the disaster.
Does It Make Sense to Settle a Claim?
Before accepting or negotiating a settlement offer, it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney to analyze the merits of your case and evaluate the terms of any potential settlement.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you considering bringing in an attorney to aid in mediating and negotiating a settlement with the insurance?
- Are you familiar with the terms and conditions of the insurance company’s offer?
- Will the settlement be sufficient for your property’s repairs?
- Are you aware of all the potential choices and avenues available to you?
Tips on Negotiating a Property Damage Claim Settlement
If you are not satisfied with the property damage claim settlement offered by your insurance, these are some steps you can take to challenge it.
- Consider the possibility of partially settling. That means, resolving the easier issues first and then continuing negotiations for the more complicated topics.
- Clearly express your dissatisfaction with the current settlement you have received.
- Get in touch with a lawyer to help you review the claim again, especially if you have more evidence of the damage that was not previously included.
- If the insurance company does not increase the claim settlement amount, it might be time to consider an alternative option such as an independent appraisal. This process involves finding a different expert to evaluate the damage and provide an estimate.
Seek Help From a Florida Property Damage Lawyer
If your attempts to secure a reasonable insurance claim settlement prove unsuccessful, you may have to consider filing a lawsuit as the next step.
If your lawsuit is successful, you can recover what the insurer owed and also get compensation for the expenses you incurred chasing the policy benefits you were entitled to in the first place.
Many people are concerned about the cost and complexity of legal proceedings. However, if you find a reliable attorney and have a solid case, suing an insurer could be the best option for getting your rightful compensation.
Deciding whether to settle a property damage claim is a personal choice that depends on several factors. It’s important to consider the potential advantages and disadvantages carefully and seek advice from a trusted legal professional.
Speak to the Experts
If you are unsure about settling your property damage claim with your insurance, consulting a lawyer is the best way to ensure your claim is handled properly. Here at Klotzman Property Damage Law, we advocate for fair compensation so you can properly restore and repair any damage.
Schedule your free case review today with a Florida property damage attorney. When insurance companies fail, Klotzman Property Damage Law succeeds.