Homeowners Insurance Claims
No matter how hard we prepare, natural disasters can still lead to sustaining severe and extensive property damage. Homeowners who have endured serious property damage should consider filing an insurance claim. Yet, despite investing a great deal of time and money into their homes, homeowners will often settle for a lesser amount of money than they deserve.
Unfortunately, many insurance policies do not provide adequate coverage for hurricane-related damage. Occasionally, insurance companies will dispute the specific cause of the loss in an effort to trigger an exclusion, or even deny coverage altogether. Even when policies that do cover damages that occur during hurricanes, some insurance companies occasionally wrongfully deny or underpay claims.
For example, many Floridians hold policies through the National Flood Insurance Program, which can assist homeowners with flooding damage. NFIP policies are often required when a homeowner resides in a high-risk flood zone or has a mortgage on the property. Flood insurance will usually cover the actual cash value of the items damaged by floodwaters, but “actual cash value” is often a source of disagreement. Other homes with NFIP insurance may be able to obtain 80 to 100% of the cost to construct a new structure, without regard to depreciation in the home.
But, non-NFIP insurance oftentimes does not cover the more common types of hurricane, such as damage caused by burst pipes, backups in sewage or overflows, home business disruptions, costs of living when the homeowner is displaced. Learning about your policy’s terms after a disaster occurs can be extremely frustrating. But, when an insurer does have an obligation to pay a claim for a covered loss, but refuses to do so in bad faith, homeowners may consider contacting an attorney to assist.
At Vernon Litigation Group, we can help you with the claims handling process by preparing a sworn proof of loss, navigating through the intricate details of your policy, and, if necessary, initiating formal legal proceedings against your insurance company.