Residential & Commercial

Property Damage
Insurance Claims

Removing the Stress from your Property Damage Claim

You’ve purchased and paid your property insurance company’s premiums for your home or business and when you need your property insurance the most, they fail to live up to their promise. Insurance companies often improperly delay or deny payment of valid claims for benefits under your insurance policy and often retroactively cancel your policy after you make a claim and fail to resolve your claim when they could and should have done so. Insurance companies want to avoid paying claims as it saves them money but very few people actually dispute the underpayment or denial of their claim because they don’t know where to start.

Handling a property damage insurance claim can be stressful. Let us take on that stress for you. If you have already filed a claim, and it has been underpaid or the claim has been denied altogether, an experienced property damage insurance lawyer should be advocating for you so your claim is properly handled. We consult with engineers, roofers, plumbers and contractors to ensure all aspects of your claim are properly evaluated in order to maximize recovery of available insurance proceeds.

How does your property insurance work?

Under Florida law, your home or commercial insurance policy is a contract between you or your business and your insurance company. In an insurance policy, a “covered peril” is an event the insurance company agrees to reimburse you for should you file a claim. Some insurance policies cover replacing your home or business and contents up to certain limits, depending on your policy. While most disasters are covered, earthquakes and flooding are not. Most standard property insurance policies include four types of coverage that would provide benefits if you had a covered peril involving property damage: Coverage for the structure of your home or business; coverage for other structures such as a shed or fence, coverage for your personal belongings or business contents; and coverage for additional living expenses (for homeowner’s). Your property insurance policy also provides liability coverage which may cover you if a covered peril causes a loss to a third person, such as a trip and fall at your home or business.

If you have been underpaid for a covered loss, or if your claim has been denied for exclusions in your policy such as wear and tear, inadequate maintenance or failure to comply with your policy’s conditions, your claim may still be covered.  Speak with an attorney about your claim.

Common types and causes of property damage losses include:

  • Storm damage
  • Burst pipes
  • Plumbing system failure
  • Roof leaks
  • Appliance leaks
  • Water damage
  • Hurricane damage
  • Tornado damage
  • Wind damage
  • Cast iron pipe leaks
  • Vandalism
  • Fallen trees
  • Fire damage
  • Hail

How long does your insurance company have to make a decision on your claim?

Upon an insurer’s receipt of a communication with respect to a claim, the insurer must, within 14 calendar days, review and acknowledge receipt of that communication unless payment is made within that period of time or unless the failure to acknowledge is caused by factors beyond the control of the insurer which reasonably prevent such acknowledgment.

Your property insurer has 90 days to pay or deny a claim pursuant to Florida Statute 627.70131(5)(a). Specifically, within 90 days after an insurer receives notice of an initial, reopened, or supplemental property insurance claim from a policyholder, the insurer shall pay or deny such claim or a portion of the claim unless the failure to pay is caused by factors beyond the control of the insurer which reasonably prevent such payment.

Request a free consultation with Stephanie Seligman