What Can You Do If Your Insurance Claim is Denied or Underpaid?
You assume and expect your insurance company to fully protect you when a loss occurs. Whether it’s your home or business, you are exposed to loss from flood, storms, fire, wind, lightning, sinkholes and other natural disasters as well as theft or vandalism. Disputes over an insurance claim are very common and insurance companies routinely deny, underpay and delay claims but it’s still shocking to receive a denial letter or find out the insurance company has undervalued your claim.
Find Out Why Your Insurance Claim Was Denied
The formal letter from the adjuster should specify exactly why the claim was denied. It should state the results of their investigation, what section of the policy backs up the denial, and how to contact them if you have any additional facts you would like considered. It could be that the policy language was misinterpreted or misapplied, the adjuster did not have access to enough evidence, or that there was a filing error. When in doubt, ask for clarification from your adjuster. If there was no formal notification, reach out to your adjuster and request it. The insurance company is required to provide the reason for the denial within 90 days of the date of loss.
Know Your Insurance Policy and Rights
Read your homeowners insurance policy carefully, as it’s important that you understand your coverage. There are many common reasons for insurance claim denials, including failure to pay your premiums, delay in reporting, exclusions in your insurance policy, or insufficient documentation to verify the damage.
Gather Information and Details About Your Claim
It is important to keep documentation of all conversations, information provided, copies of paperwork, as well as copies of any photos or video evidence. This may include:
- Documentation about the facts of the original incident, including dates, times, parties involved, and steps you may have used to prevent the incident or protect your property
- Document all phone calls to your insurance company and keep all letters received and sent
- Photos or videos of the damage, the incident, or the aftermath
- Statements from witnesses
Being prepared will help you improve your chances to be provided with coverage for your loss.
Consult With An Experienced Attorney
You may contact our office at any time during the insurance claim process for a free consultation. We may be able to answer a question or steer you in the right direction so you can get your claim paid on your own. If your claim is not paid or the insurance company continues to delay, deny or undervalue your claim, it may be time to hire an attorney. No matter what you do, some insurance companies will deny claims and only investigate or review a claim once legal action is taken.
The claim process for an insurance loss can be a very frustrating and tedious process. We want to make the process as easy as possible for you — our client. We can meet outside of normal business hours and at a place convenient to you. We accept insurance cases on a contingency basis which means we don’t take any money upfront and only get paid if we succeed with getting your insurance claim paid. Florida Statute § 627.428 is designed to help you recover some or all of your attorney’s fees from your insurer, over and above the benefit that they owe you for repair or replacement of your property if you prevail against them in your case.
Please contact our office to have an experienced attorney analyze the denial of coverage and to provide you with a free consultation. We have dealt with very complex cases, very simple cases and everything in between. We have extensive experience helping clients’ recover the insurance benefits they are entitled to receive. Hiring an attorney that specializes in homeowners claims will help you get the reimbursement you need to get your home or business repaired.