Making a property insurance claim can be a scary, life-changing event for a policyholder. But for your insurance company? It is business as usual, literally. This is what insurance companies do.
In the end, keep in mind that making an insurance claim is really nothing more than a business negotiation, with policyholders approaching the claim the same way they would any other important decision in their life:
*by gathering all the relevant information,
*by understanding their rights,
*by getting counsel from people who have specialized knowledge, and
*by making the best decision for themselves in the long run.
Obviously, a homeowner would not risk the value of his or her home without first doing substantial research and engaging in careful oversight of the process; handling an insurance claim on your home should be no different. Keep in mind that a residential property insurance claim involves restoring not only the structure, but also the personal property damaged inside your home, to their pre-loss conditions within the parameters of the insurance policy that you purchased. To make sure this happens, and to make sure you get what your bargained for in return for paying your homeowner’s insurance premiums, it is critical that policyholders investigate and document their losses, and that you learn the terms and conditions your insurance policies: the insurance coverages available, limitations on those coverages, deductibles, conditions precedent, and specific requirements necessary to make an insurance claim. This can be both intimidating and confusing: that is why LeavenLaw’s policyholder advocates are here: to help you.
Who is inspecting or “adjusting” your home?
Who should show up to inspect and adjust your insurance property claim? Your insurance companies should be employing a licensed insurance adjusters to respond to your notice of claim and inspect your property. In reality, however, many times the individuals first responding to your notice of insurance claim to assess the damage are quite simply not qualified to do the job. When the insurance company’s adjuster does show up, make sure you ask the person for a business card. Look for their full name and all license numbers, specifically looking to verify they are insured in the state of Florida.
Another wise move is to create a folder to capture all documents and information regarding everyone who visits your home regarding your insurance claim. Make sure you get the name and specific purpose of everyone who visits your property. While it is understandable that you are preoccupied (if not in utter distress) due to the circumstances you are facing, you must be very careful when signing any documents. It is true, under your insurance policy and Florida law, you have an express obligation to cooperate with your insurance company regarding damage to your property and your insurance claim. You also must always remember and ask the questions throughout this process: who has your best interest in mind? It is true, the insurance company representatives are there to assess coverage for your loss, but in the end they are insurance company employees, compensated by your insurance company to do their job; they are not there to protect you, the policyholder. You have the right to hire your own adjuster who can help you understand all the information surrounding your policy and claim, as well as negotiate with the insurance company.
If you are ready to aggressively pursue your homeowner insurance claim, call LeavenLaw’s policy holder advocates at (866) 514-0556 today!