According to an industry research organization, the homeowners insurance market is poised to “grow moderately” in the years between 2020 and 2025, with an estimated revenue of $106 billion in 2020. It’s also a fact that Florida homeowner’s premiums are among the highest in the nation. With that in mind, the last thing you want to do is make an error that could cause your claim to be low-balled, denied or cost you thousands of dollars. Here are some of the most common mistakes:
1. Not paying your deductible
Your deductible is the amount of money you have to pay before your claim is settled. When you purchased your homeowner’s insurance, you decided how much that deductible would be. Generally, it’s based on what you think you can afford. The deductible may be a percentage of your home’s insured value or a dollar amount. In either case, your claim will not be paid until that deductible is paid. So, for instance, if you suffered a $15,000 loss and your deductible is $1,000, that’s the amount you’ll have to pay prior to settlement. It’s worth reviewing your policy periodically to make sure that you’re comfortable with your deductible. You may want to increase or decrease the amount if your circumstance or home’s value changes.
2. Not filing a valid claim
An invalid claim may be one in which information is missing, but it can also be fraud. In Florida, insurance fraud is defined as “submitting a claim based on a false, exaggerated, or deliberate injury or loss. It is against Florida law to submit false or misleading information to an insurer on a claim or an application for an insurance policy.” Make certain that the claim you file is complete, accurate and truthful.
3. Filing an unnecessary claim
Unnecessary claims include those in which the value of the claim doesn’t exceed your deductible or when the damage should be covered by a home warranty instead of the insurance (for instance, damage caused by a malfunctioning dishwasher). Unnecessary claims are going to be denied and may even cause an increase in your premiums.
4. Accepting a denial
Don’t take “no” for an answer from your insurer. The adjuster and the insurance company don’t want to pay because that means money out of their pocket. If your claim has been denied:
- Review your policy to understand the terms, your rights, your deductibles and the maximum on a claim
- Request an independent appraisal
- File an appeal
5. Not hiring an attorney to help with your claim
Filing claims may seem straightforward, but it’s often more complicated than you think. A Florida homeowners insurance claims attorney can help you document your claim, negotiate your settlement, and hold insurance companies accountable.
Let us help you file your claim the right way to avoid costly mistakes
Put our skill to work for you. We have years of experience and have helped people throughout Orlando and surrounding communities get the settlement to which they’re entitled. To schedule a consultation to discuss your needs, please contact us online or call Johnson & Williams, P.A. at (407) 245-1268.