In the state of Florida, water damage to your home can occur in a variety of ways. Whether caused by heavy rains, a powerful storm, or a hurricane, leaks can lead to extensive water damage that can be costly to fix. For this reason, most homeowners in Florida carry property insurance, and when something happens that causes water damage to their home, they expect to be covered.
Unfortunately, many Florida property owners have had their water damage claims denied. This can happen for many reasons, but one of the most common is when the insurance company claims a long-term leak caused the damage. As a property owner, you are expected to take action to prevent leaks from getting worse, and if you fail to do so, you risk not being paid out by insurance.
If you have had your water damage claim denied, there are a few things you can do. First, you should check your policy to see if there is a specific reason why your claim was denied. If not, you can contact your insurance company and ask for an explanation. If you believe the denial was unjustified, you can file an appeal with your insurance company.
If you are still not satisfied with the outcome, you can contact the Florida Department of Financial Services to file a complaint. You can also consult with a lawyer to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.
No matter what route you choose, it is important to act quickly after your water damage claim is denied.
Why was the water damage claim denied?
There are a few reasons water damage claims can be denied by insurance companies. Some of the most common reasons are:
– The water damage was not caused by a covered event, such as a storm or hurricane.
– The water damage was caused by a long-term leak that should have been fixed by the property owner.
– The water damage was not reported to the insurance company in a timely manner.
What is considered a long-term leak?
In Florida, a long-term leak is defined as any water damage that occurs over a period of days, weeks, or months. In most cases, this type of water damage is not covered by insurance. There are a few exceptions, such as water damage that was caused by a covered event, but it is important to remember that insurance companies are not required to cover water damage that could have been prevented by the property owner.
When should you report water damage?
In Florida, water damage should be reported to your insurance company as soon as possible. Most policies have a time limit for reporting water damage, and if you fail to do so in a timely manner, you may not be eligible for coverage. It is important to take action immediately after water damage occurs, as this will help to ensure that your claim is not denied.
What to do when your water damage claim is denied
Water damage is one of the most frequently disputed Florida property insurance issues. For this reason, it’s important that you know the details of your insurance policy, especially what the insurance company considers long-term damage. However, even if you know your policy inside and out and are certain your insurance should cover the water damage to your home, it is common for insurance companies to deny valid claims.
Listed below are some key steps you can take if your claim is denied:
- Take photos. Your insurance claim will hinge on the evidence you can provide. Take extensive photographs of any property damage and the surrounding area. It is also helpful to take photos before any damage occurs. Photographs are often the most important evidence in a case.
- List damaged items. Take photos and keep all damaged items in case the insurance company wants to see them. You should also make a list of everything that was damaged and the cost per item.
- Hire an expert. Hiring a water damage expert can help you prove things such as how and when the leak began, as well as the source of the leak.
- Water bills. Water bills can help prove exactly when the leak occurred. For example, if your insurance is trying to say it is an old leak, but your water bills show otherwise, their claim will be disproven.
If your insurance company has denied your water damage claim and you don’t know what to do next, we recommend you contact an experienced property insurance attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a knowledgeable insurance attorney in Florida
At Johnson and Williams, we have years of experience helping clients who have been wronged by insurance companies. We can help you get the fair compensation you deserve for your insurance claim. If your insurance company has denied your claim or is offering a lowball settlement, contact our office today at (407) 245-1268 or write to us online to schedule a free consultation.