How To Prevent an Insurance Company From Denying or Lowering A Property Damage Claim

  • Dec 26 2018

In a perfect world, property insurance would protect residential and commercial property owner’s from damage to a premises and its contents. In reality, however, insurers often pay out as little as possible or attempt to delay or deny claims. The best way to enforce the terms of a homeowners insurance or other property and casualty policy is by having trusted legal  representation. Let’s take a look at the tactics insurers use in assessing claims and how you can obtain the coverage you paid for and deserve.

What is property insurance?

Property insurance covers the structure of a building and contents — furniture, appliances, equipment, collectibles, and other personal property from losses due to:

  • Fire damage
  • Flood damage
  • Water damage (broken pipes/back-ups)
  • Hurricane damage
  • Windstorm damage
  • Tornado damage
  • Theft

Given that South Florida is in the hurricane belt, homeowners and businesses often file property damage claims for roof damage, water damage from flooding, wind damage, and the like. Nonetheless, obtaining the full value of a claim is challenging for individuals and business owners alike.

Why Do Insurers Deny Property Insurance Claims?

Insurers frequently interpret policy provisions to minimize or deny valid claims. The typical “stated” reasons for claim denials include:

  • The loss is excluded from the policy
  • The loss is the result of normal “wear & tear”
  • The damage is less than what the insured claimed
  • The damage is less than the policy’s deductible

Because insurance companies have vast financial resources, and rely on attorneys and claims adjusters, they have an unfair advantage over homeowners and small businesses. Even worse, however, is when an insurer attempts to settle a claim for substantially less its value, denies a claim for no reason, fails to pay a claim within a reasonable amount of time, misrepresents the terms of a policy, or otherwise engages in bad faith. In any event, it takes a skilled property insurance attorney to protect your rights.

How Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC Can Help With Your Property Insurance Claim

If your insurance company refuses to live up to the promises of an insurance policy — which is considered a contract — or has been engaging in bad faith, Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC can help. Our legal team works with a network of investigators, appraisers, restoration experts and other specialists to determine the actual amount of damage and losses. In so doing, we can level the playing field against the insurance company and help you recover the full value of your claim, including repair costs, loss of use, content replacement, and additional living expenses.

Although navigating an insurance claim can be frustrating, our experienced property insurance attorneys are here to fight for your rights. Call our office today to learn how we can help.

Posted in: Property Damage