In Florida, your insurance policy covering your home or commercial building is a contract, even though the terms and conditions are not really bargained for. This type of contract, where the drafter provides it to the insured on a “take it or leave it” basis, is known as a contract of adhesion. As a result, under Florida law, an ambiguous term in your insurance policy will be interpreted against the drafter, favoring you. This is important for a myriad of different types of cases that will ultimately turn on the interpretation of undefined, ambiguous terms in your policy.
Filing A Claim in Florida
Filing an insurance claim requires that you notify your insurer of your loss and the surrounding circumstances associated with the loss. Your provider will then assign either an in-house or third-party adjuster to contact you to begin the investigation of the loss. The investigation may include a written estimate of the observed damages and may require that the insurance company retain an outside company (i.e., an engineering firm) to provide an investigation. Additionally, a typical insurance claim adjustment in Florida will require that you provide your insurance carrier with representative documents relevant to the property or the loss and a recorded statement and/or examination under oath. Before providing a recorded statement or an examination under oath, we strongly recommend that you seek the advice of a Florida insurance attorney since many details of insurance claims are based on information acquired from unprepared claimants.
If you have misplaced your insurance policy, you should request a new copy upon filing your claim so that you can review the applicable coverages and conditions. Florida law requires that your insurance company provide a certified copy of the policy within 30 days of your request.
If Your Claim is Denied
If your insurance company has denied your claim, they have identified a policy exclusion for not providing you coverage. The reasons for denials are varied and can include things like a failure to comply with a condition precedent, excluded causes of the observed damage, or the failure to comply with your post-loss obligations. Regardless the reason for denial, we can help you review the validity of your claim and if it was wrongfully denied, we will file suit and attempt to get you the benefits that you deserve.
If Your Claim is Confirmed
One of the more complex ways that insurance companies make money is through providing low-ball offers or partial coverage for a loss. Your property is your primary investment, and you need to make sure that you have done your due diligence to protect it. Ultimately, most large insurance companies will have an approved list of vendors that provide estimates routinely for losses. These companies generate substantial revenue for insurance company contracts and therefore have implicit biases in providing conservative repair quotes. Even if your claim is covered and you’re happy with the estimate provided by your carrier, take the time to consult with an insurance attorney to obtain a second opinion.
If you have concerns about your insurance policy, Miller Trial Law can assist you. Contact us for a free, no-risk consultation prior to filing your claim.
Please call us today at (305) 697-8312. We look forward to serving you!