Four Tricks Insurers Will Use to Deny Coverage
Anyone faced with the task of filing a property insurance claim in Florida will know the many hurdles presented by insurers to possibly prevent you from getting your deserved settlement. Despite paying more in premiums year by year, insurers and the legislation have designed ways to prevent Floridians from filing a successful claim. Today, we’re going to focus on some of the common tricks that insurers might use to deny or underpay a policyholder’s claim, and what to watch out for when evaluating your own policy.
Insurers will often stipulate that policyholders must hire specific “approved” contractors for any repairs, at risk of losing their right to a claim or being capped at a low dollar amount, which may not cover the full damages. These “preferred” or “approved” contractors are more than likely either owned by or partnered with the insurer themselves. This locks policyholders into a lose-lose situation; either they use the contractor required by the insurer and receive possible subpar repair, or lose their right to receiving full value for their claimed property damage.
Some policies will only offer the depreciated value of the claimed property damage, instead of the cost to fully repair the damages to its original condition. Depending on the amount of the claim,policyowners could then face potential penalties for being under-insured and will only receive a small percentage of the settlement needed to repair their home. Take time to review your deductibles, policy language and coverages to ensure you’ll actually receive the amount needed to make repairs in the event of damages.
Insurers may deny your claim on the basis that the damage was pre-existing. As such, it’s essential to keep photographs and documented evidence of the condition of your home before any damage occurs. If you make any repairs, make sure to do so with a licensed contractor and be sure to keep documentation and receipts of those repairs as well as new photographs of the repaired area.
Making repairs to your property, when making a claim, prior to the insurance company inspecting the damage, may exclude you from recovering the full value for your property damage. Policies may require that damages be in their original condition to be evaluated by the insurance company adjuster, even if those damages pose further risk to the integrity of your home. In these cases, homeowners are forced to decide between further damage or little to no settlement.
In any case, your first step should be to consult a trusted public adjuster. Do not go against your insurance company alone. The insurance company has their adjuster, and so should you. To work with a dedicated team of adjusters who are dedicated to helping you get your deserved compensation, contact Honest Lion Adjusting today.