Homeowners Insurance

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Homeowners Insurance

All Florida residents understand the importance of preparing for hurricanes and other tropical storms that can cause significant property damage. Florida law requires homeowners to carry a certain amount of insurance that will cover you in the event of a significant loss. However, homeowners sometimes do not realize that not all policies cover flood damage, and this insurance is often only available if you pay additional premiums. Also, some policies limit the amount of coverage provided for wind damage and other types of hurricane-related coverage.

For renters, it becomes even more complicated. Although renters are sometimes not responsible for repairing structural damage, they should still have tenants insurance to cover any damage to their own personal property.

What Is a First Party Property Damage Claim?

After sustaining damage to your property, you can file a first party claim or a third party claim. First party claims are filed with your own insurance company. On the other hand, third party claims are filed with another party’s insurance company. Most property damage claims are considered first party claims.

Understanding Homeowners Insurance

It is important to review the terms of your insurance policy before you file a first party insurance claim. Homeowners insurance policies should typically include:

  • Coverage A - Dwelling: This insurance will provide coverage for any physical damage done to your home.
  • Coverage B - Other Structures: You should have this insurance if there are other structures on your property, such as a fence or shed.
  • Coverage C - Contents: This insurance will provide coverage for your personal belongings, including those inside the home.
  • Coverage D - Additional Living Expenses: If you cannot live in your home, this coverage will provide for your additional living expenses.

In most scenarios, homeowners’ insurance provides coverage for damage from hurricanes and other severe storms generally, but a standard policy may not flood insurance or windstorm insurance.

As you can imagine, much of the damage caused by hurricanes and severe storms in Florida results from flooding and windstorm activity. While a standard policy may not include this type of coverage, you can purchase it with your policy.

How Insurance Companies May Try to Devalue Your Insurance Claim

You may have had your insurance policy for a long time. You may even know your insurance agent personally. However, insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind.

When a first-party insurance claim is filed, insurance companies do everything they can to limit the dollar amount they owe to you by doing the following:

  • Provide undervalued estimates.
  • Argue over ambiguous policy terms.
  • Look for technicalities in your policy that allegedly relieve them of liability.
  • Pressure you into accepting a settlement for less than the fair value of your claim.
  • Threaten to deny your claim if you fail to accept their initial offer.
  • Convince you that you do not need an insurance attorney.
  • In the event of a hurricane, for example, an insurance adjuster may attempt to diminish the value of your claim by arguing that damage to your home was caused by a force not covered by your policy. For example, insurance company adjusters may claim that damage to your siding, windows or doors was caused by flooding, when they were actually first damaged by hurricane force winds.

Attorney’s Fees in Homeowners Insurance Claims

Florida law states that your insurance company must pay your attorney’s fees at the end of a successfully litigated insurance claim. All legal fees incurred by our law firm are recoverable directly from your insurance company.  You will never come out of pocket for our services once your lawsuit is filed.  The best way to ensure your rights are protected is to have knowledgeable legal counsel by your side.

How Aventis Law Firm Can Help

When dealing with insurance companies, it may seem that the deck is stacked against you. Insurance companies have professional adjusters who will investigate your claim and attorneys who will defend them from lawsuits. But you don’t have to pursue your first-party insurance claim alone. Aventis Law Firm can help level the playing field and help you recover the full value of your losses.

At Aventis Law Firm, we will work with you to make sure that your insurance company honors the terms of the insurance policy you signed with them. As a former insurance defense attorney, Nicole has the experience and knowledge required to challenge large corporate insurance companies. Now, she represents homeowners, business owners and other property owners, helping them maximize insurance settlement offers.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

We understand the frustration experienced by insureds when insurance carriers deny, delay, or underpay insurance proceeds for valid insurance claims. We are here to fight for you. Call us at (904) 714-8500, e-mail us at info@aventislaw.com, or submit the easy online form to request your free legal consultation today so that you can talk to an experienced legal professional about your property damage.