Homeowners insurance is becoming more essential and costly in Florida. Major hurricanes and other significant flooding events are seemingly becoming more common and more destructive. These dangers are costing homeowners dearly as premiums rise and reliable insurance companies are getting more difficult to find.
To make matters worse, in conjunction with rising premiums, insurance payouts are a less reliable avenue to recover from a devastating event than ever. In many cases, insurance companies are reducing payouts to levels far below the estimated damage.
It is also increasingly common for insurance companies to close hurricane damage claims without any payment whatsoever. Homeowners in Florida are paying much more and getting less or nothing in return.
With the destabilizing effects of unreliable homeowners insurance, homeowners need somewhere to turn. When it comes to protecting insurance customers from increasingly unscrupulous insurance companies, Johns Law Group, PLLC, is here to help.
Our property insurance attorneys in Florida have experience holding big insurance firms to task when they rip off their customers. We deeply understand Florida insurance laws and know what to do when an insurer improperly denies your claim. Contact Johns Law Group today so we can fight for you.
Common Homeowners Insurance Claims
Florida has a unique environment, and homeowners in Florida file certain types of insurance claims much more frequently than others. When looking into coverage for your home, it is critical to understand the unique elements Florida residents face and ensure you are covered if they strike.
Wind and Hail
Wind and hail damage is the most common reason homeowners in Florida file an insurance claim. Insurance for wind and hail damage is essential with the prevalence of particularly destructive thunderstorms and frequent hurricane risk.
Lightning and Fire
Lightning and fire damage are also extremely common reasons for insurance claims in Florida. Further, the damage caused by fire and lightning can be expensive and, in some cases, amount to a total loss of the structure. Loss of use coverage is especially important and will be helpful if your house becomes unlivable due to a fire.
The low elevation of the Florida peninsula also makes flooding and water damage a pressing concern for homeowners. Water damage can cause extensive damage to homes. Mold problems caused by water damage can also make a house unlivable.
Personal Injury Liability
Some people might be surprised to learn that bodily injury and damage to the property of others is a common reason for homeowners insurance claims in Florida. Personal injury lawsuits can be expensive, and it is crucial to have insurance that covers you when someone is injured on your property.
Unfortunately, theft is also a common reason to file a homeowners insurance claim. While most insurance policies in Florida contain some level of coverage for theft and theft-related damages, it is critical to double-check your insurance policy to ensure you are covered.
A property insurance attorney in Florida can help you further understand the most critical aspects of your insurance contract and what will be covered in the event of a loss.
Florida’s Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights
The primary rights and responsibilities of homeowners filing a claim in Florida are laid out in the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights.
The Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights is statutory law in Florida and is enforceable in the courts. This statute dictates how homeowners must be treated by insurance companies when they file a claim. The law gives homeowners eight specific rights and a list of steps they are advised to take.
At Johns Law Group, our property insurance attorneys in Florida deeply understand the rights of homeowners and will zealously hold insurance companies accountable when they violate those rights.
Bad Faith Insurance Claims
It is becoming more common for insurance companies in Florida to act in bad faith when adjudicating homeowners claims. Some insurance companies aim to boost profits through unscrupulous means and do everything possible to avoid paying homeowners fairly. Florida allows policyholders to hold insurance companies accountable when they act in bad faith.
What Is a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
An insurance company must be held accountable when it fails to uphold its contractual and legal duties. A bad faith insurance claim is a legal action brought by an insurance account holder against an insurance company after the insurance company fails to uphold its responsibilities in response to an insurance claim.
Underpayments, unreasonable denials, low damage assessments, delays, and overly aggressive communications can all lead to bad faith insurance claims. These claims can originate from a violation of specific duties found in Florida statutes or from the common law duty to act in good faith when engaged in a contractual relationship.
Common Bad Faith Insurance Practices
There are several standard practices that Florida insurance companies engage in, which amount to bad faith practices. Common bad faith practices include:
- Making material misrepresentations in marketing materials or damage assessments;
- Failing to communicate with the insured throughout the claims process;
- Unreasonably denying valid homeowners claims;
- Using unreasonably low damage assessments when determining insurance payouts;
- Underpaying valid claims;
- Refusing to investigate an insurance claim; and
- Engaging in any other practice that violates the contract or the law.
A property insurance dispute lawyer in Florida can help you determine if your insurance company is acting in bad faith regarding your claim.
Remedies for Bad Faith Insurance Practices
Florida laws allow victims of bad faith insurance practices to recover compensation for their losses. There are three types of compensation available to bad faith insurance victims.
- Compensation for the initial claim’s actual value;
- Compensation for any costs incurred due to the insurance company’s bad acts; and
- Punitive damages.
An experienced property insurance attorney in Florida can help you determine what compensation you might be entitled to.
What to Do If Your Homeowners Insurance Claim Is Denied
If your homeowners insurance claim is improperly denied, Johns Law Group can help. Our skilled property insurance attorneys in Florida know how to defend your rights. We vigorously fight for every client and ensure that unscrupulous insurance companies cannot take advantage of their clients. Contact Johns Law Group today and schedule a consultation.