There are different types of homeowners claims in Fort Lauderdale. Find out what they are and the reasons why insurance companies deny claims. 

Homeowner insurance policies or HO-3 ensure you can pay to repair or replace your personal property after a covered loss. But, sometimes, submitting homeowners claims and receiving payouts from an insurance company does not go as planned. Then, you may need to consult a property damage lawyer.

Some homeowners even neglect to get an insurance policy to cover property damages. However, you may be setting yourself up to lose your peace of mind over unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses.

To understand the importance of being an insurance carrier in Fort Lauderdale, we examine the most common types of homeowners claims among property-owning Fort Lauderdale residents.

Common Homeowners Claims in Fort Lauderdale

Florida has a higher exposure to severe weather events like hurricanes yearly. As a result, insurance premiums for homes, condos, and rental properties in the state are some of the highest in the U.S.

So, residential property owners usually expect insurance providers to provide coverage for property damage, theft, or liability cases. The following are the most common examples of situations covered by home insurance.

Wind Damage

According to the Insurance Information Institute, wind-associated events (tropical storms, hail, thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes) are responsible for nearly 40% of homeowner insurance claims.

These major wind events often cause significant property damage. To cover the cost of repairs or replacements, homeowners usually rely on their insurance deductibles.

Property damage by water is another recurring insurance claim by homeowners. These include the effects of water from rain, ice, and melting snow on roofs and buildings.

Non-weather-related damages are another type of property damage by water. Typical situations involve burst pipes or leakage from appliances (bathtub, refrigerator, washing machine, etc.).

Flooding is another source of excessive water damage. But, your typical homeowners insurance does not cover flood damages. Instead, you'll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. 

Fire and Lightning Damage

Of all homeowners claims, damages by fire and lightning strikes are the costliest. Hence, the original intention of homeowners insurance was to provide protection against fire hazards and easily accessible coverage for damages.

Fires can cause property damage rapidly. For high-risk areas like Florida, an insurance policy is a wise investment.

Homeowner Liability

A liability situation occurs when other people claim your premises had a hazardous condition that caused their injuries or damaged property. Though less common, these claims can cost a lot of money when involving personal injuries.

Dog bites, slip-and-fall cases, and backyard accidents are typical examples. In these cases, your liability coverage may pay for the victim's medical bills and property repair (or replacement) costs or settle legal defense expenses and court judgments against you.

Household Theft

Another common cause of property loss claims is theft. One effect is the loss of properties such as expensive artwork, jewelry, and other collectible items.

Thieves may also cause property damage during break-ins. Generally, home insurance covers property within and outside the home of an insurance carrier.

Other Property Damage

Property owners report trees falling on roofs, destroying windows, and damaging garage doors as miscellaneous damages. Also, your homeowners insurance likely covers other structures besides your dwelling, including sheds, detached garages, workshops, and light poles. Furthermore, the insurance premium covers repair or replacement work from weather damage or vandalism.

Common Reasons for Denied, Undervalued, or Delayed Property Insurance Claims

HO-3, the regular policy type, provides homeowners insurance coverage for any damages within the policy limits. Power failures, insect infestations, and neglect are standard policy exclusions.

Still, even if the damage suffered is covered under the home insurance policy, securing compensation may be challenging. The reports from insurance adjusters can cause the denial of a valid insurance claim.

Sometimes, your policy provider may act in bad faith by delaying or undervaluing your financial damages. Also, your previous actions may prevent you from receiving payment.

The following reasons are why insurers deny property damage claims.

  • Lack of Insurance Coverage: Standard home insurance policies account for fire, wind, and some water damages. So, suppose your policy does not cover damages from floods, earthquakes, tropical storms, or mold. Then the insurance company will deny your claim.
  • Missed Filing Deadlines: Filing a property damage claim has specific time-sensitive requirements, depending on your policy and the provider. Failure to commence a claim on time with your insurer can nullify it.
  • Non-Payment of Premiums: You can invalidate your policy by not paying your premium payments or doing so late. When you experience property damage, your insurance provider has sufficient grounds to reject your claim.
  • Insufficient Documentation: When property damage occurs, it's your duty as a homeowner to provide adequate proof or as much information as possible. Else, you forfeit your claim.
  • Evidence of Property Neglect: The essence of home insurance is to cover unexpected or sudden mishaps, not damages resulting from wear and tear or lack of maintenance.

Tips for Properly Filing Homeowners Claims

Helpful practices when preparing to file a claim for property damages include:

  • Fill out claim forms on time and notify the insurance company of the damage types. If you're unsure of the process or need help filing additional forms, contact a property damage lawyer to assist you.
  • Document all the affected areas of your home by taking pictures. Include photographs and an extensive inventory of all damaged property.
  • In the event of theft or vandalism, report to the law enforcement authorities. Getting a police report or a proof of loss statement verifies the damage to your insurer.
  • Make emergency or temporary repairs where necessary to prevent further losses. However, be sure to keep receipts as proof of your claimed expenses.
  • Be on-site when the insurance company sends a claims adjuster for inspections. Be prepared to point out structural damages or a list of lost or damaged items.
  • In the event of catastrophic damage, you'll need to relocate. Keep receipts or documents proving a loss of use case, including hotel bills and restaurant expenses during your temporary relocation.

Still, you may not get the desired results after filing your property damage claim as a self-represented party. So you may want to work with a homeowners insurance lawyer at VG Law.

Why Consult a Property Damage Lawyer?

Some damage claims involve complex or expensive filing processes. Our homeowners insurance lawyers have extensive experience with personal property damage claims and can offer legal advice on negotiations with insurers.

Even after an insurance claims adjuster assesses the property damage, the insurance company may choose to offer less or no money. This situation may lead to a bad faith dispute. Then, your lawyer can help you to take further legal action.

Furthermore, a property damage lawyer will handle issues such as delayed payments, unexpected termination of insurance policy, or refused payouts for damages.

Consult a Fort Lauderdale Property Damage Lawyer at VG Law

At VG Law, we provide quality representation and legal advice. Our legal team in Fort Lauderdale is hands-on and ready to answer any queries concerning your homeowners insurance.

You may need help understanding why you require homeowners insurance coverage. Also, you might want to file legitimate homeowners claims for damages or prepare a bad faith lawsuit against an insurance company.

Contact our Fort Lauderdale homeowners insurance lawyers to decide the best next steps.

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