If you have homeowner's insurance coverage in Fort Lauderdale, you can get numerous benefits in an insurance claim. Learn more about the common types here.
From a life insurance claim to auto insurance, etc., Fort Lauderdale insurance attorneys attend to various types of insurance claims. One of the most complicated ones involves home insurance claims. Home insurance (or homeowner's insurance) is a type of property insurance for private residences. Other property insurance policies include motor vehicle insurance, renters insurance, and flood insurance policies.
Common home insurance claims cover cases involving losses and damage to a claimant's home and personal assets. It may also cover personal injuries that occur while in the insured premises. While the standard home insurance policies may cover a volcanic eruption, they don't cover catastrophic accidents resulting from an earthquake. So those living in high-risk areas should consider specialized insurance for various threats like windstorm coverage, etc.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, 5.1% of insured homes had a claim in 2019. If you want to get the best out of your homeowners policy, you must acquire all the knowledge you can in that regard. It would help if you learned about the common types of home insurance claims and policies. You must also know what to do if your insurance company challenges your claim.
There are numerous terms to note if you wish to pursue a property insurance claim in Fort Lauderdale. They include the following:
An insurance agent is a professional that insurance companies employ to sell their insurance products. They get commissions from insurance companies based on their performance.
An insurance contract (or insurance policy) stipulates the terms of the agreement between the insurer and policyholder. An applicable insurance policy is one that entitles a company to indemnification in case of a subordinate claim.
They're professionals that analyze people and asset insurance risks.
Insurance rates are monetary amounts that cover losses/expenses and provide profit per unit of exposure for the insurer.
Covered perils are events that a homeowner's insurance policy will compensate you for. Common covered perils include the weight of ice, vandalism, etc.
Replacement costs are monetary amounts that cover expenses for replacing an asset. Replacement cost coverages are typically available for personal property (like a washing machine).
Insurance or claims adjusters investigate an insurance company's extent of liability in a claim. They determine how much is necessary to settle your claim.
This is the type of insurance agreement a company is selling. This includes travel insurance, life insurance, etc.
This type of coverage protects you when you cause someone else's bodily injury or property damage at your home. Personal liability claims may also cover your family members.
This is the highest amount your insurer will pay to settle your claim. That means you'll need additional coverage if your home insurance coverage limit isn't enough to settle your claim.
There are different types of homeowners insurance claims in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They are:
Wind damage claims cover destruction due to thunderstorms and major wind events. Wind and hail damage caused most homeowners and renters insurance claims between 2015-2019.
Water damage claims are usually the result of heavy rain, pipe bursts, etc. Note that water damage doesn't include flood damage.
This also makes one of the most common homeowners insurance claims. Fire damage was the primary reason for setting up homeowners insurance policies. It's also in the category of the most expensive claims.
This is personal property coverage for damaged items that weren't stolen. For example, non-theft property damages will cover roof damage caused by a fallen tree.
This claim replaces stolen properties from break-ins, theft, vandalism, and malicious mischief acts. Some insurance will give you premium discounts if you install a home security system to reduce thefts.
Liability coverages encompass situations where you were negligent in protecting a guest on your property. Liability claims cover your injured visitor's medical bills and property replacement costs.
Many other homeowners' insurance policies not mentioned above fall under this heading. They include dog bites, trampoline accidents, etc.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, irrespective of whether you are a homeowner or renter, you have these three options:
You can get your Fort Lauderdale insurance lawyers to explain them to you.
There are also various homeowners insurance policies (or forms) in Fort Lauderdale. We've discussed them below:
This policy covers ten named perils and excludes many others. For example, it doesn't include the weight of ice or falling objects. The HO-1 policy is pretty rare these days.
Although HO-2 provides limited coverage, it covers more perils than HO-1.
The HO-3 policy is the most common homeowner's insurance policy today. Special coverage encompasses any peril to your home that wasn't expressly excluded in your policy terms.
This is a standard renters insurance policy that protects a renter's personal belongings against 16 perils. Perils under this policy also include personal liability.
HO-5 policies are written on an open peril basis. So, they cover any peril that isn't excluded in your policy.
This type of policy is also called "walls-in" coverage and caters to the unique insurance needs of condo owners. It protects your individual unit’s interior.
This policy is for owners of mobile homes or trailer parks. It covers all perils that are not on the exclusions list.
This policy is for older buildings (from 40 years old and above) that couldn't attain the HO-3 policy. It typically includes dwelling coverage, loss of use, and personal liability.
Living in Fort Lauderdale means that you own a home or you live in a rented apartment building. Regardless of those factors, you can decide to own an insurance policy to cover your personal property losses in such dwelling places.
However, a property owners' insurance is a separate policy from a tenant's insurance coverage in specific ways. That's what primarily differentiates between homeowners' and renters' insurance.
Let's discuss them in some detail:
This refers to insurance that property owners take on their homes. This coverage will handle the cost of replacing a home when it's totally damaged. It will also cover damage to personal property in the home.
According to Bankrate, the average cost of homeowners insurance in the US is "$1,312 per year for a policy with $250,000 in dwelling coverage." The average annual premium for homeowners in Florida is $1,353.
Unlike homeowners insurance, renters insurance policies cover occupants who don't own the property. This category of persons wants to protect their personal property on the premises. Renters insurance will typically cover damaged or destroyed items on the premises.
A policyholder's average renters insurance premium will depend on numerous factors. They include location, coverage amount and optional coverage, claims history, deductibles, etc.
One thing that property owners must note is that having insurance coverage doesn't guarantee that you will receive your benefits. Homeowners' insurance companies, no matter how they seem to care, are all about maximizing their profits. This is especially because homeowners insurance losses were at an all-time high in 2020.
When you make a claim, they'll typically offer you fewer benefits than you deserve. When they aren't offering meager sums, they may deny your claims.
Fortunately, you can fight unjust insurance claim denials with the help of an experienced insurance lawyer. Your insurance attorney can challenge your claim denials based on these grounds:
Your Fort Lauderdale insurance lawyer will challenge settlement amounts that don't measure up to expected sums. This is a common occurrence as many insurance companies will offer low amounts hoping that you'll accept them.
Many times, claimants who have no idea of what they're entitled to may grudgingly accept those sums. However, your attorney will reject such amounts and ensure that you get the maximum claims settlement for your case.
Sometimes, an insurance company may deny your claims due to the misapplication of your policy terms. In some cases, this is tantamount to insurance fraud. Insurance fraud is illegal in Fort Lauderdale and is a valid ground to challenge a claim's denial. Insurance fraud will also include intentional misrepresentations of any kind.
An insurance company must investigate claims properly. However, sometimes, they may delay or mishandle the investigation. Your attorney can challenge your claim's denial on such grounds.
An insurance company must handle your case with utmost good faith and without bias. It's improper for them to disregard relevant facts in your favor.
You can quickly choose a type of homeowner's insurance based on your particular needs and preferences. However, when it comes to making insurance claims, the process isn't always straightforward. You'll need an experienced Fort Lauderdale homeowners attorney's help to navigate the bottlenecks in the claims process.
With many insurance law firms in the city, it can be pretty challenging to choose the best one for your case. However, with our insurance lawyers at VG Law Firm, you've got nothing to worry about. Our proven track record of success is all you need to know that you're making the right decision.
We recovered thousands of dollars for our previous clients. Contact our insurance lawyers for a free case review now if you want the same results.