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What Is Covered in My Florida Homeowner’s Property?

close-up photograph of a miniature house in a man's handOwning a home in Florida is a big investment, and like all investments, protecting it is important. When unexpected accidents or disasters strike, Florida homeowner’s insurance can be your safety net. However, knowing exactly what your policy covers can be a bit confusing.

If you are facing property damage in the Fort Lauderdale area and have questions about your insurance coverage, the team at Premier Property Law can help. Our  Fort Lauderdale residential property damage lawyers represent Florida homeowners in insurance disputes.

Standard Florida Homeowner’s Insurance Coverages

Homeowner’s insurance provides an invaluable shield against a range of misfortunes that can damage or destroy your house and the things you keep in it. In Florida, your coverage typically includes these main areas:

Understanding these standard coverages in your Florida homeowner’s insurance policy is the first step toward protecting your hard-earned investments. If you have questions about your specific policy or potential gaps in coverage, do not hesitate to consult with a knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale residential property damage lawyer.

Other Types of Florida Homeowner’s Insurance Policies

Every homeowner needs coverage for their unique needs, making it important to understand the different types of insurance policies available. The types and amounts of coverage vary and often depend on what risks you may be more vulnerable to, the age of your home, and other factors.

If you are unsure which policy applies to you, consult with a qualified insurance agent or a Fort Lauderdale residential property damage lawyer. They can help you assess your risks and find the coverage that gives you peace of mind.

How a Fort Lauderdale Property Damage Insurance Claim Lawyer Can Help

Even with what seems like clear coverage, Florida property damage insurance claims can become incredibly complex.  Unfortunately, insurance companies are not always eager to pay the full amount you deserve. A Fort Lauderdale property damage insurance claim lawyer can advocate on your behalf to:

Navigating Florida homeowner’s insurance coverage can be stressful, especially when a disaster strikes. At Premier Property Law, we have the knowledge and experience to guide you through those claims, seeking the maximum compensation you deserve under your policy.

If you need help with property damage, do not hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation. Remember, there is no question too big or too small. We are here to protect one of your most valuable assets – your home.

Navigating the Florida Insurance Claim Lifecycle: A Guide for Board Members

claimsIn today’s blog, we’re going to delve into a crucial topic that affects many board members of community associations – navigating the Florida insurance claim lifecycle. If you’re a board member, you know that dealing with property damage claims can be complex and challenging. That’s why we’re here to guide you through the process and offer valuable insights to ensure you get the best outcome for your community.

Understanding the Insurance Claim Lifecycle

To kick things off, let’s break down the Florida insurance claim lifecycle. Understanding each
step in the process is vital for board members because they are all key to a successful outcome.

  1. Initial Damage Assessment

    It all begins with the initial damage assessment. When your property sustains damage, whether from a natural disaster or other unforeseen events, the first crucial step is evaluating the extent of the damage. Document everything – take photos, videos, gather evidence—and consult with experts. Attorneys, like ourselves, partner with excellent engineers and specialists who conduct thorough inspections of the building and damages to determine the cause and repairability. This information coupled with your documented evidence helps prove the necessary facts for coverage under your policy.Time is also of the essence when it comes to assessing the damage. Your insurance policy requires that you give the carrier prompt notice of the claim, but to give notice you have to understand what damage you are giving notice of. This is why working with an attorney and experts is helpful—We put together the necessary information in an efficient timeframe.
  2. Understanding Your Policy Coverage

    While your experts are gathering factual evidence, it’s your responsibility to understand your insurance policy coverage. Not all policies are created equal, and knowing the ins and outs of your coverage is crucial. We have had condo clients come to us to represent them in insurance claims under a policy with limits and coverages that are less than half of what a building their size needed for coverage. And at that point, they are out of luck.Ideally, you would contact an attorney before any damage occurs so you understand if you have adequate coverage. Many association members consult with their insurance agents or brokers, but we would say that agents are not experts in what goes wrong, insurance claim attorneys are. We’re in a better spot to review your policy and consult you on potential pitfalls or gaps in coverage based on problems we’ve handled in the past. Our firm, Premier Property Law, reviews policies for associations and board members to explain coverages.Once damage has occurred, while the experts document the damages and determine the cause of said damages, our firm reviews the policy with the board to determine what could be covered and explain the strategy for the claim.
  3. Filing the Claim

    Once we have a clear understanding of the extent of damage, cause of damage, and what is covered by your policy, it’s time to file the claim. This involves submitting a detailed report to your insurance company. This is why having an attorney by your side is advantageous – we ensure that the claim is reported comprehensively, without including information to damage your claim. Sometimes claims are flat out denied because information or evidence was included that doesn’t apply to the policy—which obviously you can’t claim damage under a policy that doesn’t cover it. It’s not normally fatal, but it does slow the claims process down.
  4. Working with Adjusters

    Once the claim is reported, the carrier begins their investigation of the damage to determine what they owe you under the policy agreement. This begins with sending an adjuster to the property to do an inspection and to review the information you provided upon filing the claim. Again, if you have already consulted with your attorneys, your claim filing and comprehensive documents provided to the carrier will help move this process forward.After the inspection, the adjuster considers their findings and then reports to the carrier. As the attorney for the property owner, we would collaborate with the adjuster to make sure they have the information necessary to provide their findings to the carrier. Some adjusters have authority to decide whether certain damage is covered; other adjusters simply provide information and the decision is left to a superior. Whatever the case, our firm Premier Property Law has systems and processes in place to be the “squeaky wheel” that gets the grease, to constantly communicate with the adjuster on the status of the claim.
  5. Handling Disputes

    Once the carrier makes a decision about whether they will cover the claim, and if they will cover it how much they will pay, it is inevitable that disagreements will arise as to coverage or the amount paid.As the attorney for the association or owners, we discuss these disagreements with the adjuster. Our in-depth knowledge of the policy language and your property damages allows us to make arguments in favor of coverage and proper payment. Often these disagreements are escalated to a supervisor or an attorney for the carrier. More often than not, this escalation actually benefits our clients because it requires another person—often of a more advanced skill level—to review the claim and they may discover items that were missed by the original adjuster or they may agree with our arguments for coverage and additional payment.Should we come to a standstill with the carrier on a dispute, alternative dispute resolution methods are available, such as mediation or litigation, which we are prepared to pursue in the interest of our clients’ claim. Fortunately, if a carrier has already made a decision to partially cover a claim, they will make a payment for that amount, and we only dispute the remaining amount or coverage issues.
  6. Receiving the Insurance Funds

    Finally, after navigating through assessments, negotiations, and potential disputes, you arrive at the destination – receiving the insurance funds. Our goal is to ensure that the money you receive is fair under the terms of your policy, and covers repair or replacement for all eligible damages. This is the culmination of a meticulous process, and it’s where the expertise of a property damage claim attorney truly shines.So, as a board member, what can you do to best position your property for an impending insurance claim?

Tips for Board Members

First and foremost, familiarize yourself with your insurance policy. I can’t stress this enough – knowledge is power. Understand the coverage, limitations, and any exclusions. This foundational understanding will empower you to make informed decisions throughout the claim process AND before a claim ever occurs. Again, Premier Property Law is happy to review your policy and explain the coverages so you know that your property is protected.

The second tip is a golden rule – document everything. From the initial discovery of damage, to every interaction with the insurance company, keep a meticulous record. Photos, videos, emails, and notes – these are your tools. This documentation not only strengthens your claim but also provides a clear timeline of events in case disputes arise. And sometimes it can lead to a bad faith claim. More on that in a future blog. Now, for the final and crucial tip – consult with a property damage claim attorney early in the process. Don’t wait until you’re facing roadblocks. Having an attorney from the outset can streamline the entire claim process and prevent bumps in the road. We can review your policy, guide you through the initial steps, and proactively address any potential issues before they escalate. So, to sum it up – know your policy inside and out, document everything meticulously, and consider seeking legal counsel early on. These tips can be the key to a smoother and more successful insurance claim experience for you and your community.

Conclusion

Board members, remember, you don’t have to navigate the Florida insurance claim lifecycle alone. My law firm is here to help. If you find yourself facing a property damage claim, or if you simply want to make sure your property is adequately covered, reach out for a review and
consultation. Your community deserves the best outcome, and we are here to make that happen.

For more information, call/text us at (954) 233-0120, or email us at help@premproplaw.com.

Premier Property Law Secures $298,000.00 Appraisal Award for Elderly Mother and Disabled Veteran

Premier Property Law attorney, Joshua Durocher, celebrates a significant victory for our client, an elderly mother, and her son, a disabled veteran, against her carrier American Traditions. The settlement marks a triumph for justice and fair compensation in a dispute that initially left the property owner uncertain about the worth of her claim.

Our client, in her late 80s, and her disabled veteran son faced adversity when American Traditions, who had hired a preferred vendor, failed to adequately address damages caused by a fire. Despite the vendor’s admission of incomplete work, the carrier compelled the clients back into an unlivable home with lingering smoke odor, a single functioning bathroom connected to the master bedroom, concrete floors from removed carpets, and exposed nail strips around the house.

Attorney Joshua Durocher, who dedicated significant time and personal attention to the case, took swift action in an attempt to resolve the claim by communicating with the carrier’s attorney’s. In response, American Traditions ignored Attorney Durocher’s attempts to resolve, and instead invoked appraisal.

Premier Property Law emerged victorious, securing a $298,000.00 appraisal award—more than three times the carrier’s initial assessment.

“This settlement is a testament to our unwavering commitment to securing justice for our clients. The umpire’s award, at $298,000.00, is a clear validation of the merits of our case,” stated Joshua Durocher.

The settlement ensures that the property owner and her son will receive multiple six figures above their initial expectations, providing them with the compensation they rightfully deserve to repair their home and living circumstances. Premier Property Law remains dedicated to advocating for clients’ rights and achieving favorable outcomes in even the most challenging cases.

If you are in need of legal assistance or guidance, we encourage you to contact us for a free case review. We are here to answer any questions you may have and provide you with the personalized attention you deserve.

What to Do if Your Property Damage Claim Was Denied

Property damage from hurricanes, floods, fires, or other accidents can be devastating for homeowners and businesses alike. If you have suffered property damage in Florida, relying on your insurance coverage for recovery might seem like a straightforward solution. Unfortunately, insurance claim denials are common, leaving policyholders frustrated and uncertain about their options.

insurance claim deniedIf you are facing a property damage claim denial in Florida, it is essential to understand your rights and the steps you can take to challenge the decision. At Premier Property Law, our Broward County attorney for property damage helps Florida property owners navigate complex insurance disputes against denied property damage claims.

Common Reasons for Insurance Claim Denials in Florida

Property damage insurance claims in Florida often face obstacles due to various factors. Several reasons can lead to a Florida insurance claim denial. Some of the most common include:

It is vital to carefully review your insurance policy to understand its terms, conditions, and coverage limitations.

Steps to Take After a Property Damage Claim Denial

Receiving a denial letter can be discouraging, but you have options:

By following these steps diligently and remaining persistent in advocating for your claim, you can increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome and receive the compensation you rightfully deserve for your property damage.

Premier Property Law: Your Advocate in Florida Property Damage Claims

A skilled Broward County attorney for property damage can be an invaluable asset when your claim is unjustly denied. Attorneys for property damage possess experience in challenging unfair denials, negotiating settlements, and, if necessary, litigating on your behalf. They can:

Do not face the complex world of insurance claim disputes alone. At Premier Property Law, our Broward County, Florida attorneys for property damage prioritize safeguarding the rights of Florida property owners. If you need help with a property damage claim denial in Florida or require a Broward County attorney for property damage, contact us to schedule a free case evaluation.

Who Is Responsible for Property Damages?

natural disaster and its consequencesDealing with property damage in Florida can be a daunting and complex process. Whether it is a residence or a commercial establishment, understanding who is responsible for property damages is crucial in navigating through the intricate legal and insurance landscapes.

To understand who is responsible for property damage, our attorney for property damage in Dade County, Florida at Premier Property Law is at the forefront, aiding homeowners and property owners across Florida with their property damage insurance claims.

Understanding Act of God vs. Negligence

The determination of responsibility frequently hinges on understanding the distinction between an ‘Act of God’ and negligence.

An ‘Act of God’ is a term used to describe natural events that are both unforeseeable and beyond human control. In Florida, this includes phenomena such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. These events are characterized by their unpredictability and the inability of humans to prevent or significantly alter their course. Insurance policies and legal interpretations often recognize these events as excusable, as they fall outside the reasonable scope of human foresight and prevention.

Contrastingly, negligence in the context of property damage refers to the failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would under similar circumstances. This could include scenarios such as inadequate property maintenance, ignoring necessary repairs, or failing to adhere to safety standards and building codes. For example, if a property owner neglects to repair a known structural issue and this leads to further damage during a storm, this may be categorized as negligence.

Damages Covered in the Insurance Policy

When delving into property damage insurance claims in Florida, it is evident that the extent and nature of coverage can differ markedly, depending on the particular stipulations and clauses outlined in your policy. Typically, these policies are designed to provide a safety net for damages that arise due to unpredictable and sudden incidents, including but not limited to natural catastrophes like hurricanes and floods, as well as human-induced damages through acts of theft or vandalism.

Yet, the importance of conducting a thorough and detailed review of one’s insurance policy cannot be overstressed. This is a task best undertaken with the guidance of a seasoned attorney in property damage in Dade County, Florida. Such legal professionals are adept at dissecting and interpreting the often complex and intricate language of insurance policies.

Insurance policies can vary greatly in what they offer. Some may provide comprehensive coverage for structural damages, which pertains to the physical integrity and condition of the building itself. Others might extend to cover personal property losses, safeguarding the items and belongings within the property.

In essence, while property damage insurance claims in Florida are designed to offer financial protection and peace of mind in the face of unforeseen damages, the actual scope and effectiveness of this protection are heavily dependent on the specific terms laid out in your policy.

Determining Responsibility for Property Damages in Florida

Navigating the aftermath of property damage requires a knowledgeable ally. A Dade County property damage lawyer can be invaluable in this process; providing but not limited to the following services:

Property damages can be an emotional and financial burden, but with the right guidance and representation, you can find a clear path to recovery and peace of mind. Premier Property Law stands ready to assist residential and commercial property owners with their property damage insurance claims, ensuring they navigate these tumultuous times with proven legal acumen and ease.

Do not let the complexity of property damage claims overwhelm you. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help you in determining and fighting for your rightful compensation.

What to Do After Property Has Been Damaged

blue plastic tarpaulin temporarily covers roof damage caused by hurricane

In Florida, the confluence of its distinct climatic elements and geographical positioning renders it particularly vulnerable to various forms of property damage. This vulnerability is not just limited to the more known hurricanes and tropical storms but also extends to incidents like flooding, which can occur unexpectedly. Given these risks, the importance of understanding one’s property insurance claim cannot be overstated.

In this article, learn what to do when damage to your property happens, the process of handling property damage insurance claims, and the crucial steps to

protect your rights and maximize your claim’s potential with the help of a Fort Lauderdale property damage lawyer.

Things to Do After Damage to Your Property

When property damage occurs in Florida, a structured and informed approach is essential in dealing with the aftermath and the insurance claims process:

  1. Review Your Insurance Policy: It is imperative to start with a comprehensive review of your insurance policy. Understanding not just the coverage but also any limitations and the claims filing procedure is crucial. Premier Property Law underscores the importance of being well-acquainted with your policy’s nuances to facilitate a smoother claims process.
  2. Document the Damage: Meticulously document the extent of the damage. Taking clear and detailed photos and videos from various angles provides irrefutable evidence that is invaluable when you file your property damage insurance claim.
  3. Notify Your Insurance Company: Prompt notification to your insurance company about the damage is critical. Delaying this step can lead to complications in the claims process and potentially impact the outcome of your claim.
  4. Mitigate Further Damage: Act responsibly to prevent further damage to your property. This could involve undertaking temporary repairs or implementing protective measures, which are often necessary to comply with insurance policy terms.
  5. Keep Records of Expenses: Keep a detailed account of all expenses incurred due to the damage and subsequent repairs. These records play a vital role in ensuring you are adequately reimbursed for your out-of-pocket expenses.
  6. Cooperate with the Claims Adjuster: A claims adjuster will be assigned to evaluate the damage to your property. Your cooperation and provision of accurate, comprehensive information are key to facilitating a timely and fair assessment of your claim.
  7. Keep Communication Records: Document every interaction with your insurance company. This record-keeping is crucial, especially if disputes arise over the claim. It provides a clear trail of communication and decisions made.
  8. Prepare for Potential Disputes: Be prepared to engage in negotiations with your insurance company, especially if there is a disagreement over the value of your claim. A robust understanding of your policy, backed by thorough documentation, can significantly bolster your position in such disputes.

Each of these steps is integral to navigating the complexities of property damage claims in Florida, ensuring that you are well-prepared to handle the process efficiently and effectively.

Timeline of a Property Damage Claim

The timeline of a property damage claim in Florida is not fixed and depends on various factors. The process begins once you have notified your insurance company about the damage. Typically, within a few days of this notification, the insurance company dispatches a claims adjuster to your property.

The role of this adjuster is to conduct a thorough assessment of the damage, which forms the basis for the claim process. The time it takes from the adjuster’s assessment to the final settlement can range from a few weeks to several months. This duration is influenced by the complexity of the damage and the intricacies of the claim itself.

Additionally, factors such as the insurance company’s workload and the efficiency of the documentation process can also affect the timeline. Followed by the negotiation on the claim amount which can extend the timeline further.

Consult a Property Damage Lawyer

Experiencing property damage can be overwhelming, but knowing the right steps to take can make a significant difference. Consider consulting with attorneys for property damage in Fort Lauderdale, FL, especially if you encounter challenges with your claim. Attorneys specializing in property damage can provide guidance and representation.

At Premier Property Law, our property damage lawyer is committed to helping Florida residents with their property damage insurance claims, ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve. With years of experience in handling property damage claims in Florida – from underpaid claims to delayed claims and denied claims – our firm has won multiple cases for just compensation.

Contact us today and have your consultation scheduled. We are here to guide you through every step of this complex journey.

Common Types of Property Damage

hurricane Ian destroyed house

Property damage in Florida is a pressing concern due to its geographical location, making it prone to various natural disasters. Florida is among the states with the highest number of declared natural disasters. This predicament often leaves residents and commercial property owners grappling with the complexities of property damage claims and insurance settlements.

The intricacies of property damage claims can be overwhelming. Hence, it is beneficial to consult a property damage insurance claim lawyer in Fort Lauderdale to understand the various types of property damage and how to handle them becomes a less daunting task.

Storm Damage

High winds, lightning, and torrential rain during Florida’s storm season can cause severe structural issues like shattered windows and cracked foundations. Immediate repairs are usually required to prevent additional problems, such as water damage and mold growth.

Hurricane Damage

Florida’s susceptibility to hurricanes results in frequent, substantial property damage. In addition to destroying structures, hurricanes can lead to electrical and plumbing issues, thereby making property damage insurance claims a complex affair requiring guidance from a Fort Lauderdale property damage insurance claim lawyer.

Water Damage

Water damage in Florida is not limited to natural causes like storm surges. It can also occur due to internal plumbing issues, affecting electrical systems, furniture, and even the building’s structural integrity. Prolonged exposure to water can subsequently lead to mold damage.

Fire Damage

Fire can be devastating, affecting both residential and commercial properties. Besides immediate destruction, the lingering effects of smoke and water used in firefighting efforts can cause long-term structural damage and safety hazards.

Roof Damage

Your property’s roof is crucial in protecting the interior from the elements. However, roofs in Florida are often damaged by storms, high winds, or falling debris. Even minor roof damage can result in significant water leaks, affecting the interior of your property.

We have successfully secured a $150,000 settlement on their denied roof claim for a previous client. If you’ve faced roof damage and your insurance claim was denied, we are here to help.

Flood Damage

While similar to water damage, flood damage specifically occurs due to natural disasters such as hurricanes or intense rainstorms. The standing water can lead to structural damage, destroy personal belongings, and also result in mold growth if not promptly addressed.

Mold Damage

Mold often follows water damage and poses a dual threat: it jeopardizes both the property’s structure and the health of its inhabitants. Removing mold usually requires professional services, and its presence can considerably reduce a property’s resale value.

Plumbing Leaks Damage

Deteriorating plumbing systems in older structures can lead to leaks that are often only discovered after significant damage has occurred. It may require expensive repairs and even lead to filing property damage claims.

Theft Damage

Beyond the immediate loss of property, theft can also result in damage to doors, windows, and security systems, adding financial burden on the property owner.

Wind Damage

Florida’s geographical location makes it vulnerable to high winds that can rip off shingles, break windows, and even uproot trees, leading to considerable damage and necessitating immediate repairs.

Knowledge is the first step to safeguarding your valuable asset. Being aware of the common types of property damage can prepare you for the challenges that come with owning property in Florida.

Filing Property Damage Claims in Florida

Filing a property damage claim is an essential step in recovering from the financial repercussions of property damage. This legal process involves formally requesting compensation from your insurance company for damages incurred due to natural disasters, theft, or other accidents. The complexity of filing a claim often involves the documentation of damages, which includes taking photographs, saving repair receipts, and acquiring estimates from contractors.

Given Florida’s vulnerability to various types of property damage, having a detailed inventory of your property and keeping it up-to-date can facilitate the claims process.  While insurance companies have adjusters to assess the damage, it is often advisable to consult a property damage insurance claim lawyer in Fort Lauderdale or your respective area. A lawyer can guide you through the intricacies of the claims process, ensuring you obtain a fair settlement.

Premier Property Law provides legal aid to navigate the complicated terrain of property damage claims.  With a proven track record of helping clients, our guidance can be particularly valuable when dealing with complex cases which often involve multiple layers of damage and, consequently, more complicated claims.

In one of our past cases, the carrier initially claimed that their payout was limited to the $20,000 deductible, but we successfully negotiated a remarkable $120,000 settlement for our client. Furthermore, in another case involving previously denied claims, we were instrumental in turning the tide, securing a substantial settlement of $107,000 for our client.

Our guidance can be particularly valuable when dealing with complex cases which often involve multiple layers of damage and, consequently, more complicated claims. Contact us today for a consultation. Your property is an invaluable asset; let us help you protect it. We have helped thousands of property owners with a variety of property damages.

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$298,000.00 Appraisal Award for Elderly Mother and Disabled Veteran
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Original offer was $20k. We got them an additional $100,000
$107,000.00 | Six-figure settlement on a previously denied claim
Settled for $65,000 | the carrier originally said this claim was under the $2500 deductible
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Resources

It’s important to understand what’s happening in your case

Our clients have access to the Litigation Success Guide™, a collection of quick, easy-to-understand videos explaining each part of the litigation process—so you always know and understand what’s happening in your case.

Get Help with Your Claim

If you are in need of legal assistance or guidance, we encourage you to contact us for a free case review. We are here to answer any questions you may have and provide you with the personalized attention you deserve.

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