Florida Insurance Law
At War and in the Trenches: Florida Insurance Claims
Russell Law has handled countless Florida insurance claims on behalf of clients. The most common insurance claim involves damages to a home owned by a client. Typical causes of damages include tropical storms and hurricane claims; lightning strikes; fire; theft; vandalism; broken or leaking plumbing lines; malfunctioning a/c systems or falling objects that damage roofs, windows, walls or floors.
You are entitled to be paid for all of your damages by the insurance company so long as the damages can be shown to be caused by an event covered in your insurance policy. It is improper for the insurance company to pay you for most of your damages but to leave out other covered damages. This also means that you do not have to accept inadequate repairs or mismatched items. For instance, you do not have to live with or accept repairs that leave walls of your home with different colors/shades of paint, floor tiles with different colors or textures, or a roof with different types of tile or shingles if they were all the same prior to the loss. Payment is also supposed to fully compensate you for all costs, repairs, and materials as they actually cost in your community. Underpaying you for what a contractor will charge to make the repairs or not giving you the correct prices for materials is inadequate and should not be accepted.
Representative Insurance Clients
A typical insurance client is one who has seen their most prized possessions and home damaged by a catastrophe only to have the insurance company delay or deny the claim when the client needs their help the most. We also help insurance clients with commercial insurance claims for their business property and business liability claims as well as automobile insurance claims for property or personal injury claims.
From the outset of an insurance claim the expectation is that the insurance company will come through and help you in your time of need like a good neighbor. The typical process for an insurance claim mimics that of grief. First, denial and disbelief occurs when you are treated like a number, form letters without any useful information are mailed to you, excuses are given and delay ensues. Anger arises when endless demands are made for documents and personal information unrelated to the claim (tax returns, bank statements, utility bills, telephone records). Bargaining, negotiating and confusion come to play when you are asked to fill out forms swearing to the total amount of your loss when you are in fact not a contractor or estimator. Depression takes hold when you are grilled like a common criminal by the insurance company and they seem to imply that your claim is fraudulent. Acceptance is finally reached when you receive a bland denial letter from the insurance company that "regretfully" denies your claim because of some quoted language that you do not understand. Most of all insurance claims end right there since the majority of people assume that the insurance company is doing the right thing and is acting in good faith.
Our typical Florida insurance claim client is the one that second guesses the insurance company and believes that something is just not right with the denial or amount of the payment they received. Our clients have made the choice to educate, empower and level the playing field against the insurance company and its legions of lawyers. What we do is to help you understand what you and the insurance company must do according to your insurance policy. We typically review your insurance policy, get a second opinion as to the damages, and help you respond to any requests for information from the insurance company. Often we go with our clients to an examination under oath, help them complete a sworn proof of loss, and if need be file a lawsuit against the insurance company for breach of contract to get you what you are rightfully owed under the insurance policy. The best part of all of this is that you do not have to pay us up front for our legal service and we never take a portion of your proceeds either. Rather, Florida law provides that an insurance company must pay reasonable attorney's fees in the event that you are forced to file a lawsuit and you either win or settle that claim afterwards. As such, our compensation comes directly from the insurance company and you are able to keep all of the proceeds to make your repairs. Feel free to contact us to see how we can help you with your unique insurance claim.