PROPERTY INSURANCE CLAIMS
It is unfortunate, but part of owning property is dealing with losses and damage when disaster strikes. Being in Florida, there are many problems and natural events that result in property loss. The problem is that insurance companies try to cut corners in order to minimize pay outs. They are in the business of making excuses to not pay claims. They use all sorts of tactics to force homeowners into settlement offers that are unfair, to calculate deductibles incorrectly, or to just simply deny claims that should be accepted. Insurance companies use their leverage and expertise to push property owners into a corner to accept less than they deserve.
The property insurance attorneys at Burnett Wilson Reeder regularly help property owners with their insurance claims. Our team has experience in a variety of insurance claims due to losses from sinkholes, fires, termites, water loss, and hurricanes. We engage the insurance companies for our clients based upon each unique case to secure our clients the recovery they deserve.
If you believe that you have a sinkhole, the insurance company will send an engineer to conduct ground testing.
Initially, the insurance company will most likely attempt to deny the claim. They will claim that sinkhole activity is not affecting the property, or that there is no “structural damage.” When an insurance company denies your claim, you would be well advised to seek the assistance of a Tampa sinkhole attorney to determine if your claim was wrongfully denied.
If a sinkhole is confirmed, the insurance company will then offer to fix the subsurface conditions and the above-ground damage. However, the recommended repair is often insufficient to fix the problem. Insurance companies seek the cheap quick-fix, and not the long-term solution to actually repair the problem and damage.
Additionally, the estimate will often be prepared by the insurance company, and not a licensed contractor. This means that the insurance company can lowball the amount of money they are willing to pay out for an inadequate “solution.”
Whether an insurance company confirms coverage or denies your claim, you should talk to the property insurance attorneys at Burnett Wilson Reeder to make sure that you are getting all that you deserve. The attorneys at Burnett Wilson Reeder have significant experience in handling sinkhole claims and have tried numerous sinkhole cases. We look forward to talking with you about how we can help.
When a home or business is damaged in a fire, the losses can be emotionally devastating. Equally significant are the potential costs to repair. Insurance companies are supposed to fairly compensate the policyholder after a fire. Unfortunately, it is all too often that an insurance company instead offers an inadequate settlement, or takes too much time responding to the claim. What would you do if this happens to you? Our team has years of experience helping out property owners in this situation. At Burnett Wilson Reeder, we are frequently communicating with insurance companies and know how to address denials, “examinations under oath,” and insufficient estimates.
Termites cause millions of dollars in annual losses in Florida. When termites are discovered, eradicating them and fixing the damage can be very expensive. Many insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for termite damage. For those that do offer coverage, it can quickly become complicated if there is an existing contract with a pest control company. At Burnett Wilson Reeder, our property insurance attorneys can review insurance policies to check for coverage and help negotiate settlements from pest control and insurance companies.
Many insurance policies exclude water damage, forcing property owners to separately purchase expensive flood insurance. However, Florida courts have recently indicated that water damage resulting from interior problems, such as deteriorating pipes, might be covered even if there is a water damage exclusion. Our firm can help navigate the insurance maze and negotiate on your behalf to obtain a fair settlement.
Hurricane property claims are a huge problem for insurance companies in Florida. Adjusters sent by the companies are paid to save money rather than to help the property owners. Deductibles for hurricane coverage in Florida can range from two to five percent. The insurance companies sometimes incorrectly calculate the deductible, make settlements that are too low, or outright deny the claim just so they will not have to pay out any money. Our attorneys may be able to help make sure that you are compensated properly for your loss.
At Burnett Wilson Reeder, we offer free consultations for anyone who has suffered property losses. We strive to help our clients recover the settlements they deserve. If we need to hire a public adjuster or independent appraiser, we will. If a claim is denied, we litigate on behalf of our clients through trial if needed. We do what is necessary to maximize our client’s recovery based upon the unique factors at play.
Cheetham v. Southern Oak Ins. Co., 114 So. 3d 257 – Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 3rd Dist. 2013.