Florida Homeowners Insurance
How a Florida Homeowners Insurance Attorney Can Help Fight for a Fair Claim Settlement
Florida homeowners are particularly susceptible to home damage because of the nature of our state’s weather. If you’ve suffered damages to your home, a Florida homeowners insurance attorney can help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Hurricanes and summer thunderstorms are just a part of life in Florida, as are fewer regional causes of damage like fire, theft, and mold. As a result, Florida is a hard and expensive market for homeowners’ insurance because of the state’s high-risk level. Insurance adjusters know that Florida has a long coastline and narrow shape, which means more risk for hurricane damage, flooding, and wind damage. Despite the frequency of these events, recovering compensation for a property damage claim is often not as easy as it should be.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover in Florida?
A basic homeowners’ insurance policy may include the following types of coverage:
- Dwelling Coverage. Insurance covers the structure of your home, i.e., the home itself.
- Other Structures Coverage. Insurance covers any detached structures on your property.
- Personal Liability Coverage. Insurance pays for medical and legal bills if you’re found responsible for injuries to another person or any of their personal property damage.
- Personal Property Coverage. Insurance covers damage to your personal belongings both outside and inside the home.
- Loss of Use Coverage. Insurance covers your additional living expenses while your home is unlivable. Usually the amount of time it takes to repair all damages.
A Florida homeowners insurance attorney at STRUBLE, P.A. can help you review your coverage and explain how it applies to your pending homeowners’ insurance property damage claim.
Types of Insurance in Florida
Generally speaking, Florida offers eight basic types of homeowners’ insurance policies. There are eight standard policies that are offered by most insurance companies; however, individual homeowners’ policies still vary in what is covered and, maybe most importantly, what is not covered.
The eight basic types of homeowners’ insurance policies that are available to Florida residents are:
- HO-1. These policies are the most basic type of homeowners’ insurance policy available. Because of the very limited coverage they offer, these policy types are hardly used.
- HO-2: These policies offer slightly more coverage than HO-1 policies.
- HO-3: These are the most popular and common types of homeowners’ policies.
They offer coverage for basic homeowners yet still cost less than the more-comprehensive policies.
- HO-4: Although not technically homeowners’ policies, HO-4s are commonly known as “renters'” policies. They cover your personal property inside the rented dwelling.
- HO-5: These policies provide the most comprehensive coverage for homeowners.
- HO-6: If you own a condo, HO-6 policies; AKA “walls in” policies, provide protection for your condo unit and everything inside the walls.
- HO-7: Although not technically homeowners’ policies, these policies cover mobile homes in a similar fashion to HO-4s, and provide coverage similar to the coverage provided for HO-2 policies.
- HO-8: These policies are available to homeowners who, for whatever reason, do not qualify for coverage under the other policy types, including properties that are more than 40 years old.
What is Usually Not Covered by Florida Homeowners Insurance?
Standard homeowner insurance policies do not include coverage for certain items, including, for example, artwork, collectibles, and damage caused by an earthquake or flood. Most standard homeowners’ policies do not cover:
- Earthquake damage
- Water damage due to a flood (rising waters)
- Earth movements, like mudslides and sinkholes
- Maintenance issues/repairs.
- Claims that are the result of a failure to properly maintain the property or claims based on neglect like insect damage, or termite damage
- Damage caused by smog or smoke from nearby industrial buildings
For additional coverage of nearly all types of damage, endorsements or riders can be added to your policy, although these come at an extra expense to Floridaians.
Common Insurance Company Settlement Tactics
It is common, especially in Florida, for insurance companies to delay, deny, or offer low settlements for homeowners insurance claims. Don’t become a victim of an insurance tactic. Speak with a Florida homeowners insurance attorney at STRUBLE, P.A and let us give you a fair breakdown of your options. As experienced Florida homeowners insurance attorneys, we’ve seen it all. Some of the most common tactics used by insurance companies to secure a settlement include the following:
Outright Denial of Your Claim
Many insurance companies will simply deny your claim. Insurance companies deny claims for all manner of justifications, most often for lack of filing forms that aren’t perfect to the letter or claiming non-coverage of your damages. Many claimants become frustrated, give up and go away after a claim is denied, even when there is coverage.
Downplaying Your Damages
Another tactic employed by insurance companies is to argue that your damages are not as extensive as you have made them out to be, that your recovery should be less than you claim, that your damages were pre-existing or your damage doesn’t meet the threshold for a claim.
Delaying Your Claim
Another common insurance company tactic is to delay claims, sometimes hoping you’ll tire of the process or that you’ll let the statutory time for bringing a claim run out. Some property owners experience denial of their paperwork for petty reasons or constant delays in communications. These tactics can make you feel like you are in a desperate financial situation that increases the chances that you’ll give up or undervalue a settlement offer.
Asking for an Examination Under Oath
Oftentimes, an insurance company will ask for “your side” of the story regarding the claim and damages sustained. The insurance policy allows for an Examination Under Oath or “EUO” which is a formal proceeding taken down by a court reporter where a representative or attorney for the insurance company asks you questions on the record to evaluate the claim. The purpose of a EUO is to secure relevant facts and determine what additional information the insurance company needs from the insured to make a determination on a claim, but unfortunately, some EUOs are conducted to delay a claim or intimidate the policyholder.
The insurance policy provides the insurance company a right to request a EUO, and the failure to appear or comply with the request may result in the denial of your otherwise covered claim. A Florida homeowners insurance lawyer at STRUBLE, P.A., can help you through the EUO process to ensure you are well-prepared and to help keep the insurance company honest about the process.
Can a Florida Homeowners’ Insurance Attorney at STRUBLE, P.A. Help Me?
Yes, a Florida homeowners insurance lawyer at STRUBLE, P.A. is available to answer your questions right now. We understand the laws that apply to Florida residents surrounding insurance claims and are familiar with all of the insurance companies tactics. We’ll listen to your story very carefully, represent you regarding all of the details, make sure all of the paperwork is accurate and timely filed, develop your arguments, and start by attempting to negotiate a favorable settlement. If necessary, we will take your claim to trial.
Speak with a Florida Homeowners’ Insurance Attorney Today
Contact a Florida homeowners insurance lawyer at STRUBLE, P.A. online, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 321-283-5888 if you’re facing a homeowners’ claim.