After a damaging natural disaster or another event that harms your property, you may assume your insurance provider will be on your side. After all, you have kept up with your insurance payments for years and never asked for a dime in return. Unfortunately, many homeowners learn the same lesson during their first claim: insurance companies look out for themselves, not for claimants. An insurance company’s mission will be to spend as little money as possible on fulfilling your claim, not to maximize your payout. For this reason, it is important to learn how to deal with a home insurance adjuster after an incident in Florida.
Know Your Policy
You can better discuss your case and the issues you may be having with an insurance adjuster when you understand the details of your home insurance policy. Most claimants do not read their policies word for word; instead, they hire attorneys to do so for them. An attorney can easily pick out the most important parts of your policy as they pertain to your claim. Hire a lawyer to help you read and understand your exact home insurance policy before undergoing settlement negotiations in Florida.
Do Not Sabotage Your Claim
Many policyholders mistakenly say or do things that immediately reduce their odds of securing fair compensation. Seemingly simple mistakes, such as waiting an extra day to file your claim, could hurt your odds of achieving a payout. The home insurance adjuster is always looking for reasons to deny your claim or reduce the payout. Avoid common mistakes so you have a better chance of securing compensation.
Do not admit fault
Do not speculate about fault and do not tell the insurance company you may have contributed. If you think you could have done more to protect your home from hurricane damage, for example, do not say so. Instead, stick to the facts of the case, as you know them.
Do not overshare
nly answer the questions the home insurance adjuster asks. Be honest, but do not offer any additional information or details. You could accidentally say something that hurts your claim.
Report your damages immediately
Do not wait to file your claim. Waiting could give the insurance adjuster a reason to deny accountability by alleging that you contributed to the damages or missed a deadline.
The insurance adjuster may ask you to give a recorded statement about your damages. The law does not obligate you to agree to this. You have the right to politely decline. If you do wish to give a statement, do not say anything incriminating. State only the facts of your case so your story will remain consistent over time. Recorded statements are tactics insurance adjusters often use against claimants later.
Negotiate for a Better Settlement
You do not have to accept the first settlement the insurance adjuster offers. You have the power to negotiate for an amount you believe is fair based on the damages your home suffered. Explain to the adjuster why you believe you deserve more, supported by facts and evidence. The insurance adjuster may come back with a more satisfactory settlement offer. Otherwise, you or your Tampa insurance dispute attorney can continue with claim negotiations or take your case to trial in pursuit of a more positive outcome.
Hire an Insurance Claim Attorney
Insurance claim attorneys have experience with this specific type of issue in Florida. They can help you combat insurance bad faith tactics with facts, evidence and aggressive legal arguments. Using a lawyer to take over home insurance claim negotiations could optimize your odds of achieving the results you need to repair your property. An insurance bad faith lawyer can help you appeal an insurance company’s decision to deny your claim or fight for a higher settlement award. If the insurance company refuses to handle your claim fairly, a lawyer could take your case to court in Florida.
Has Your Home Insurance Company Denied or Undervalued Your Property Damage Claim in Florida?
If your insurance company is dragging their feet regarding your property damage claim you should speak with an experienced insurance claim lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Tampa, Florida law office directly at 800.451.6786 to schedule your free consultation. We help Florida residents just like you fight the big insurance companies who fail to abide by their own policies. Remember, we work on a contingent basis, meaning you don't pay us anything until we win your case.