By their own accord, property insurance carriers are risk-averse. While they certainly want their customers to receive compensation for property loss or damage, they also cancel policies when they believe there has been a breach of contract. Understanding ahead of time why your property insurance policy may be cancelled will help you avoid any potential issues in the future.

 

Too many claims on any particular policy are always going to be red flag. In many cases, your carrier may feel that continuing to provide coverage on your property poses too much of a risk. Some things you can look out for include whether all the claims are linked to a single occurrence or due to multiple events? You also have to take into consideration the cost of each claim. No matter the circumstance, it’s always good to check with an experiences Miami property insurance lawyer in order to determine what your best course of action is.

 

If your claims resulted from certain factors that have since been addressed, you can make the argument to your carrier that the underlying issues have been corrected. Work can also be done to your property to make it safer to mitigate the prospects of your insurance company cancelling your policy. For example, you can improve your roof, windows or plumbing to reduce the chances of further accidents from occurring.

 

If you plan on making renovations or repairs to your property, you must advise your insurer first. Adding square footage or changing the value of your home will likely affect your policy and premiums. Changes to your policy may be needed to ensure that it fully covers your property after repairs or additions are made. If you do not inform your carrier, you run the risk of cancellation.

 

Furthermore, your policy will also be cancelled if you falsify information on your contract, fail to make monthly payments or make fraudulent claims about damage to your property or home.

 

These are just some of the many reasons why an insurance carrier may potentially cancel your property insurance. Our experienced attorneys at Acle Law will walk you through the terms of your insurance policy and provide representation in any dispute in Florida where your insurer is denying, delaying or under-paying your claim. Call our Miami property insurance claim attorneys at the Acle Law Firm today at 305-447-4667 or visit Acle Law for a free consultation.

 

With Dorian spinning in the Atlantic, South Florida homeowners should be preparing their homes and putting their affairs in order to potentially file a claim with their home, flood and windstorm insurance companies. We’re hopeful that no storms will make landfall, but if Dorian or another one does, those South Floridians who planned ahead will be in the best position to maximize their coverage and begin rebuilding quickly.

Understand what to do (and what not to do) following a hurricane
There is an inevitable sense of helplessness in the chaos immediately following a hurricane. However, remember that the sooner you file a claim, the sooner you will be able to secure coverage. Call your insurance carrier the day after a storm, even if it takes hours to get through on the phone. Getting your claim in early will put you on the path to recovery quicker.

Watch out for Scams and Fraud
While disaster usually brings out the best in people – strangers helping each other, neighbors and family coming together – some people use the aftermath of a hurricane as an opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting or vulnerable homeowners. Be aware of price gouging, assignment of benefits fraud and misleading rumors about storm disaster recovery.

Be Ready for your Insurance Carrier to Dispute Your Claim
It’s inevitable during a storm – home, windstorm and flood insurance carriers will routinely deny coverage and customarily claim that the storm damage was actually a prior loss. As a homeowner, it’s important to know when your insurance company crosses the line into bad faith, and to take the proper action at the first sign your claim is being improperly denied.

Your home is a major investment and if you have sustained damage and losses in your home or business following a hurricane or other disaster, or you are currently involved in a claim that is being denied, underpaid or delayed, contact our Miami property insurance claim attorneys at the Acle Law Firm today at 305-447-4667 for a free consultation.

It’s been nearly a year since Hurricane Michael swept through the Florida panhandle and things are not getting any easier for homeowners. We saw it after Hurricane Irma in South Florida and following countless other storms that have rolled through our state. Homeowners are upset with undervalued settlement offers and in the case of Hurricane Michael; hundreds of complaints have been filed against insurance companies already. Many of those are related to denials.

 

If you have ever dealt with similar frustrations regarding a claim you’ve filed against your insurance carrier after a hurricane, a simple summer storm or a busted pipe in your home - you have several options including filing a formal complaint or seeking the help of a qualified Florida property insurance attorney. But what’s the right choice for you?

 

Filing a Formal Complaint

Your first thought when dealing with a denied or low settlement offer might be to file a formal complaint. However, that’s usually not the best option when seeking a resolution. Unfortunately, no one agency handles all insurance affairs for the state of Florida. Currently, that role is served by the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS), which has 13 divisions, including the Florida Division of Consumer Services where your insurance complaint will be handled.

 

Complaints can be filed online, via email or over the phone. You’ll need to supply your insurance carrier name, policy number, claim number, contact info and a detailed description of your claim and dispute. What’s important to note is that DFS does not have the jurisdiction or the capabilities to assist you with you claim. They will essentially contact your carrier and ask for their position and then more than likely mark your claim resolved. You’ll then receive a letter from DFS informing you that your carrier has not changed its position and that your two options are to petition for DFS mediation or to consult a lawyer.

 

Seeking Help from a Miami Property Insurance Attorney

If your insurance claim is being denied, undervalued or delayed, an experienced Florida property insurance attorney will be able to review your policy, understand what you are covered for and be able to tell you if your claim has been wrongfully denied or underpaid. That’s exactly what we do at Acle Law. We will walk you through the terms of your insurance policy and provide representation in any dispute in Florida where your insurer is denying, delaying or under-paying your claim. Call our Miami property insurance claim attorneys at the Acle Law Firm today at 305-447-4667 or visit Acle Law for a free consultation.

 

 

As we transition to full-blown summer across South Florida and particularly in the southern suburbs of Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest and Cutler Bay – let’s keep in mind there’s a large possibility of severe thunderstorms, high winds and even hurricanes. To help ensure your home is protected from property damage throughout the months ahead, our experienced personal and commercial property insurance attorneys at Acle Law would like to share the following five ways you can help prevent storm damage this year.

 

  1. Clean gutters, drains and downspouts to clear out all the debris that has potentially accumulated and formed blockages that prevent your roof from draining correctly. Make sure you check that all the connections are securely set in place.
  2. Inspect roof for damage to ensure that your home is not damaged by seemingly harmless leaks. Wind-driven water can work its way under cracked or peeling caulk, loose or missing roof tiles, and even chipped or peeling paint.
  3. Check trees around your property for damage so you can identify any potential hazards such as dead or weak branches that are within falling distance of your home, utility lines or any other structures on your property.
  4. Keep an eye out for loose wires and damaged utility poles because this is the time to contact Florida Power & Light and not right before or after a storm.
  5. Look for signs of animal infestation such as mice, raccoons, birds and termites. Look for entry holes near eves or close to the ground and you should also check crawl spaces for animal droppings.

 

If you take preventative measures now, you may be able to save significant time, money and trouble this summer. If you experience a loss this summer in your Palmetto Bay home despite doing everything you could to prevent property damage, contact our experienced Florida property insurance attorneys at Acle Law Firm today at 305-447-4667 or visit Acle Law for a free consultation.

 

Property insurance is an absolute necessity if you own a home or commercial property, but insurance companies often have a reputation for avoiding compensation after damages occur. Many policies are written with a number of exclusions, contingencies and clauses that help insurers from paying a claim. Below are four main reasons why you insurance provider may withhold making payment and Acle Law Firm’s recommendations on how to prevent this from occurring.

 

  1. Changes to your property

If you make additions to your property, it is your duty to inform your insurance company about it regardless if it’s a pool, deck, balcony, bathroom, tree house or children’s play set. Any modification can lead to changes in your homeowner’s insurance policy and if you don’t report any additions or changes, your insurance carrier may have enough reason to deny your claim.

 

  1. Failure to address pre-existing issues

Although your insurance policy is designed to protect you against serious loss, it cannot protect you against your inability to preform regular maintenance throughout your property. For example – let’s say you knock over a couple panels in your backyard fence after a weekend game of football with your kids and a storm passed by weeks later and knocked the fence over completely – you’re insurance company wouldn’t be able to protect you against those damages.

 

  1. Loopholes

Before you sign any insurance policy, make sure you understand exactly what you are and what you are not protected against. Some issues, such as those relating to specific forms of weather, may not be included in your coverage. Eliminate that possibility by examining your entire insurance policy with an experienced Florida property insurance attorney.

 

  1. Lack of Insurance Knowledge

If you are not familiar with the claim filing process and property insurance as a whole, you run the risk of making mistakes. Failing to correctly fill out or file paperwork can lead your insurance carrier to deny your claim. Similar to how you ask a plumber to fix your pipes or an accountant to do your taxes, you should turn to a Miami property insurance attorney to handle your insurance claims. They have the inside industry knowledge and expertise needed to ensure you get the compensation that you are owed and deserve.

 

TALK TO A QUALIFIED FLORIDA INSURANCE CLAIMS ATTORNEY

Insurance policies can be confusing and overwhelming. In order to avoid unnecessary confusion, you should contact an experienced Florida insurance claims attorney. We will walk you through the terms of your insurance policy and provide representation in any dispute in Florida where your insurer is denying, delaying or under-paying your claim. Call our Miami property insurance claim attorneys at the Acle Law Firm today at 305-447-4667 or visit Acle Law for a free consultation.

 

A trend we’ve seen recently is that insurance companies are moving disputes over homeowner’s insurance claims into a possibly more expensive field. Instead of having your day in court, you may end up with your hands tied by an appraisal.

 

This type of appraisal is not an evaluation of your home’s worth for mortgage purposes, but a form of arbitration in which you hire an appraiser out of your own pocket to prove your claim. Your insurance carrier also hires an appraiser to review the damages and if the both sides can’t agree, they split the difference and that is how much money you receiver, regardless of the actual amount needed to repair your home correctly.

 

This amount is binding, which means you can’t change its value in court. The only legal recourse available to you is you can show that the process was flawed. Insurers often write appraisal requirements into your policy because appraisals are regularly less expensive and time-consuming for insurance companies than a lawsuit, saving them money. However, it’s costlier for homeowners to make repairs because you must hire outside experts to support your claim.

 

Often, you’ll have to accept the your insurance company’s first offer because authorizing a review of repair costs would be more expensive than the additional money you would receive if your estimate prevails. The only time you would consider going through the appraisal process is if both sides’ numbers are so close that it makes sense financially sense to expedite the process and recover your claim.

 

As summer creeps closer and hurricane season descends upon us, now is the time to review your insurance policy and take a closer look at the section on disputes. Understanding what happens if you find the word appraisal in there can make all the difference should disaster strike.

 

Our experienced attorneys at Acle Law will walk you through the terms of your insurance policy and provide representation in any dispute in Florida where your insurer is denying, delaying or under-paying your claim. Call our Miami property insurance claim attorneys at the Acle Law Firm today at 305-447-4667 or visit Acle Law for a free consultation.

Florida’s insurance commissioner and insurance companies across the state are warning people to use caution when signing “Assignment of Benefits” (AOB) agreements with contractors and other companies that repair storm and property damage. While you should always and carefully review any contract you sign, property owners are missing out on the full story when it comes to AOBs and the narrative that surrounds the issue.

Read more ...

When you purchase a homeowner’s insurance policy, you’re buying some peace of mind in case disaster strikes your property. But one of the biggest problems most policyholders have is they don’t understand the major components of their policy. In fact, according to a national consumer survey conducted by the International Communications Research on behalf of Trusted Choice and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, more than half of the respondents didn’t understand the major components of their homeowner’s policies. An additional follow up survey revealed that nearly 75 percent of respondents acknowledged they didn’t have a separate flood insurance policy and 40 percent were unsure if their insurance covered the replacement of their belongings following a disaster.

 

So we decided to help break down your homeowner’s insurance policy in order for you to better understand what your policy entails.

 

DECLARATIONS

This is where all of your unique information is contained including the following:

  • Name
  • Policy number
  • Name of the underwriter
  • Description of the insured property
  • Contact information
  • Start and termination dates
  • Premium amount
  • Coverage limits
  • Deductibles

 

INSURING AGREEMENT

This section basically says that you agree to pay your premiums in exchange for the insurance carrier’s promise to compensate you for losses covered by your policy.

 

DEFINITIONS

The definitions listed here apply throughout the policy and while it may seem excessive, this section appears in order to minimize ambiguity.

 

SECTION I – PROPERTY COVERAGE

This is where your insurance company agrees to compensate you for certain losses. While certain part of this section will vary from policy to policy, they all cover damage or loss to your dwelling and its adjacent structures (i.e. garage). Lost or destroyed personal property can also be covered.

 

SECTION I – PROPERTY COVERAGE EXCLUSIONS

Your policy in this section will highlight all the specific circumstances in which you are specifically excluded from coverage (i.e. power failure, flooding, earthquakes, defective design, intentional acts, etc.)

 

SECTION II – LIABILITY COVERAGE

Under this section, your insurance company agrees to cover any damages for which you are liable to pay a third party due to any accidental bodily injury or property damage you caused.

 

SECTION II – LIABILITY COVERAGE EXCLUSIONS

Like the above Section 1 exclusions, this section outlines the circumstances in which your insurance carrier will not pay for third party bodily injury or property damage claims that typically involve acts such as rental activities, injuries to someone insured by your policy, and business pursuits, among others.

 

CONDITIONS

In here you’ll find some general information about the contract you’ve entered into with your insurance company. Some policies even include a list of what you should do following an accident in order to make a claim.

 

ENDORSEMENTS

Think of endorsements like amendments to your policy. They can either modify or delete existing provisions, or even add completely new ones.

 

TALK TO A QUALIFIED FLORIDA INSURANCE CLAIMS ATTORNEY

Insurance policies can be confusing and overwhelming. In order to avoid unnecessary confusion, you should contact an experienced Florida insurance claims attorney. We will walk you through the terms of your insurance policy and provide representation in any dispute in Florida where your insurer is denying, delaying or under-paying your claim. Call our Miami property insurance claim attorneys at the Acle Law Firm today at 305-447-4667 or visit Acle Law for a free consultation

 

 

Page 1 of 4