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When Do I Need to Contact A Miami Property Insurance Lawyer?

Fri Oct 29th, 2021 on     Property Insurance,    

Your home or business has been damaged, and you expect the insurance company to pay. After all, isn’t that why you have insurance? Unfortunately, receiving coverage from the insurance company for damages caused by accidents, vandals, or disasters can be as stressful as the damage itself. After all, the insurance company wants to settle the matter for as little as possible while you want your property repaired. During a real estate property damage dispute with the insurance company, there are several signs that it is time to contact a Miami property insurance lawyer.

The Insurance Company Makes a Lowball Offer

Never accept the first offer from the insurance company. Insurance companies are notorious for making lowball offers to settle property damage claims. Their tactics include making an offer quickly and applying pressure for you to accept what they claim is adequate compensation for your property damage. It may be tempting, as you are in a vulnerable position and want to have your property repaired, but it is best to deny the first offer. If you do accept their initial, inadequate offer, you may be stuck with that amount. 

The Insurance Company Is Rushing a Settlement

The insurance company is aware that you are under pressure to repair your damaged property as quickly as possible and will try to use that against you. They know there is a possibility that you will consult with a Miami property insurance lawyer and/or a licensed professional that can review your damage and give you a more realistic estimate of what it will cost to make the needed repairs. Therefore, they will sometimes try to lean on you to accept their low offer quickly before you have time to seek additional information. 

The Insurer Is Ignoring You

To be fair, the insurance company may be swamped with claims and that is why they are not responding to your inquiries. This is a more likely scenario after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane. However, there are times when the lack of response from the insurance company is intentional. For example, after proposing a lowball offer, the insurance company may fail to respond to you in hopes that you will become frustrated and agree to the low amount. When this happens, you need to consult with a Miami property insurance attorney.

Your Claim Has Been Denied

When the insurance company has denied your claim, you need to consult with legal counsel. While it may be difficult for you to have the denial reversed, a Miami property insurance attorney experienced in these matters may be able to view the claim, the subsequent denial, and the insurance policy and find a way to have the claim honored.  

Your Adjuster is Not Cooperative

When you make a claim for damage sustained to your property, the insurance company will assign an adjuster to inspect the property and decide on the amount the insurance company should pay (or if they should pay at all). Remember, in most cases, the insurance adjuster that is sent to your home works for and is paid by the insurance company, so their interests do not lie in pleasing you. Still, some adjusters are more reasonable than others. If the adjuster you are assigned is not cooperative and you cannot be given a new adjuster, it is time to speak with a property insurance lawyer. 

The Assessment of Your Property Is Incomplete

The adjuster should review all areas of the property that have been affected by the damage, not just one part. For example, if a hurricane caused damage to your business, the adjuster should look at any area of the business that may have been damaged and not just focus on one area. The roof may be damaged by wind and the foundation by rising floodwaters. The adjuster needs to do a thorough investigation of both and everything in between. 

Your Claim is Complex or Not Easily Proven

Complex claims and claims that are not easily proven stand a much better chance of being paid in full by the insurance company when a Miami property insurance lawyer represents the policyholder. A complex claim may involve damages sustained to a commercial building that halts the business from conducting its regular operations. A claim that is not easily proven could be one where there is a chance the insurance company will state the damage existed before the event that is covered by insurance occurred.

Your Property Has Sustained Extensive Damage

When your property has suffered extensive damage, it will be in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable property insurance attorney. There may be additional methods the attorney can employ to help prove the amount of damage the property sustained, such as hiring contractors and engineers that are not on the insurance company’s payroll to state how much damage occurred. An attorney also knows the law and the insurance company’s obligations and can remind them of that when they try to pass less than they should.

The Insurance Company Will Not Explain Their Calculations

Whatever amount the insurance company offers you in the settlement of your claim, they should be able to provide a breakdown of how they reached that calculation. If they are unable or refuse to do so, it is more than likely because there is no breakdown, and they were intentionally sending you an offer less than you deserve. When this happens, it is a sure sign that you should contact a lawyer. 

Choose A Miami Property Insurance Lawyer For Complex Claims

If your property has been damaged and you need assistance, contact a Miami property insurance lawyer at our firm to learn how we can help you. We are experienced in assisting policyholders in complex residential and commercial property claim disputes. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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