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      Homeowner Insurance Claims

      Do you need help fighting your insurance company for what is rightfully yours?

      Should I File a Homeowners Insurance Claim?

      The purpose of purchasing homeowner’s insurance is to protect your home in the event of a loss due to a storm, fire or other catastrophe. It seems only fair that the insurance company you have been paying thousands of dollars too for years would honor your valid homeowners’ insurance claim(s) but in many instances they won’t.

      Insurance companies often misinterpret policies and claims to minimize payouts—or simply refuse to pay.

      The denial or undervalue of a claim only increases the stress homeowners experience after a loss due to a hurricane, tropical storm or other catastrophic event, because a person’s home is often their most prized possession.

      The Stephan Lopez Law Firm has extensive experience working with clients who have been shortchanged by their insurance companies and have succeeded in recovering the compensation to which our clients were entitled to and deserved.

      If you have a homeowner’s insurance claim that has been denied or undervalued, legal recourse may be available. Please fill out our case review form to find out how our law firm can help you file a claim dispute to recover compensation for your losses.



      How can having an Attorney Help me File a Claim? 

      The Stephan Lopez Law Firm can examine your policy to determine your coverage and any payment(s) the company is required to make. We will thoroughly investigate your case and employ the necessary experts if need be to get you the best possible result.

      Dealing with insurance companies is difficult. These companies have made the process of filing and collecting on insurance claims a very intimidating process, with the hopes that most policyholders will abandon their claims, especially after being denied compensation.

      Our goal is to streamline the process of disputing insurance claims to help you the homeowner receive the full amount available under your policy.

      Does my Policy Cover the Damage?

      Determining whether the damage incurred is covered by the homeowner’s insurance contract is one of the most common issues presented by insurance claim disputes.

      Typically, homeowner’s insurance covers property damage (including residential premises, unattached structures, and personal property) as a result of unexpected events such as fire, wind, hail, vandalism, and theft; however, coverage will be determined by the policyholder’s specific insurance policy coverages. Some polices also cover accidental water damage not caused by flooding. 

      There are five standard residential insurance policies, each covering different types of damage. It is important to note that flood insurance is not included in homeowner’s insurance and must be purchased separately.  If you live in a flood prone area please ask your insurance agent about purchasing separate flood insurance.

      Why was my Claim Denied?

      If your claim has been denied, the first thing to know is that insurance companies do this routinely notwithstanding the merit of your claim.  Insurance companies are for-profit businesses and will do all they can to help avoid paying claims. If a home has been damaged, the insurance company may offer a low-ball settlement or deny the claim altogether.

      To avoid paying claims, the insurance company will claim that the damage exceeds the scope of the policy. They also blame the damage on factors other than those covered by the policy, such as age of the roof or wear and tear or they will offer a low-ball settlement should they determine it is a valid, unavoidable claim by minimizing the amount of the actual damage and or the actual cost of repairs. 



      What are some of the most common insurance company tactics?

      Here are some tactics that insurance companies may use to make it harder to receive money for damages sustained in a storm:

      • Denial that insurance coverage even exists;
      • Denial of your claim because your claim is excluded or partially excluded under your policy;
      • Denial of a part of your claim;
      • Refusing to pay you under one coverage category, instead attempting to force you to settle under other policy coverage categories;
      • Trying to lowball you with undervalued estimates, offers, or payments;
      • Requiring a written release of any supplemental claim as a condition of settlement or payment on your claim;
      • Writing “full” or “final” on the check for payment when you reasonably believe that you have a supplemental or additional claim for that loss

      Is There a Deadline for Taking Legal Action?

      There may be various filing deadlines that apply under the terms of your policy.  If you encounter any of those problems — or any other dispute with your insurance provider — handling it on your own may be long drawn-out and difficult process.

      Don’t hesitate to contact us case review form for a free, no-risk case evaluation.

      Call us right away and don’t let the time pass. We want to hold your insurance company accountable, and to give you the opportunity to get your life back on track.

      Homeowner Insurance Claims – F.A.Q

      If I suffer a loss to my home or property does the insurance company reimburse me for the actual value of my property before the damage occurred?

      No. Under Florida law your insurance company only has to cover the replacement cost, which means the cost of making repairs. Specifically, an insurer must offer “a policy or endorsement providing that any loss that is repaired or replaced will be adjusted on the basis of replacement costs to the dwelling not exceeding policy limits, rather than actual cash value.”

      What happens if my entire home is destroyed?

      Under Florida’s valued policy law, “in the event of the total loss of any building, structure, mobile home” or manufactured building, the insurer’s liability will be “in the amount of money for which such property was so insured as specified in the policy and for which a premium has been charged and paid.” For example, if your home was insured for $300,000 but the value of your home is $450,000, the insurer’s liability is only for the $300,000. This law only applies to total losses caused by a covered peril. So, if your policy does not cover flood damage and flooding was the cause of your total loss, then your insurer will not be liable.

      Does my insurance cover Flood Damage?

      Flood insurance coverage is typically provided through the National Flood Insurance Program rather than a property insurance policy. It’s important to remember, however, that not all water events are floods. Your property insurance policy may provide coverage for many types of water damage.

      When does my insurer have to pay me after settling a claim?

      Once an insurer and homeowner have settled a claim in writing, the insurer has 20 days to tender payment.

      Does my insurance company have to explain why it denied my claim?

      Yes. The insurer must explain in the denial letter the reason(s) it denied the homeowner’s claim. You also have the opportunity to appeal any claim denials.

      When must my insurance company respond to my claim?

      Florida law gives insurers 14 days to respond after receiving an insurance claim. That response will acknowledge that the claim was received. The insurer then has 90 days (from the date it receives the initial claim) to pay or deny the claim.

      When can I file a lawsuit against my insurance company?

      There are many situations in which you might need to sue your insurer. For example, if your insurance company does not attempt in good faith to settle your insurance claim “when, under all the circumstances, it could and should have done so, had it acted fairly and honestly,” then you might be able to sue them. Other insurer actions that may give rise to legal action include failure to explain the coverage under which a claim payment is made and failure to promptly settle a claim “when the obligation to settle a claim has become reasonably clear.”

      How long do I have to file a claim?

      In Florida, you have four years from the date of your property damage to file a claim against the at-fault party. If the insurance company is not dealing with you fairly, you have five years from the date of the bad faith incident to bring a claim against the insurance company.
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