You pay your property insurance premium trusting that should you ever need to file a claim, your insurer will come through for you and pay the full amount required to repair covered damages.
Sadly, this is often not the case, and underpaid claims are all too common.
For this reason, we’ve put together a guide of the warning signs that your homeowners’ insurance damage claim could have been underpaid.
1) The Insurance Adjuster Rushed Through the Inspection Process
It is likely that the damage to your property following any major event will be extensive. So, therefore, the inspection required to assess the damage should be thorough.
If you feel that the adjuster sent by your insurance company rushed through the inspection process, that is a red flag that you could end up with an underpaid claim.
2) Damage Was Missed
An insurance adjuster should provide a detailed assessment of damages to your property, which is then used to calculate the claim’s value.
If you find that the adjuster missed certain aspects of your property damage or failed to document the full extent of the damages, this likely means that your claim will be undervalued, and will not fully cover repairs to your property.
3) Their Estimate Seems Too Low
We advise that clients bring in restoration and property protection contractors sooner rather than later to make urgently needed repairs that prevent further damage to your property. For example, standing water in a home should be removed immediately.
Even for repairs that are less urgent, you’ll want to get your own experts, who know how to value insured damage, on site to provide estimates as soon as possible. This gives you an idea of what it will really take to restore your property to its original condition. Knowing how to value insured damage takes special training and experience dealing with many insurance policies. These experts often use specialized software to produce reports in a format that the insurance company is accustomed to seeing.
If you find that things aren’t adding up between estimates provided by your expert estimator and those from your insurance company, this is evidence of an underpaid claim.
4) They Flat-out Denied Your Claim, Or a Portion of It
Sometimes, insurers will flat-out deny covered damages. This could mean that part or even all of your property damage claim is rejected.
Even if only parts of your claim are denied, it’s likely that the claim has been undervalued. At this point, you’ll want to bring in a second opinion from a professional, such as an insurance attorney.
Bottom line? Don’t take the insurance company’s word for how much it’ll cost to fix the damage.
Hire an insurance attorney to handle your new, delayed, denied, and underpaid claims for residential, commercial and association properties. Our attorneys work on contingency, so there is no fee unless we collect money for you. We also work with expert estimators who conduct thorough examinations of our clients’ property and prepare detailed estimates in the format expected by insurance companies. Want to set up a free consultation? Get in touch with the experienced team at Florida Professional Law Group today.