Suffering serious property damage to a home, vehicle, or other major property is always a stressful experience. Insurance can help provide financial relief for repairing the damages, but navigating the insurance process is not always easy. Many property owners struggle to make sense of the claims process. One common area of concern is paying undisputed amounts for property damage. Should homeowners accept payments for undisputed amounts? The insurance claims lawyers at Stabinski Law are available to provide legal guidance for property damage claims: contact us at (305) 643-3100 to learn more about your legal options.
What is an Undisputed Amount Payment From an Insurance Company?
Following major property damage, homeowners should contact their insurance providers to begin the insurance claims process. The first step of this process involves an insurance adjuster visiting the property, assessing the damage, and documenting the damage. In some cases, the adjuster will provide the homeowner with a check for an undisputed amount, which is used to cover necessary repairs. Along with the check, the homeowner receives a letter from the insurance company, stating the issued amount and which aspects of the insurance policy these funds will go towards.
Before the insurance adjuster visits the home, it is wise for the homeowner to conduct their own assessment and documentation of the damage, along with financial estimates for repairs. Sometimes, the undisputed amount offered by the insurance company is insufficient for covering the full repairs.
Should Homeowners Accept Undisputed Payments?
When facing major property damage, homeowners must do everything they can to ensure they receive enough financial compensation to repair the damages. However, it’s important to remember that insurance companies are businesses, thus they are looking out for their own financial interests above all else. Homeowners who are aware of this fact may wonder: what happens if I accept an undisputed amount payment from my insurance company?
The short answer is that homeowners should consider accepting undisputed amounts from insurance companies. Even if the homeowner’s estimates are higher than the amount offered, these funds are irrevocable and can immediately be put towards repairs. Homeowners have the right to seek additional compensation from the insurance company if the undisputed amount is not enough to cover the damage.
IMPORTANT: Sometimes insurance companies will attempt to get homeowners to sign documents stating that paying undisputed amounts means the claim is now settled. Homeowners should absolutely never sign this type of document.
How Do Supplemental Insurance Claims Work in Florida?
Filing a homeowner’s insurance claim is not the same in all 50 states, as each state has its own laws regarding this process. Homeowners should be aware of their state’s laws and how these laws could impact their claim. According to Florida Statute 627.70131, insurance companies have 90 days for paying undisputed amounts for residential property damage. In some cases, the company may even claim the case is closed following these payments.
Homeowners can file supplemental insurance claims in order to receive the full amount they need for repairs. These claims are often filed when additional damage is discovered after the initial property assessment. The supplemental insurance claim process can be complicated and insurance companies will often look for any possible policy exclusion during this stage. Legal guidance from an experienced insurance claim lawyer can help make this process smoother. The Florida insurance claim lawyers at Stabinski law help homeowners with supplemental insurance claims.
Paying Undisputed Amounts Mentioned in Other Florida Statute
Failure to pay undisputed amounts within 90 days is also mentioned in Florida Statute 626.9541, which covers unfair competition methods and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the insurance industry. Insurance companies that fail to follow the law or the terms and conditions of the insurance policy can potentially be held liable in an insurance bad faith claim.
How Should Homeowners Prepare For Insurance Claims?
Filing a homeowner’s insurance claim can be intimidating, but the process can be less stressful by following a few important steps:
- Contact the insurance company immediately and report the claim.
- Document all correspondence with the insurance company.
- Photograph and video all of the property damage.
- Compile a list of all damaged property.
- Do not remove any damaged property until the insurance adjuster has inspected it.
- Send the insurance company letters with summaries of any telephone calls.
- Consider getting a second opinion damage evaluation from a third party.
By thoroughly preparing, you increase the likelihood that your claim will be accepted with few headaches. However, insurance defense lawyers may still attempt to deny your claim or limit the amount of financial compensation you receive. Individuals struggling to receive the financial compensation they deserve for property damage can learn more about their legal options by speaking with an experienced third-party insurance claim lawyer.
How Can an Insurance Claim Lawyer Help?
Homeowners who are struggling to secure the appropriate compensation needed to repair the property damage should consider discussing their options with an insurance claim lawyer. Insurance companies have their own teams of lawyers who specialize in finding reasons to deny claims or limit payouts. An experienced insurance claim lawyer understands how the claims process works and how to secure fair compensation for their clients.
Each insurance claim dispute involves its own unique set of circumstances. However, there are a few different ways an insurance claim lawyer can help those who have not received fair compensation for property damage:
- Investigate for evidence to support a bad faith claim, such as failing to pay undisputed amounts as outlined in the insurance policy.
- Negotiate with the insurance company to secure a fair settlement for the policyholder.
- File a bad faith insurance lawsuit if necessary.
Contact An Experienced Florida Insurance Dispute Lawyer Today
If you are having trouble getting the funds you need to repair your property damage, get in touch with Stabinski Law’s team of veteran insurance claims lawyers for legal guidance at (305) 643-3100. Our experienced attorneys are prepared to fight for the fair compensation you deserve for the damages you have suffered. Call us today for a free case evaluation.