Frequently Asked Questions About Insurance Claims
These steps should be taken by the homeowner (insured) when there is damage to their home:
- Contact your insurance company or agent and notify them of the damage.
- Take photos of the damage.
- Make required emergency repairs to prevent further damage (ex. tarp on a roof) after photos are taken.
- Take an inventory and photos of any personal property that was damaged.
- Cooperate with your insurance company in the investigation of the claim. You may be asked to provide a recorded statement under oath.
Florida’s Matching Law states that when a loss requires replacement of items and the replaced items do not match in quality, color or size, the insurer should make reasonable repairs or replace the items in adjoining areas. The insurer may take into consideration such things as the cost of repairing or replacing the items in the adjoining areas, the degree of uniformity that can be achieved without the cost, the remaining useful life of the undamaged portion, and other relevant factors.
The Florida Building Code Section 708.1.1 says:
Not more than 25 percent of the total roof area or roof section of any existing building or structure shall be repaired, replaced or recovered in any 12-month period unless the entire roofing system or roof section conforms to requirements of this code. If your insurance company inspects your roof and advises that the damage is less than 25% and requires only a patch always obtain a second opinion from a licensed roofing contractor or a licensed public adjuster. You certainly don’t need a patched roof that becomes a persistent leaking nightmare.
Yes there is. Florida Statute 627.428 protects policyholders from being wrongfully denied and/or underpaid for insurance claims. It states that your insurance company must pay your attorney’s fees and costs if a court finds that your insurance company wrongfully denied or underpaid your property damage insurance claim. This statute protects homeowners from predatory insurance companies and holds them accountable for properly adjusting and paying claims. Basically it levels the playing field between policyholders and their insurance companies.
This statute is one-way in nature, meaning that the insurance company cannot recover attorney’s fees and costs if it prevails against the policyholder. The purpose of Florida Statute 627.428 is to discourage insurance companies from wrongfully denying and underpaying valid insurance claims.