Most of our notes have been on car accidents in the Miami-Dade area and the ramifications involved in these matters. As Miami auto accident lawyers we enjoy providing useful information related to these matters that could help individuals deal with these difficult matters. It has been a while though, since we touched on Homeowner’s Insurance Claims.
Some of the most common causes of homeowner’s insurance claims are related to storms, plumbing and appliances, rain, and theft. One of the most common concerns after a loss occurs at a dwelling, is what to do next. Well, most policies have what are called post loss requirements or duties after loss. To put it simply, these are conditions that must be adhered to, in order for a contract to be applied or enforced. In other words, these are things you should do in order to comply with your homeowner’s insurance agreement. Once these conditions are met, then the insurer may pay the covered loss. For the most part, these post lost requirements are tools the insurance companies use to investigate a claim.
Insurers may require that:
- Prompt notice is given.
- Make sure the loss is contained.
- Provide any receipts and evidence or repairs.
- Allow for inspection of the property as reasonably needed.
- Attend interview if requested (often referred to as an examination under oath).
- Provide a sworn proof of loss.
Insurance companies clearly detail and outline these duties within their policies. It is always a good idea to review your insurance policy and have a good understanding of it. This will also help understand what losses may or may not be covered. However, this is a topic for another blog.
Keep in mind, it is paramount that a loss be reported as soon as possible. It always wise to take pictures of damaged areas. If repairs are performed, then it would be wise to keep receipts related to any work done to either contain a loss, or fix damage. As mentioned above, it is important to stop a loss from spreading if possible. Most insurance companies refer to this as a duty to mitigate. Failure to mitigate could be basis for insurer to deny a claim. For example, if you have a water loss, then it would be wise to turn off the water in the home, clean off the excess water, dry affected areas, and call a plumber to fix the source of the leak.
In any sort of loss, it is probably wise to also consult with an adequate licensed contractor. A licensed contractor may be able to give you an impartial and accurate understanding of the loss in question. A Miami homeowner’s insurance attorney can also help you move your claim forward and protect your rights.
In Florida, a lawyer working on your homeowner’s insurance claim may be able to recover attorney’s fees through Florida Statute 627.428, which states in part: “Upon the rendition of a judgment or decree by any of the courts of this state against an insurer and in favor of any named or omnibus insured or the named beneficiary under a policy or contract executed by the insurer, the trial court or, in the event of an appeal in which the insured or beneficiary prevails, the appellate court shall adjudge or decree against the insurer and in favor of the insured or beneficiary a reasonable sum as fees or compensation for the insured’s or beneficiary’s attorney prosecuting the suit in which the recovery is had.”
The advantage of the above stated statute is that this allows for the insured to maximize recovery in order to complete repairs to dwelling. In the future we will discuss the issue of attorney’s fees under Florida Statute 627.428 in more detail. This is a topic that deserves more analysis and detail.
Our Miami Insurance Attorneys are here to help. Please do not hesitate to call us at 1.888.413.8353.