Articles Posted in Homeowner’s Insurance Claims

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Homeowner’s Claims – How to Minimize the Minefield and Maximize Recovery

A/K/A “The Homeowner’s Claims Process”

As the title suggests here, we are going to discuss the time limits involved one has as it pertains to certain claims. The term attorneys and lawyers use when referring to time limits in which to file a claim is the statute of limitations. In Florida different types of actions have different statute of limitations. As Miami Car Accident attorneys we are keenly aware of these limitations.

In Florida, Annotated Statute 95.11. Claims for injuries related to car accidents and slip and falls in Fort Lauderdale and throughout Florida fall under the category of Negligence. As it pertains to negligence, the relevant statute states in part: “(3) WITHIN FOUR YEARS.— (a) An action founded on negligence.”  Therefore, an actions for a car accident or slip/trip and fall cannot be had outside of this four year parameter.

However, the statute of limitations deserves more analysis. The reason being, that an injury resulting from negligence should not be treated as if a victim had four years to deal with it. In other words, the statute of limitations for a negligence claim is one thing, and what is a reasonable time in which to treat an injury medically is quite another. Although the statute of limitations in Florida for injuries resulting from negligence is four years, it goes without saying that an injury should be treated and documented within a reasonable time.

Como abogados especialistas en reclamos a seguros en Miami escuchamos muy a menudo de parte nuestros clientes  sobre la falta de entendimiento respecto a su cobertura de seguro. Comprender, entender acabadamente sobre la póliza de su seguro es importante, pero para ello debemos primero entender las cuestiones básicas. En nuestro blog anterior expicamos sobre los “post loss conditions” o “requisitos post pérdidas”. Este concepto inserto en una póliza de seguros, no es otra cosa que un contrato. Esencialmente podría decirse que son una promesa con el fin de cubrir pérdidas específicas o eventos, a cambio del pago de una prima. La mayoría de las pólizas de seguros requieren cumplir ciertas condiciones. Si se cumplen estas condiciones y no se aplica ninguna exclusión, la Companía de seguros deberá  cumplir con su parte y cubrir las pérdidas.

Cada póliza de seguros tiene que ser revisada al detalle. Si la pérdida o el evento está cubierto obviamente está determinado en la póliza de seguros. Pero, no se debe asumir que ciertos artículos o pérdidas están cubiertos porque en la póliza previa o anterior esos artículos o pérdias estaban cubiertas. En muchas ocasiones las pólizas cambian de año en año y tal vez usted no lo sepa, porque no ha leído la nueva póliza.

Por tanto, es bastante común asumir que bajo ciertas circunstancias estamos asegurados o cubiertos, por que la póliza previa así lo preveía. Pero  cuando la póliza es renovada las condiciones pueden sufrir modificaciones y esa situación o pérdida puede ahora, con éstas modificaciones no estar cubierta.En otras palabras, cuando usted renueve su seguro o compre una nueva cobertura es muy importante entender exactamente que es lo que se está comprando. Habitualmente las personas leen sus contratos con el seguro, cuando un evento dañoso ocurre, trate de prevenir éstas situaciones. Lea y comprenda  las cláusulas de su seguro antes de pagar por él.

As Miami Injury attorneys we often hear from our prospective clients about their lack of understanding regarding their insurance coverage. To truly understand an insurance policy, it is important to understand the basics. As we explained in our previous blog pertaining to post loss conditions, an insurance policy is nothing more than a contract. It is essentially a promise to cover certain losses or events, in exchange for premium. Most insurance policies require an insured to comply with certain conditions. If this conditions are adhered to and no exclusions apply, then coverage of the loss should occur.

With insurance policies it is paramount to look at details. Whether a loss or event is covered will turn on specific language in the policy. Do not assume that certain items or losses will be covered because they were covered in your previous policy. On many occasions, policy language changes from year to year. Therefore, one may assume that certain circumstances are covered when a policy is renewed, but due to policy language changes that may not be the case. In other words, when buying new coverage it is important to know exactly what you’re getting.

So how do you know what is covered under your policy? The declarations page of most policies will relay what and who is covered. For example, with a car policy one can see what types of coverage is available and what cars are covered. Here we note that Florida is one of the only states that does not require Bodily Injury coverage. The only requirements in Florida are PIP property damage coverage. The PIP coverage should cover your own medical expenses up to $10,000.00, and property damage coverage provide at least $10,000 to cover damage to other vehicles. Indeed, if your policy complies with these requirements, then one is most likely complying with the minimum requirements in Florida. However, meeting the minimum requirement may not be the best course of action when it comes to acquiring insurance. The declarations page will relay whether Bodily Injury, Med Pay, Uninsured Motorist, and or Collision coverage is present as well.  Bodily Injury offers coverage to the other parties that may have been insured as a result of a collision. Med Pay offers coverage for medical expenses beyond the PIP coverage. Uninsured Motorist provides coverage if you were insured in an accident and the culpable party has no Bodily Injury or insufficient ability to compensate for the damages. Collision coverage covers damages to your own vehicle.

La mayoría de nuestros artículos han sido  redactados sobre  accidentes de automóviles en el área de Miami Dade y también hemos hablado acerca de todas las ramificaciones que ésta materia involucra. Como Abogados especialistas en accidentes  automotor disfrutamos proveyéndole información  relacionada con  éste tópico y de ésta forma ayudar individualmente a lidiar en éstas complicadas circunstancias.En ésta oportunidad brindaremos información acerca de los reclamos en Seguros de Vivienda.

Una de las causas más comunes en los reclamos al seguro realizado  por propietarios de viviendasestán relacionadas con: tormentas, cañerías, electrodomésticos, lluvia y robos. Una de las preocupaciones más comunes después de que ocurre un evento dañoso en la vivienda es, y ahora como continúo?, Cuál es el paso que sigue?

Es necesario explicar que la Mayoría de las pólizas contienen estipulaciones, éstas son conocidas o nombradascomo “Requisitos post pérdida” o “derechos posteriores a la pérdida”. Para decirlo claramente: Hay  condiciones que deben ser seguidas y respetadas, para que un contrato pueda ser aplicado o ejecutado. Dicho en otras palabras, éstas son las acciones, los actos que  usted deberá realizar a fin de cumplir con su contrato de seguro de propietario y obtener su cobro exitosamente.

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:

As Florida dog bite lawyers we understand that dog bite claims often leave a victim both emotionally and physically scared. Often the traumatic experience is not over even after one has healed from their physical wounds. The medical costs of treating injuries such as those sustained in a dog attack or bite can quickly escalate, more so if the victim must undergo reconstructive plastic surgery. Many are unaware that seeking medical treatment does not mean that a victim must put themselves in a financially compromising situation in order to obtain such treatment, even more so should the victim not have medical coverage. What dog bit victims are commonly unaware of is that per Florida Statute 767.04 the owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness.

If you are ever found on the receiving end of a vicious dog bite, the first and foremost important thing is to seek quality medical treatment. Once a victim is in a stable condition, the victim can and should seek proper representation and retain a dog bite insurance claims attorney. Such an attorney is able to research whether or not the property that the victim was attacked in has insurance and covers such claims. Making a dog bite claim to an insurance company is not so much different than filing any other type of claim. The main components for filing these types of claims are presentation, transmittal of medical evidence, and a demand for payment based on a reasonable evaluation of the losses sustained by the victim.

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Having to suffer property damage can be very stressful no matter how big or small the damage may be. Many are unaware that even those small damages may be the result of something bigger or that with time that damage could possibly lead to further damage if not treated at the source. Most homeowners feel hesitant and intimidated by the thought of hiring an attorney. The fact of the matter is that attorneys dedicating themselves to handling property loss claims should be your next call after reporting the loss to your insurance company. Insurance policies and language can be very complex and if not familiar with these terms and conditions can possibly lead to a costly mistake, and this is where a South Florida property loss attorney comes in.

Dealing with the overwhelming requirements of filing a residential or commercial property loss claim only adds more stress and uncertainty to the situation. More than likely your insurance provider will request what may seem as overbearing and detailed documents that may seem unnecessary but in fact may be crucial to the proper evaluation of your claim. Detailed research and documentation of the loss are required from the commencement of the claim which may include the bringing into action of all the various investigative and valuation expertise to develop the pre-loss condition of the property. This process has and continues to become increasingly complex. More than likely an insured will begin the processing of his or her insurance claim and only call upon legal representation once they are denied or “short paid” by their insurance provider. What the insured does not realize is that the aforementioned could have been most likely avoided should they have obtained legal representation from the commencement of their claim.

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Aside from living in South Florida and dealing with tropical storms, hurricanes, sinkholes, and the occasional tornado, property investors seem to be more concerned about their tenants and possible liabilities and claims that can be brought against them more so than the previously mentioned catastrophes. Even with the threats that loom over property owners some dissuade the threats and protection against potential liabilities and still choose to not insure their property. In some cases the property owner has every intent to be protected against such catastrophes but unbeknown to them are being underinsured. It is important that not only property owners investing in rental properties, but all property owners for that matter are educated in the types of policies and coverage that will best fit their needs in order to avoid being under insured, avoid having a claim denied and or have a claim short paid. As South Florida property insurance attorneys we stress the importance of knowledge in this field to not only our clients but the general public in hopes of avoiding situations that can prove to be much more costly to the property owner in the long run.

Some property owners are under the impression that a basic HO3 Homeowners insurance policy will be sufficient if they suddenly decide to rent out their home. Not only is this a violation and exclusion under many homeowners insurance policies, but this leaves the property owner at risk of not being insured, should an event call for such protection. Having a separate land lord policy tailored specifically towards rental properties is essential. Yes, your homeowners insurance covers your property if it burns down, your possessions if there is a theft, and medical and legal bills should someone get injured on your property, but the problem is, that homeowner’s insurance might not offer protection if you decide to rent out your home; Landlord insurance does.

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As homeowners recuperate after a 19 percent statewide insurance rate increase that was implemented in mid 2011, Insurance premiums are expected to once again hike up across Florida as several carriers request a rate hike. For some Insurance carrier’s specifically private insurance companies, this will be the sixth rate hike in 2.5 years. Many homeowners find themselves troubled by this news and many are left with questions as to what may constitute continued increases in their premiums. What makes this situation especially troubling for some is that many homeowners have bundled policies that would make switching to another homeowner’s insurance provider a much greater burden, but what in fact is the cause of these increases and are these increases justifiable? As Miami insurance loss attorneys we understand the difficulties of raised premiums.

As experienced South Florida homeowner insurance attorneys we can list several contributing factors that lead to an increase in rates, one of them being the sudden recent increase of policies issued to the private market by and through State held and ran Insurance providers. With no recent Hurricanes, companies still wish to build cash reserves to prepare for a large claim event and this is primarily done through reinsurance. Reinsurance can prove to be extremely costly for consumers when compared to other ways of hedging in preparation for a large claim event. The fact of the matter is that after the devastating 2004-2005 hurricane season that hit Florida the cost of reinsurance dramatically increased. The cost of reinsurance is not the only contributing factor to increases in premiums, the rise of insurance fraud specifically in South Florida has caused many insurance companies to increase their premiums in order to cover such losses.

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