Being a homeowner in Florida poses a unique set of challenges, especially around the hurricane season. Flood, rain, hail, wind, mold, debris, and more can significantly damage or destroy your home and cause a whole host of problems. Even so, damage to your home and property can happen in the blink of an eye, at any time of the year. As Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong, will.” You know this, and that’s why you bought homeowners insurance—and why you are probably reading this blog. You’ve paid too much into your premium for you not to make a claim when you need help the most.
Whether you have no idea how to proceed with filing a claim, or you just need some basic guidance, we will take you through the general steps of the Florida homeowners insurance claims process:
- Take pictures and inventory of your personal belongings
This is a preemptive step, but it’s important that you document your property and belongings. This will make it easier for you to make your claim if you need to. If there has been damage to your home or belongings, take pictures and document it well. Don’t throw anything away until the insurance adjuster has had the chance to inspect the extent of the damage. NOTE: Coverage for personal items will vary based on the policy you’ve purchased. Ask your insurance agent if you are unsure about this.
- Contact your insurance company or agent
There is a time limit to filing claims on property damage/destruction, so you do not want to wait too long to give them a call. They should walk you through the steps of filing a claim and what documents they will be needing from you. NOTE: You will want to be careful about this initial call as you don’t want to say anything that would give the insurer cause to lowball you. Read our blog [LINK TO DECEMBER 2018 BLOG] on this topic to learn more.
- Make temporary repairs
You are allowed to make temporary repairs to protect your property from more damage. Be reasonable in assessing what needs to be fixed in order to protect your home and its inhabitants. Most important of all, SAVE ALL RECEIPTS of any small or temporary fixes you made out of pocket as your insurance company may reimburse you.
- Meet with the claims specialist
The insurance company will send out an adjuster or a claims professional to inspect the damage to your home. They should answer insurance-specific questions you may have. Don’t hesitate to ask them questions.
- Check the specialist’s review
The adjuster/claims specialist (they go by many different names) will then provide you an estimate of the costs of the repairs, what the insurance will cover, and what you will need to pay in terms of your deductible.
- Contact a Florida homeowners insurance attorney
Contact The Monfiston Firm, P.A. if you are unsure or have doubts about the estimate that the insurance adjuster provided you. The proposed payment should be reasonable and sufficient enough to be able to cover necessary repairs, replacements, and reimbursements. If you are encountering any pushback or other such difficulties from your insurer, that is definitely the time to call The Monfiston Firm, P.A. at 888-988-FIRM (3476). It is our mission to level the playing field against large insurance companies.