Hurricane Ian was one of the strongest storms ever to hit Florida and the United States.
Many people suffered catastrophic damages, while some just needed minor repairs. Whatever the level of your loss, it is important to understand that your hurricane Ian insurance claim may still be denied or undervalued by your insurance company.
How Can They Deny Or Devalue My Claim – The Storm Was Very Real
It comes down to one thing when you file a hurricane Ian claim. How much are you going to cost the insurance company? Insurance companies are for-profit entities that are always concerned about their bottom line. While they do not mind taking your monthly premium for your insurance policy, they do mind making payments on any claim.
Your insurance adjustor is trained to undervalue a claim as their first response. Why? Because many homeowners will accept that offer thinking that they have no choice. Some agents will deny claims based on irrelevant facts because they know that some people will not fight the denial.
These tactics are neither honest nor fair. However, it is how the industry often works. This is especially true when a significant amount of claims come in at one time because of a major disaster like a hurricane. The insurance company is trying to save as much money as possible, regardless of how it affects its clients.
The good news is you can negotiate a property damage claim.
How To Negotiate A Property Damage Claim For Insurance
If you have been denied coverage or your offer was undervalued, you have the right to negotiate with the insurance company. Many companies will tell you that negotiating is against the insurance policy’s terms. This is simply untrue. They are hoping that you will not question their authority and accept the offer presented to you.
The first thing that you want to do is get the true value of your loss. This will include getting estimates from different companies to make the repairs or replace the goods you have lost to the storm. You will want to get estimates from a few companies to get an average cost of the repairs.
Document all losses with photographs and receipts if possible. You will want to be able to show that the loss is real. Present this information to your adjustor and request that they reconsider their offer. You should get a response within a few days of your counteroffer.
Make Sure You Understand Your Insurance Policy
One of the largest problems with insurance claims is that people often do not know the terms of their policy. Insurance adjusters often take advantage of policyholders because they are unaware of the terms of their policies.
It is also essential to understand the difference between water damage and flood damage. Home and business owners must carry a separate policy for flood damage. Your regular homeowner or business insurance policy will only cover water damage.
Water damage happens when a storm allows water to get into your home. This can happen from roof damage or damage to your windows. Water that enters your home from flooding is not covered in any way under your policy.
What if The Insurance Company Still Denies My Claim?
If you are struggling with the insurance company, or they have told you their offer is final and they are closing your claim, your next step is to contact an attorney handling property damage claims.
Even if your claim has been labeled as “closed,” an attorney can reopen the claim and begin the negotiation process. Most insurance companies will start responding more positively when an attorney is involved.
The losses you have endured due to Hurricane Ian have already caused you enough pain. You should not have to add insult to injury by having the insurance company treat you unfairly. Know your rights, and do not hesitate to dispute the first offer from your insurance company.
If you are unsure about the negotiation process or are just frustrated by the whole ordeal, contact a property insurance claim attorney at Landau Law. Having an attorney on your side brings their experience and knowledge to the table, and that will always be to your benefit. Contact us today!
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