We purchase homeowner, auto, and other types of insurance coverage to mitigate the financial losses related to property damage. When you experience property damage or loss that is covered under your policy, you expect your insurance company to settle your claim without a lot of hassle. The last thing you want to deal with is fighting with your insurance company over property damage.
Insurance companies have all kinds of excuses for getting out of paying a legitimate property damage claim. They often try to:
- Deny valid claims
- Undervalue a claim
- Delay a claim payment
- Threaten policy cancellation
Don’t let them take advantage of you! The Central Florida insurance claim dispute lawyers at Rivas Law Group will fight for your right to fair compensation for your property damage claim.
Property Damage: A Legal Definition
Anything you own is considered to be property including personal property such as your car, couch, jewelry, and clothing, as well as other things you own, like real estate. It can also include non-physical property that you have rights to, such as intellectual property.
Damage is defined as the quantitative amount of loss suffered when your property, person, or reputation is injured.
In a personal injury or property damage claim, an individual seeks to recover compensation for their injuries or losses from an insurance company. The amount you can recover for property damage is determined by:
- Evidence of replacement value
- Repair costs
- Whether you are able to use the property until it is repaired or replaced
- Subjective testimony (for property such as heirlooms and items with sentimental value)
Standard auto and homeowner’s insurance policies cover many types of property damage, including:
- Acts of nature, (wind, hurricane, storm, flood, rain, lightning, etc.)
- Fire or smoke damage
- Damage from HVAC
- Mildew or toxic mold
- Theft or vandalism
- Damage to a vehicle
What isn’t covered? In Central Florida, standard auto and homeowners’ policies often exclude damage due to earthquakes, termites, sinkholes, mudslides, damage due to construction or zoning, sewer or street flooding, and intentional property damage.
Even though you’re making a legitimate property damage claim, the insurance company may still choose to dispute it. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. Settling a claim costs money; delaying or denying a claim often saves money. No matter how clear-cut your claim is the insurance company is likely to challenge aspects of your case in an attempt to pay less money. You’d be surprised at how often this strategy works.
Their favorite delaying and denying tactics include:
- Stalling the process to put financial pressure on the claimant so they accept a lesser settlement
- Making requests for unnecessary documentation
- Repeatedly asking for information they’ve already been given
Most of us have experienced property damage of one kind or another at some point in our lives. Repairing and replacing damaged property is almost always a difficult and stressful process. Dealing with an insurance company’s bad faith delay, denial, and dispute tactics makes it even harder.
If you feel your insurance company is trying to avoid paying a legitimate property damage claim, contact Rivas Law Group without delay. Central Florida property damage attorney Tania L. Rivas has successfully defended clients in a wide range of insurance claim disputes. Tania is here to fight for your rights and ensure the insurance company pays you the full compensation you are due for any property damage covered by your policy.
Don’t wait too long to seek legal help. You only have a limited time in which to appeal an insurance company’s decision. Contact Rivas Law Group through our website or call us at (877) 299-5539 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Central Florida insurance lawyer.