If you have experienced damage to your property you are likely concerned regarding the cost of the repairs. As you well know, everything is more expensive than you would imagine these days, and home repairs are no exception. You may be wondering, “should I make a claim?” Unfortunately, the answer isn’t straightforward. Maybe……but maybe not. Florida’s Best Public Adjusters can help you determine if you have a valid property insurance claim.
Read Your Policy To Help Determine A Valid Property Insurance Claim
The first step in determining whether or not to submit a claim to your insurance company is to review your policy. You must determine if your loss is one that is covered.
Educating yourself is critical. Carefully read your policy from beginning to end. If you are confused, reach out to your agent. He or she is responsible for putting everything about your coverages in writing.
Insurance policies are difficult to understand. The language can be complex – you may have difficulty understanding your benefits. For example, let’s say you have a broken hose to your washing machine. If your policy is a DP1 the answer to whether or not you should submit a claim would be no. This is because these types of policies are very specific, and often don’t cover water damage or appliances. Similarly, if your policy is an HO8 policy you likely don’t have a valid claim.
Clear Idea of Insurance Policy Benefits
Homeowners often purchase insurance policies without having a clear idea of their benefits. In fact, many believe they have “full” coverage, but they do not. A word of advice, it is critical that you read your policy, from beginning to end, at every renewal.
Ask your insurance broker about your coverage. Questions like “do I have low caps for water damage” are always appropriate and very important. Once you raise this concern make sure to follow up with “how much do I have to pay to have an increase in the water caps or can you find me a different insurance company/” When you live in Jacksonville or anywhere else in the state, water claims are common.
If you have trouble understanding your policy or are still unsure if your damage is covered, a public adjuster can help. These professionals have extensive insurance and construction experience. They can review your policy and provide a definitive answer to your questions.
What If Your Insurance Is Inadequate?
Recently, a number of people have taken legal action against their insurance company and their brokers for under-insuring or improperly issuing their property. Remember, insurance agents, are salespeople who get paid based on the policies they sell and renew. One national insurance broker told their floor agents (those who speak directly to clients), that if they could not renew a homeowners policy in 30 seconds, their job would be in jeopardy. In order to protect their future, these individuals did not take the time to read and review the changes to the renewals for their clients from year to year. Thus, new caps, cutouts, and exclusions may have been inserted into the policy without their or their client’s knowledge. Nobody knew there was an issue until a claim was filed and the coverage wasn’t there.
Shop Carefully, Educate Yourself and Ask for Help When Needed
The bottom line is that insurance is complicated. It’s hard to determine if you have a valid property insurance claim on your own. It is important that when you purchase or renew a policy you are aware of the totality of your coverage, any exclusions, and any changes from year to year.
If you stay educated, then if you sustain damage you will know whether or not to submit a claim. However, you still may be unsure, and the claims process is even more complex. Consider hiring a skilled and reputable public adjuster. These professionals can leverage their experience and knowledge to help you.
Florida’s Best Public Adjusters has been serving all 67 counties in Florida for 11 years. Our staff includes confirmed experts for the scope and pricing of tornado claims. If you have experienced damage, reach out to us and learn exactly how we can help. Additionally, if your claim has been denied and underpaid, contact us immediately. We have a proven record of success in managing insurance appeals.