How Do You Fight and Win a Denied Homeowner’s Insurance Claim in Florida?

by Feb 20, 2022Article

Imagine the following: you file a claim for damage to your property with your homeowner’s insurance company and your carrier denies the claim. The next steps you take can make or break your insurance claim.

Let’s review the basic steps a homeowner must take to fight the denial of their insurance claim.

Step 1: Document, document, document

Assuming you have filed the insurance claim with your carrier (the sooner you file the claim the better; I recommend that homeowners file the claim the same day they discover the loss at their property). Start by documenting your loss:

  • Take copious pictures of the damaged property;
  • Take videos of the damaged property;
  • Maintain a log/journal of whom you spoke with at the insurance company; and
  • Confirm in writing any conversations you had with the carrier’s adjuster

The last bullet point is critical. Not confirming in writing any damages to your property, the carrier can always come back and claim “well you didn’t tell us the gutters were also damaged, too.” An email confirming your conversation dramatically reduces any attempt by the carrier to misconstrue your words. Remember to them: if it is not in writing, it didn’t happen.

Step 2: Consider an independent evaluation with a loss consultant

What I mean by independent is someone not associated with or working on behalf of the insurance company. The people who evaluate insurance claims for the carriers are retained by the carrier. As the saying goes, “if someone is paying your rent for x number of years, you tend to be fond of them.” Adjusters hired by the carrier are NOT on your side.

So how do you find a reputable loss consultant? Well, if your claim is for a roof leak, you would want a reputable roofer to inspect it. If it is a pipe burst, you would want a general contractor or someone who handles interior work to inspect the damage.

The result of the independent inspection will provide you with an assessment of whether the carrier’s denial is erroneous. Based on my experience, I would estimate that 80 percent of the claims denied by carriers are inaccurate.

Step 3: Consult with an attorney who specializes in homeowner’s insurance claims

If your loss consultant confirms the carrier’s denial is likely mistaken, talk to an attorney who specializes in homeowner’s insurance claims. Make sure to have a copy of the denial letter, any photos or receipts as well as a copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy ready for the attorney to review. The attorney can advise you on whether you have a viable case to seek legal redress in court or with a pre-suit settlement.