What are the First Steps When Filing an Insurance Claim in Florida?
If your Florida home, condo, or business has been damaged for any reason, including from a fire, flood, or hurricane, you may be thinking the same thing most people in your situation do, “Thank goodness for insurance.”
If you have never had to file an insurance claim before, there are steps you should take to ensure the insurance company can respond quickly to your needs, especially if your damage is severe and has left you without somewhere to live or work.
To follow is a list of steps you should take to file an insurance claim, and what you can do if your insurance company delays, undervalues, or denies your coverage.
Step One: Notify Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company will not be able to respond to your coverage needs if they do not know that damage occurred.
If you have an insurance agent at your disposal, contact him or her first. The response time may be shorter, and the service more personal.
If not, contact the 24-hour call center and provide the necessary details to begin a record of your claim.
Step Two: Record the Damage Without Delay
The insurance company will send an adjuster to assess the damage, but until they arrive, you will need to record the damage that has occurred through photographs, video, and a complete list of your damaged or destroyed items.
Make sure your adjuster knows about absolutely everything you lost.
DO NOT clean up any of the damage before the adjuster arrives. If you must move an object for safety reasons or prevent more damage before then, be sure to record its original position and the damage it caused properly.
It is important they see the damage as it occurred because it will factor into how they evaluate your claim.
Step Three: Get Estimates for the Damage on Your Own
The insurance company’s adjuster will give you an estimate of the damages, and what it will cost to repair or replace them. Keep in mind, the insurance adjuster is employed by the insurance company, so do not be surprised if the number looks lower than you imagined.
Get an estimate for the total costs of repair and replacement on your own, as most public adjusters and attorneys representing policyholders will provide them for free.
This is typically the moment when the policyholder learns just how far apart from their estimates are from the insurance company’s assessment, as it is usually undervalued by the insurance adjuster.
Contact The Morgan Law Group to Discuss Your Claim During a Free Consultation
At The Morgan Law Group, P.A., our insurance claims attorneys understand that when policyholders’ see the difference in the estimated repair or replacement numbers is when they begin looking for answers.
We understand. You have insurance coverage for the purpose of making you whole again.
When you are told that your damage is not covered under your policy, or that the damages are valued at a much lower number than your estimates reflect, it is time to talk to an insurance claim lawyer in Panama City Beach about your policy.
At The Morgan Law Group, P.A., we will review your insurance policy for free to reveal the terms of your coverage, so you know what is and is not protected.
We will assign a public adjuster to assess the complete damage, as an unbiased third party.
Finally, we will submit your claim to the insurance company complete, on your behalf.
Our experienced Florida insurance claims attorneys at The Morgan Law Group, P.A. work on a contingency basis, so if you do not win your claim, you do not pay our legal fees. Contact us today by calling (850) 403-0992 to schedule a free consultation.