How Insurance Companies Underpay Your Hurricane Claim
Our Florida insurance claim attorneys aggressively pursue maximum compensation from insurance companies for your hurricane damage claim
If your home has been damaged in a hurricane, it is likely that you are facing thousands of dollars in repair bills. With such a hefty home repair bill, it can be scary to learn that many insurance companies attempt to deny some or all of policyholders’ hurricane damage claims. When a disaster has struck, how do insurance companies underpay claims?
Insurance companies first try to cheapen your claim by arguing that the damage was caused by preexisting conditions. For example, if part of your home was previously damaged and you received a check from your insurance company to cover that damage, your current hurricane claim may be denied if you did not use the funds to fully repair the previous damage—and the same area has been damaged in the hurricane.
If an outright denial of coverage does not work, some insurance companies may argue that the cost of repairing your home is not as expensive as you claim it is. Insurance companies may send adjusters and contractors to your home to evaluate the damage and estimate how much the repairs are. Unfortunately, in many cases, this means the homeowner receives subpar repairs using lower quality materials. The insurance companies are able to save a fortune in this way.
Many insurance companies are only required to pay the actual cash value of a property. The actual cash value is calculated by taking the replacement cost value and subtracting any depreciation from it. Though there are formulas that are used to calculate parts of these amounts, much of it is also subjective. An insurance adjuster may not truly know how much your home is worth just by taking a few glances inside.
Another trick used by insurance companies is arguing that your claim amount does not meet the hurricane deductible amount. The hurricane deductible is a separate deductible—it is not a set dollar amount like the homeowners insurance deductible. The hurricane deductible could be as much as 5 percent of the home’s insured value. A $300,000 home may have a hurricane deductible as high as $15,000—and the insurance company may argue that the damage is only worth $13,000 or $14,000. If the home’s value has increased significantly since the homeowners purchased it, this is an unpleasant surprise.
Some insurance companies also delay paying claims as a way to save money. The longer a policyholder has to wait for insurance proceeds, the less likely that policyholder is to argue or complain about the check being too small. This tactic is used by many companies to save millions of dollars in coverage.
Do not let the insurance companies abuse you—call the aggressive Florida disaster recovery attorneys at GED Lawyers today
If you have been through a Florida hurricane like Irma or Michael, and your home has been damaged, the last thing you need is an unpaid insurance claim. At GED Lawyers, our Florida hurricane attorneys are experienced in hurricane claims and hold insurance companies responsible for paying. To schedule your free consultation with our legal team, call 844-443-3529 or visit us online. We have offices throughout Florida, including Panama City.