Having insurance provides the peace of mind that you are “covered” when you are in a car accident, your home is damaged, or you need medical treatment. However, that peace of mind can often be shattered when insurance companies do not live up to their side of the contract.
If you have a valid insurance claim which has not been paid, contact a Tampa insurance claims lawyer to examine all the aspects of your claim, advise you of all your legal options, and help you to decide the next steps forward. Get in touch with an experienced attorney right away for assistance.
Floridians Have Options When Insurers Deny First-Party Claims
Insurance policies are contracts – plain and simple. Insurance companies assume a specific risk in exchange for insurance premiums. When that risk materializes and an insurance policy is “triggered,” insurance companies are supposed to pay policyholders for whatever damages covered under that policy.
Homeowners insurance generally covers any damage to a home, its contents, and the property it sits on. While every policy can be different, most homeowners’ insurance policies cover damage due to fire, windstorms, hail, lightning, vandalism, and more.
While additional “perils” may also be included within a homeowner’s policy, damage caused by floods and earthquakes are often excluded.
Tampa residents have a greater risk of hurricanes and tropical storms which cause wind and water damage.
Although it is often difficult to distinguish whether a home was primarily damaged by wind or water (as hurricanes and tropical storms contain both), insurance companies often claim the latter in order to avoid paying on the policy.
Process Following Denial
Sadly, these types of homeowner’s insurance policy denials have been common in Florida hurricanes and tropical storms over the past few decades. However, Floridians have options when insurers deny or delay insurance proceeds, including:
- Taking it to the top. When Tampa insurance policyholders with valid first-party claims are denied proceeds – or those proceeds have been unreasonably delayed – they should take their concerns to the top. Ask to speak with a supervisor. If that does not work, ask to speak to their supervisor. However, it is important to make sure that a policy covers the risk in question and it is not excluded in the fine print. A Tampa insurance claims attorney can analyze policies and determine what is covered, what is not, and what may be subject to question.
- Filing a complaint with the state. Insureds always have the option to file a complaint with their state’s Insurance Commissioner. However, it may take a while before any action occurs and that does not help policyholders who need help now.
- Suing for bad faith insurance practices. Insurance companies have a duty to treat policyholders in good faith and deal with them fairly. When they do not, insurers can sue them for Florida bad faith insurance practices. Anything recovered from a bad faith insurance lawsuit is generally over and above the value of the underlying claim.
A Tampa insurance claim lawyer can help policyholders understand what options are available to them when insurance companies do not act reasonably.
Talk to a Tampa Insurance Claims Attorney Today
Tampa residents who have not received insurance proceeds due them should seek the counsel of an experienced Tampa insurance claims lawyer to help them with their claim and consider whether filing a bad faith insurance lawsuit is in their best interests.
The bottom line is insurance companies are more than happy to take premiums, but sometimes can be “less than happy” to pay out valid and deserved insurance proceeds when a policy is triggered. Find out more about your options by contacting a first-party insurance claims attorney today.