+ How long will my claim take?
This is by far the question we're most asked, and it also happens to be the one that is most impossible to answer. The short answer? It depends. On what? Everything. The type of claim, who your insurance company is, the details of your loss, who your insurance company has assigned to inspect and evaluate your claim, and also who your insurance company has designated internally to make a coverage determination and claim payment, if any.
Now, on to the more complicated answer(s), if you're still interested.
Pursuant to Florida Statutes 627.70131 and 626.9541, your insurance company has an obligation to pay or deny your claim within 90 days of their receipt of notice. Those statutes also state if there are factors outside the insurance company's control, they get a 15 day extension beyond that time, once the issue is resolved. There are a handful of insurance companies issuing homeowners insurance in the state of Florida that purposely investigate your claim slowly and issue their coverage decision on day 89. We're happy to name names privately.
If your insurance company chooses to deny your claim, or refuses to negotiate and issue a fair payment you're going to need a lawyer, and the process can take quite a bit longer. Unfortunately, this outcome is often the luck of the draw in who is handling your claim on behalf of the insurance company. Luckily, Florida Statute 627.428 provides for attorney's fees and costs to be paid by your insurance company in the event the claim is covered, so this outcome shouldn't cost you any extra out of your claim.
Again, each insurance company has its own game that it plays, and we're happy to discuss in more specific detail with you which tactics are standard, and to discuss strategy as your claim progresses and any issues may arise.
Rest assured, with our experience we will put you in the best position to receive the payment you deserve in the shortest amount of time possible.
+ What outcomes can my claim have?
When you hire us to represent you, your claim can reach a number of different resolutions:
1) Your insurance company can accept coverage and issue a payment. Insurance companies often expect some type of negotiation or may try to lowball you in hopes you'll go away. Regardless of their intent, insurance companies rarely issue sufficient payment on the first try. If your insurance company issues payment, we will evaluate the sufficiency, and if the payment is inadequate, we will either try to negotiate a higher payment, or seek resolution through appraisal or mediation. If any of these options are successful, your claim is done and it's time to make repairs.
2) Your insurance company can accept coverage and issue a payment, and then refuse to issue any payment further. If your claim stalls in this outcome, you can either retain an attorney to pursue the outstanding claim balance, immediately, or you can choose to do the repairs with the partial payment by the insurance company and paying for the rest out of pocket. If you choose the latter, you can try one more time to get reimbursed.
3) Your claim can be unjustly denied. If, despite our best efforts to present your covered claim, your insurance company chooses to deny your claim anyway, you will need to hire an attorney to pursue your claim in court. Unfortunately this can happen and can either be the result of a genuine dispute over the cause and origin of a claim (sometimes loss and damage are hidden or a homeowner isn't present when the loss occurs) or it can be the result of a general business practice known as "delay, deny, defend."
4) Your claim can be denied, legitimately. Insurance policies don't cover everything, and sometimes loss or damage to your home or business just isn't covered.
+ Can you recommend a vendor/contractor/attorney/etc?
Yes! We'd be glad to. If you'd like any recommendations as to someone else you might need a service from, whether related to your loss/claim, or just in general, we'd be happy to let you know who we've worked with, who we trust, and give an honest opinion of anyone's services we're familiar with.
We will never pressure you to choose someone we've recommended or referred and will always honestly disclose our relationships with whomever we're referring. The decision is always up to you to work with whomever you're most comfortable with.
At the end of the day, our business relies on word of mouth advertising from our past and present clients, so its in our best interest to make sure you're happy, and the same holds true when we're recommending someone for you to do business with. If we recommend someone that doesn't take care of you, that costs us business.
+ What does my insurance cover?
The short answer(s)? Generally, your insurance policy covers sudden and accidental direct loss, but every policy is different, and even similar policies have different forms and endorsements, so we always need to see the full policy to be sure.
We're always happy to evaluate your insurance policy and inspect your property to let you know in more detail.
What your insurance policy typically does not cover are old/long term damages, damage that existed before you insurance policy existed, wear and tear, old age, lack of maintenance (if your roof leaks, or a pipe breaks, insurance often covers the ensuing damage, but not the damage to the roof or plumbing, [Check out our claims page for more info on this], faulty construction or breakdown (i.e. If your A/C or appliances stop working).
+ Will you provide a copy of your estimate?
Yes. We will always provide you a copy of our estimate. Please keep in mind that estimates are speculative and are subject to variations in pricing, scope of repair, and a number of other things. Estimates are open to interpretation, and until you have entered into a contract with someone to perform the repairs, are open to negotiation and revision.
The only time that a priceis absolutely certain is after the repairs are completed.
+ What should I do if I can't find my answer here?
Call or email us. We're happy to answer all your questions so you can make an informed decision regarding your claim(s).
+ Why does my my mortgage company appear on my check?
The short answer is because your policy and florida law require it. If you'd like to learn more about this, please feel free to check out our blog posts related to this topic.