Navigating the Property Damage Claim Process in Florida
The property damage insurance claim process can seem complicated and daunting, especially when dealing with the aftermath of home damages. As a Florida public adjuster, my job is to help you navigate this process, providing peace of mind and helping secure a fair claim settlement from your insurance company.
Meet with the Insured Party
In the initial phase of the property damage insurance claim process, I arrange a meeting with you, the property owner, and the insured party. We conduct a detailed inspection of the property to assess the extent and type of damages incurred. This stage is vital as it forms the basis of our claim. In addition, I take this opportunity to personally explain the whole process, ensuring that you understand each step and what it entails.
Letter of Representation
During the inspection, I provide a letter of representation, which performs two key roles. Firstly, it gives me permission to contact your insurance company on your behalf, streamlining communication during the claim process. Secondly, it establishes a 'No Recovery, No Fee' principle. This means that if we are unable to secure a recovery payment (money from the insurance company for your damages), you will not be charged for my services.
Contact the Insurance Company
The next step in the property damage insurance claim process is for me to contact your insurance company and file the claim. I send the letter of representation, and then we wait for the insurance company's field adjuster to get in touch for an inspection.
Prepare an Estimate
When the field adjuster visits, I accompany them to discuss and assess the damages. At the same time, our team at A&H Public Adjusters prepares an estimate. The insurance adjuster also prepares their own estimate or report, which usually undergoes further review by another adjuster from the insurance company. Both of these estimates are submitted to the insurance company for their consideration.
The property damage insurance claim process can take some time. It may take several weeks, sometimes even months, to respond. In Florida, for instance, insurance companies have up to 90 days to either pay or deny the claim. After this period, we get a coverage determination that might include payment, denial, falling under the deductible, or partial denial.
Review the Determination and Finalize the Claim
Upon receiving the coverage determination, we thoroughly review it together. If the payment is satisfactory, we can finalize the claim. However, if the payment doesn't fully cover your losses, we can discuss the next steps to secure additional funds.
Challenge the Decision
If the insurance company's offer is unsatisfactory, we can challenge the decision by requesting a reinspection, hiring other experts, and/or choosing an alternative dispute resolution, such as appraisal or mediation. We can also recommend legal counsel. Sometimes the claim must be litigated if there is a coverage dispute, like partial denial of the roof replacement. Other times, the attorney is able to get results fairly quickly and get a settlement agreement with the insurance.
As your public adjuster, my role throughout the property damage insurance claim process is to represent your interests, ensuring you receive a fair and accurate claim settlement.