Than Four Combined Decades
While we often work to resolve Condominium/HOA disputes, The Morgan Law Firm handles several types of cases, including hurricane, flood, wind, and storm damage claims. Now that the peak season for major storms has passed, there are still many claims in process or under dispute by insurance companies. Being an El Niño year, there were over 20 named storms. As one of the busiest storm seasons in decades, many were unprepared with proper insurance to cover property damage. For those smart enough to have add-ons to regular coverage, they may be having trouble getting their claim approved. Here are some reasons why, and some tips on how to get the process moving in the right direction.
Reasons Orlando Home Insurance Claims Might Be Denied
Homeowners’ insurance policies are designed to offer financial protection from covered damages. However, there are certain situations where a claim might be denied.
- Lack of Proper Coverage – The standard policy required by most Condo HOAs in Orlando, Florida doesn’t cover perils like flooding and structural damage caused by storms, which are considered exclusions. Rather, owners will need to purchase supplemental policies designed to meet the local conditions to ease hurricane, high winds and tropical storm damage claims.
- Condominium Association and HOA Disputes — There may be certain parts of the claim that the insurance provider believes to be the association’s responsibility. Get confirmation from your organization that they are not liable to avoid having your own condo/HOA dispute on your hands.
- Missing the Filing Deadline — There are time limitations as to when you must file your claim. Many insurers allow up to a year, but many don’t. In storm damage claims, filing as soon as possible is recommended.
- Lack of Documentation — The final word from adjusters and processors is pivotal when insurers make their decision to grant or deny claims. Should there be a lack of supporting evidence, claim denial is likely.
- Negligence – You are responsible along with the condo HOA for the upkeep of the property. You handle the interiors and spaces that may be fenced in as a private porch or patio. The HOA is responsible for carrying adequate insurance and an assessment fund for maintenance and repairs of the exterior elements like siding and roofing. The insurance can deny claims and appeals should the areas being claimed be shown to be due to partial owner or HOA neglect.
Re-review Your Coverage & Claim
Use the notes from the insurance company about why your claim was rejected. Check for these things by re-reviewing your policy and any exclusions. If you feel that your claim is misjudged, you may need more evidence and to file an appeal.
File an Appeal ASAP
It’s paramount to have the right documentation before filing an appeal. You may need more detailed photos or to request another in-home review from the insurance adjuster, who may have made a mistake the first time around. Write a letter explaining the reasons for appealing clearly, and include new photos, witness statements and videos to improve your odds of winning. There are timelines in place to appeal, so move expediently on responding.
Get a Second Opinion
If you’ve been denied already and have requested another examination of the home’s damaged areas, consider getting a second professional opinion. An independent or public insurance adjuster has no carrier affiliations, so they can offer a neutral appraisal to present to your insurer to support your claim. The cost of hiring one will be at your expense.
File a Formal Complaint With the State’s Insurance Department
If hiring a third party estimator and including more evidence results in another claim denial, you can file a complaint with the Orlando Insurance Department. If you feel that you were denied unfairly or offered too low of a settlement, ask the department to investigate to confirm whether the insurance company is in the right or if you are.
Hire a Home Insurance Claim Attorney
If necessary and you’re facing substantial financial losses from the denied claim, hiring an Orlando, FL area home insurance claim attorney might be worthwhile. They can help evaluate your claim, and any denials and find ways to improve your chances of getting approval.
Sometimes, just having a legal representative from a law firm with a strong history of success can nudge insurers into doing the right thing to avoid dealing with lawyers. However, you could get denied again, and the cost of a lawyer comes out of your pocket regardless.
Count On Our Orlando, FL Storm Damage Legal Specialists
At The Morgan Law Firm, our team has 25+ years of experience in helping clients with all types of insurance disputes ranging from personal injuries and accidents to property damage claims and more. We’ll help you file an accurate solid claim to help you get the storm damage compensation you need. Contact us online or call 888-904-2524 to schedule a consultation.