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At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys understand that the aftermath of a fire can be a stressful experience, especially when a valid insurance claim is denied. After paying costly insurance premiums, homeowners expect that claims submitted for compensation will be honored. In some cases, this expectation has proven to be too high, as we have witnessed insurance companies habitually deny valid claims without explanation.
Our fire damage insurance claim dispute attorneys have years of experience dealing with insurance companies and understand the tactics they may employ to avoid payment. Our attorneys are committed to helping homeowners recover the compensation to which they are entitled.
If your fire insurance company has denied your claim for compensation, you may have legal recourse. To learn more about how our fire damage insurance claim dispute attorneys may be able to help you, please fill out our no charge case review form today.
How can an Insurance Dispute Attorney Help me?
If you file a claim which is not denied initially, your insurance company will likely launch an investigation to determine the cause of the fire, the extent of the damage, and the value of the claim. Some companies have a history of blaming homeowners for the loss of the home and may go to great lengths to hire special investigators to find reasons to justify that blame.
Our insurance dispute attorneys have access to resources which allow us to perform separate assessments, which can be used in negotiations and settlements with the insurance company, should a dispute arise. We can work with experts to determine the cause of the fire, estimate the value of assets lost in the fire, uncover the extent of damage to the home that may be overlooked by the insurer, and estimate the value of your claim.
Is the Damage Covered by my Insurance?
The language in your policy will determine the damages that will be covered in the event of a fire. Some policies may cover damage only inflicted by the fire itself, while others will cover problems stemming from the fire including smoke and water damage. Structural damage, wind damage, melted personal property, roof damage, and plumbing and electrical damage may also be covered.
Why was my Fire Insurance Claim Denied?
As a for-profit entity, it is in the insurance company’s best interest to avoid payouts to policyholders; however, they must have a justifiable reason for denying a claim. Many states, including Florida, have adopted the Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act (UCSPA), which aims to protect policy holders from wrongful or deceitful actions of their insurers. Some common forms of unfair claims handling include:
- Undervaluing damaged property;
- Allegations of arson;
- Failure to investigate in a timely manner;
- Denial of a total loss claim despite supporting evidence;
- Threats of prosecution to the insured in an attempt to lower the payout;
- A clear violation of the terms of the insurance policy.
- Insurance companies may delay the valuation or payment of a claim alleging that fraud or arson played a role in the fire. Obviously, if arson was the cause of the fire—and that you played a role—your damages will not be covered and we would not represent you. However, it is important to know that the burden of proof is on the insurance company, and not on the homeowner. Without direct or circumstantial evidence, an insurance company that denies these claims may be acting in bad faith.
If you believe your insurance company has wrongfully denied or undervalued your claim, our firm may be able to help you take the next step. To verify if you are eligible with a member of our office, please fill out our no cost, no obligation case review form today.