Six Common Mistakes and Solutions Homeowners Make When Filing Weather-Related Insurance Claims

Jun 21, 2024

Weather-related damage can strike at any time, leaving homeowners facing the daunting task of filing property insurance claims. While insurance is designed to provide financial relief during such times, the process can be complex, and mistakes can lead to delays or denials. Here are some common mistakes homeowners make when filing weather-related insurance claims and how to avoid them.

1. Not Documenting the Damage Thoroughly
One of the most critical steps in the claims process is documenting the damage. Homeowners often make a mistake by not taking enough photos or failing to capture the full extent of the damage. Most insurance policies stipulate that a storm-created opening, which permits water to enter the property, must be present for water damage coverage to apply. Therefore, thoroughly documenting the source of the damage is crucial.

Solution: As soon as it is safe, take clear, detailed photos and videos of the damage. Capture images from multiple angles, including both close-ups and wide shots. Be sure to document any damage to personal belongings as well as the structure of your home. This evidence will be essential in supporting your claim.

2. Delaying the Filing of the Claim
Filing an insurance claim promptly is crucial. Many homeowners delay this process, which can complicate their claim or result in denial.

Solution: Contact your insurance company as soon as you discover the damage. Most policies have a time limit for filing claims, so it’s important to act quickly. Prompt reporting can also expedite the assessment and repair process. At Insurance Litigation Group (ILG), we specialize in assisting clients in home insurance claims. We can help you navigate the claims process, negotiate with your insurance company, and ensure that you receive fair compensation when disaster strikes. ILG is crucial in achieving rapid results and engages in aggressive litigation for fast settlement or conclusion at trial where necessary.

3. Overlooking Insurance Policy Details
Insurance policies can be complex, and it’s easy to miss important details like coverage limits, exclusions, and deductibles. Looking at the Declarations Pages on their own does not tell you what kind of damages are actually covered by your policy. The language within the policy is crucial to determine what you are entitled to recover for certain damages.

Solution: Before filing a claim, review your insurance policy thoroughly. Understand what is covered and what is not, as well as any applicable deductibles. Generally, the entire physical structure of your house is covered under your homeowners’ policy (Damage from rising waters and street flooding is generally not covered, unless you have a separate flood insurance policy). There can also be coverage for other structures besides the main dwelling, your personal property, and additional living expenses.

4. Neglecting to Mitigate Further Damage
Once property damage occurs, homeowners must take steps to prevent further harm. Failure to do so can lead to additional costs that may not be covered by insurance.

Solution: Take immediate action to protect your property from further damage and reach out to your property claim attorney. At ILG, your claim is our #1 priority. From the start, we will explain your policy terms, guide you through the claims process, gather damage evidence, review the adjuster’s report, file your claim or proof of loss statement, represent you at examinations under oath and recorded statements, negotiate settlements on your behalf, and, if necessary, pursue litigation to obtain your entitled benefits, all while meeting and exceeding your goals and objectives.

5. Failing to Keep a Record of Communication
Documenting all communications with your insurance company is essential. Homeowners often forget to record phone calls, emails, and letters, which can lead to misunderstandings and disputes.

Solution: Maintain a detailed record of all interactions with your insurance provider. Note the date, time, and content of each conversation, and save copies of all written communications. This documentation can be invaluable if any issues arise during the claims process.

6. Accepting the First Settlement Offer
The first settlement offer from your insurance company may not always fully cover the cost of repairs. Homeowners sometimes accept these offers without question, leaving them underpaid. The first payment should be an undisputed payment, leaving you with an opportunity to submit a supplemental claim for any additional costs that arise as repairs are underway. You should never have to sign a release or a settlement agreement to obtain the undisputed payment.

Solution: Don’t feel pressured to accept the initial offer. Obtain multiple repair estimates and present them to your insurance adjuster. If the settlement seems insufficient, you have the right to negotiate or request a re-evaluation to your denied, delayed, or underpaid insurance claim. At ILG, we assist in negotiating disputes with insurance companies to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

Why Choose ILG?
Our commitment to our clients is unwavering. With five offices conveniently located across Florida in North Miami Beach, Orlando, Pensacola, Fort Pierce, and Naples, we are well-positioned to assist you wherever you are. Our deep understanding of Florida’s unique weather challenges and our extensive experience in handling insurance claims make us the ideal partner in your recovery journey.

Ultimately, filing a weather-related insurance claim doesn’t have to be overwhelming at Insurance Litigation Group. By avoiding these common mistakes and taking a proactive approach, homeowners can navigate the claims process more smoothly and secure the compensation they need to repair and restore their homes.

Our Offices

We are a client-focused law firm that fights aggressively on behalf of residential and commercial policyholders, contractors, restoration and mitigation companies, to produce maximum recovery results from insurance companies through our unique expertise, deep understanding of insurance law, cutting edge technology and proactive approach to litigation.

Insurance Litigation Group serves clients across the state of Florida. With over 7 offices statewide, our attorneys have the knowledge, skills and experience to resolve your dispute against the insurance company. 

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Contact us today about your situation so we can fight to get you paid. We can assist you in any coverage dispute, disagreement over liability or damages, or related matter.

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