Property Insurance Claims
Homeowners’ insurance is covered by Section 624.604 of the Florida Statutes which defines property insurance as any kind of insurance on real or personal property, regardless of whether such property is located on land, water or in the air. Therefore, homeowners’ insurance policies cover all kinds of properties, including single-family homes, condominiums and apartments.
When their properties suffer damages, owners will usually submit a claim under the policy to have their insurance company pay for the repairs and/or replacement of the damaged property. Whether the damage was caused by a natural disaster or “Act of God” (like a hurricane or a tornado), a crime (like theft or vandalism) or an everyday occurrence (like a broken water heater/pipe), an experienced property insurance claims attorney can help you recover the benefits that you are entitled to.
Also note that according to the Section 624.604 of the Florida Statutes, property insurance must cover all real and personal property. This means that in addition to covering the building itself, policies issued under this statute cover personal belongings, including but not limited to furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing and jewelry. Additionally, these policies will typically cover personal injuries that occur at the property. If you have a dog, please review your policy to make sure that you are covered if it bites someone, as many Florida policies exclude coverage for dog bites.
These property policies are typically purchased to cover the:
- Primary residence of the policyholder (single family homes, as well as apartments or condominiums);
- Rental property (also single family homes, as well as apartments or condominiums);
- Dwellings and other structures within the property;
- Removal of debris from covered damage;
- Damage to boilers and machinery;
- Damage caused by water (including mildew and toxic mold claims);
- Damage caused by a sinkhole; (a new, complex Florida Statute governing sinkhole claims recently went into effect)
- Damage caused by hail;
- Damage caused by other falling objects;
- Damage by theft or vandalism;
- Damage caused by windstorm (hurricanes, tornadoes)
- Damage caused by trees and shrubbery, as well as their removal;
- Damage caused by lightning;
- Damage caused by fire;
- Damage caused by smoke.
It is important to note that there are usually two different types of policies associated with condominiums: a policy purchased by the owner of the condominium (which is a typical homeowner policy like those discussed in the preceding paragraphs) that covers the condominium unit’s contents and improvements and a policy purchased by the homeowners’ association, which covers common areas like elevators, stairs, hallways and green areas.
Policies for commercial properties are regulated under Section 627.0625 of the Florida Statutes. Business owners who also own the buildings where their businesses are housed purchase these policies to cover the buildings, together with their contents or business property should these be damaged by natural disasters or by everyday occurrences. However, it is important to note that much like with residential rental property insurance, if you rent the property that houses your business, the building owner’s policy will only cover damages to the building, not damages to your business’ property, like stored goods or equipment. Business owner’s who rent can also buy coverage for their assets and inventory of lost or damaged goods, as well as business interruption insurance.
Some homeowners’ insurance companies will try hard to deny your claim and come up with almost any imaginable reason to do so. Following are the most common reasons that property insurance companies may use to deny your claim:
- That it is a fraudulent claim;
- That the premiums were paid late, causing the cancellation of the policy;
- That the claimed damage is covered under your Homeowners Association’s policy, not your individual Homeowner policy or vice versa;
- That the claimed damage is not covered or excluded by the policy;
- That the cause of the damage is excluded from the policy.
Regardless of what type of property claim you need help with, Greenberg, Stone & Urbano can assist you in the recovery of the compensation you may be entitled to. Our Property Insurance Claims Lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience helping clients with their property insurance claims.
The following links connect you with pages containing valuable information regarding other types of insurance claims we can help you with:
1 To read F.S. Section 624.604 click on the following link: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/FileStores/Web/Statutes/FS09/CH0624/Section_0624.604.HTM