How Does A Hurricane Deductible Work?

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A hurricane deductible is a price that is set by the insurance company usually as a percentage of the claimant’s insurance policy. It is considered a co-insurance. Somewhat like a medical insurance deductible that someone would have to pay if they received treatment. The insurance’s companies believe that forcing the claimant to pay some portion on their own keeps fraudulent claims down. The insurance company deducts that amount from their estimate. The policy will specify that a certain percentage will be taken out. The insurance company will deduct that percentage from the quoted amount of money they’re willing to pay for the claim.

Florida has a statute that deals with the maximum deduction for homeowners insurance. Under Florida Law, found at Fl. Stat. 627.701, the insurance company must offer the homeowner a hurricane deductible of either $500, 2 percent, 5 percent, or 10 percent. The maximum allowed deductible is 10 percent. In many Florida homeowners insurance policies, the deductible for a hurricane event will be different from other events such as sinkholes and other storms. The hurricane deductible in Florida can be higher than other states. If you have any questions about homeowners insurance, please contact (850) 432-7726 before purchasing your insurance policy.

What Does The Adjuster Do? How Does My Insurer Decide If My Claim Will Be Covered?

The adjuster’s job is to review your policy, the estimate of damages, and any kind of evidence that’s brought forth from the investigation of a claim. Once they have received all of the information, the adjuster will look through it and give a decision on what they feel should be repaired. It’s opinion-based. The insurance adjuster bases their opinion off of the estimate given to them from whoever did the inspection on their behalf.

A lot of times, the insurance adjuster will only do visual inspections. They don’t get to the actual problem unless they can see it with their own eyes. Meaning that water damage behind walls, under floors, or hidden in your attic will not be accounted for. They look at the surface. We actually look at what’s behind the wall, at what caused the actual problem. Therefore, there are a few different things that the insurance adjuster will look at compared to a public adjuster or an engineer.

My Insurer Is Requesting An Examination Under Oath. Must I Agree To Give One?

If your insurer is requesting an examination under oath, you must comply. The examination under oath goes with the general duty that you have to cooperate with the insurance investigation in regard to the damages that you’re claiming. The examination under oath is a lot like a deposition. It doesn’t have the formality of a deposition, but it requires testimony that is given under oath. The number one rule is to be honest. If you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s perfectly fine to say that you don’t know. It’s very important to contact a lawyer or a loss consultant before the insurance company requests the examination under oath. We know what they’re going to ask you. We can go over your responses, but at the end of the day, it must be truthful.

Can My Insurance Company Withhold Insurance Money From Me Because I Have Not Agreed To Settle Out Of The Entire Insurance Claim?

Your insurance company cannot withhold insurance money from just because you have not agreed to settle the insurance claim. In many cases, they will send a check that you never agreed to or asked for in the hope that you will not request additional money. After the initial adjuster from the insurance company does a simple visual estimate of the damage, they’ll calculate an estimate and mail you a check. Their hope is that you take that check and go away.

May An Insurance Company Deny My Insurance Claim Without Any Sort Of Investigation?

Legally, an insurance company should not deny a claim without some sort of investigation. They have a duty to operate in good faith to their insured of policy holder. Are they going to do a full investigation? No. Are they going to look like they’re doing an investigation? Yes. That’s the big difference between an insurance company’s adjuster and hiring your own adjuster. The insurance adjuster is only going to look at what you tell them to or what they can visually see. They’re not going to look into any other damage in the home.

If My Insurance Company Denies My Insurance Claim, What Must It Provide Me When Denying?

If your insurance company denies your claim, they will provide a written statement denying your claim. They routinely do not provide the reason why a claim was denied. However, they must provide a written statement stating the denial.

What Are The Most Common Problems We’ll Have With Insurance Companies After A Hurricane Damage Loss?

One of the most common problems with insurance companies after a hurricane are delays. There are not enough adjusters to fulfil all of the claims at one time for the insurance companies. Time wise, they’ll be spread out over a month’s period before they can come out to do inspections. When they do have an adjuster come out, most of the time, their only specialty is in a certain field. You may have a roof adjuster comes over that knows everything about roofs, but doesn’t know anything about wind or moisture damage. Another problem that occurs is underestimation of damage to a house. Instead of doing any tests for moisture readings or any other kind of exclusive damage testing, they will just look at the visual damage.

For more information on Hurricane Insurance Claims in Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (850) 432-7726 today.

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