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Homeowner’s Insurance Claims Attorney

Struggling with a denied or underpaid insurance claim? Our dedicated team fights relentlessly for homeowners’ rights, ensuring you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

South Florida Storm Damages Lawyer

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We Know What’s at Stake

Here at The Law Offices of Scott J. Senft, our homeowner’s insurance attorneys will fight for you relentlessly. Having dealt with insurance claims personally due to recent hazardous storms and hurricanes in South Florida, we know what’s truly at stake. It’s not just about the money, it’s about recovering your safe space, your home. Thus, we work with a certified public adjuster to ensure you get a fair value for your insurance claim.

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Experience Fighting Insurance Companies

Insurance companies should always act in good faith regarding your settlement. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and one way they do this is by wrongfully denying or undervaluing your claim. We have plenty of experience in the field. After years of experience, insurance representatives already know us. The negotiation doesn’t end until you receive what you rightfully deserve.

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Results & Experience

At The Law Offices of Scott J. Senft, our homeowner’s insurance claim attorneys in South Florida do not give up on a fight until a fair deal is achieved. We have decades of experience fighting for the rights of homeowners and know how to get results.

If your homeowner’s insurance claim has been denied or undervalued, you may have legal options. for a free case review to learn how our dedicated team can assist you in disputing your claim and securing the compensation you deserve.

 

 

South Florida Insurance Claims Attorney

Homeowner’s Insurance Attorneys & Adjusters

 

Whether it’s caused by hurricanes, mold, water, fire or vandalism, damage to one’s home is both a distressful and resource consuming experience. With this knowledge, homeowners equip themselves with different forms of homeowner’s insurance. Although the expectation is that insurance will gladly assist in dealing with the aftermath of such events– a fair expectation since you pay for it– quite the opposite is true.

Like many other businesses in this day in age, insurance companies don’t typically act in good faith even as it pertains to honoring valid homeowners’ insurance claims. Unfortunately, insurance representatives are tasked with sacrificing the least amount of money possible, if any at all. Consequently, many homeowner claims are underpaid or outright denied. We’ve seen instances where insurers misinterpret policies to reduce payouts or deny the claims altogether. These practices can be particularly damaging following natural disasters like hurricanes and tropical storms when many homeowners are filing claims simultaneously. Florida residents especially suffer the consequences given the high and increasing occurrences of storm hazards.

The Law Offices of Scott Jay Senft has the skill, knowledge, and experience to navigate such challenges on behalf of homeowners. We’ve been fighting and achieving favorable outcomes for Florida homeowners for decades and will continue to do so for the years to come. The Senft office, equipped with seasoned insurance claim attorneys, is committed to helping clients manage these challenges with ease and successfully recover compensation for those unfairly treated by their insurers.

Types of Homeowner’s Insurance Claims

Our Attorney’s Handle

Underpaid and Denied Claims

 

 

Between 2017 and 2021, the average cost of a homeowner insurance claim was $15,091. However, not all claims are paid out fairly, and homeowners often face denials or underpayments. Common reasons for denial include damages not covered under the policy, such as flood damage, which requires separate insurance. Florida homeowners, in particular, may need additional coverage for specific risks like hurricanes or earthquakes, as standard policies often exclude these losses. Windstorm coverage might also require a special endorsement or a separate policy.

Another reason claims may be denied is the late filing of claims. Insurance policies have strict deadlines, which can vary by state and insurer. In Florida, notice of an initial or reopened claim must be filed within one year after the incident, while a supplemental claim must be given within 18 months. These deadlines can sometimes be extended for specific reasons, such as service members deployed in combat zones. Additionally, insufficient documentation can lead to claim denial or underpayment. Homeowners must provide evidence of damage and the value of lost items, including receipts, photos, or videos taken before and after the loss. Creating an inventory of belongings and obtaining witness statements can also help substantiate the claim.

 

Storm Damage

 

 

These claims often involve significant property damage that requires prompt and thorough handling. Florida is particularly susceptible to storm damage, especially during the summer months when high winds and frequent afternoon storms are common. From 1980 to 2024, the cost of severe storms in Florida ranged between $5 billion and $10 billion.

Given the frequency and severity of these events, it is crucial for homeowners to be prepared. Preparation includes having an up-to-date inventory of your property and understanding your insurance policy’s coverage.

An attorney can be instrumental in ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve. They can help navigate the complex claims process, advocate for your rights, and ensure that insurance companies fulfill their obligations. By working with an experienced lawyer, you can maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation for your storm damage claims and secure the financial resources needed to repair and restore your property.

 

Hurricane Damage

 

 

Hurricanes are very common in Florida, and the state has specific requirements and guidelines for hurricane coverage. Hurricane insurance is not a separate policy and is typically included in standard homeowners’ insurance policies. Hurricane coverage in Florida refers to protection against losses or damages caused by windstorms during a hurricane. This includes damage to the interior of a building and to personal property inside if the windstorm causes an opening that allows rain, snow, sleet, hail, sand, or dust to enter and cause further damage. Essentially, this coverage ensures that if the windstorm directly damages the structure of your home, leading to additional damage from the elements, those damages are also covered.

Hurricane coverage as part of standard homeowners’ insurance policies typically includes a separate deductible. This hurricane deductible is usually a percentage of the dwelling coverage limit, ranging between 2% and 10%, with some exceptions. Navigating the complexities of hurricane insurance claims can be challenging. A homeowner’s insurance claim lawyer can assist you in maneuvering through the claim process, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.

 

Flood Damage

 

 

Flood damage is a common issue in Florida due to frequent storms and hurricanes. However, it can also result from other incidents like burst pipes or other in-house damages. Flood damage can lead to extensive water damage and mold growth, severely affecting your property. Flood insurance typically covers structural damage, personal property, and temporary housing if need to relocate while repairs are made. Unlike hurricane coverage, flood damage is not included in standard homeowners’ insurance policies. This makes it essential for Florida homeowners to obtain separate flood insurance, especially given the state’s numerous flood zones.

Florida has implemented new flood insurance requirements to mitigate financial losses from such events. Starting January 2024, structures with a replacement value of $600,000 or more must have flood insurance. By 2027, all structures insured by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, regardless of value, will need to maintain flood coverage. Given the complexity of flood insurance claims and the potential for disputes with insurance companies, having an attorney can be crucial. An experienced attorney can help navigate the claims process, ensure proper documentation, and advocate for your rights to secure the compensation you deserve.

 

Fire Damage

 

 

Fire damage claims in Florida can be particularly challenging due to the various causes and extensive damage involved. Fires can be accidental, caused by natural disasters, or even criminal acts like arson. The aftermath often requires significant repairs and replacement of personal property. Homeowners insurance typically covers fire damage, but the specifics can vary based on the policy and the cause of the fire.

In the event of fire damage, it is crucial to follow these steps. Ensure everyone is safe and evacuated from the premises, seeking medical attention if necessary. Take detailed pictures and videos of all the damage, including property and personal belongings, and be sure to document secondary issues like water damage from firefighting efforts. List all damaged items with their approximate values and retain any receipts for major purchases. Additionally, consult with an experienced homeowners claim lawyer who can advise you and work closely with a public adjuster to ensure all aspects of your claim are thoroughly addressed.

 

Property Theft

 

 

Property theft involves the unlawful taking of personal belongings from your home, ranging from burglary to identity theft. Homeowners insurance typically covers theft, including the loss of personal property. Most insurance policies provide coverage for personal property on an actual cash value basis, but some policies or endorsements offer coverage on a replacement cost basis, which includes the cost to repair or replace the property with comparable items.

In Florida, there is a legal difference between burglary and theft, especially when it comes to insurance claims. Burglary involves trespassing with intent to steal and commit violence or damage, whereas theft occurs when someone with access to your space steals items. Burglary insurance often covers damage from forced entry, while theft insurance covers valuables like money, jewelry, and electronics, depending on the policy. When filing a claim, document the damage with photos and videos, and retain receipts for emergency repairs. Reporting the incident to the police and getting an experienced attorney can ensure a fair payout from insurance companies.

Insurance claims may be denied if the theft was unreported, committed by a named insured, or occurred during property construction. Always report theft to authorities and obtain a police report to support your claim.

 

Vandalism

 

 

Vandalism involves the intentional destruction or defacement of property and can lead to significant repair costs. Homeowners insurance often covers vandalism, but the extent of coverage can vary depending on the policy chosen. Insurance generally covers various acts of vandalism, including graffiti, arson, breaking windows, and defacing property.  Homeowners insurance does not cover vandalism if the home has been vacant for more than 60 days or if the damage is associated with a home-based business without the necessary endorsements​. It is important to consult a lawyer who specializes in homeowners claims and can help with the details and complexities of the case.

 

Contact us today for a free consultation at 954-833-6749 regarding your homeowner’s insurance claim.

How to identify water damage in your home –

this can be tricky, however identifying telltale signs such as water stains, mold, dampness, humidity, and dripping noises is something to keep in mind.

Why work with a public adjuster?

Besides inspecting your property to identify all areas of damage, a public adjuster will help throughout the claim process to facilitate the quickest possible resolution. Insurance companies are notorious for underpaying policyholders, delaying settlements, or even denying claims in full.

Therefore, hiring a public adjuster is the best way to ensure a speedy and fair settlement so you can begin repairs on your home.

Do you have a new claim due to the recent storms in South Florida?

Give us a call and let’s discuss your options. We can help you get the money you deserve under the law. If we don’t win, you do not pay.

 

Cant’t Find The Answers You’re Looking For?

 

 

Call 954-833-6749 to connect with
an insurance claims attorney.

 

Why Should You Choose The Law Offices of Scott Jay Senft for Your Homeowners Insurance Claim Lawyer?

At the Law Offices of Scott J. Senft, we specialize in advocating for homeowners’ rights against insurance companies that act in bad faith. Our experienced attorneys have a proven track record of successfully recovering compensation for clients who have been unfairly treated by their insurers. We are committed to ensuring that our clients receive the maximum compensation they deserve.

What Types of Homeowners Insurance Claims Does The Law Offices of Scott Jay Senft Cover?

We handle a wide range of homeowners insurance claims, including storm damage, hurricane damage, flood damage, fire damage, vandalism, property theft, underpaid and denied claims.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer for My Homeowners Claim?

Navigating the homeowners insurance claims process can be complex and frustrating, especially when dealing with insurers who may deny or undervalue your claim. A lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected, provide expert guidance throughout the process, and advocate on your behalf to secure fair compensation.

What Should I Do to Prepare for Filing a Homeowners Claim?

To prepare for filing a homeowners claim, document all damages thoroughly with photos and videos, gather receipts and records of your property, and create an inventory of your belongings. Additionally, review your insurance policy to understand what is covered and ensure you meet any filing deadlines. If a crime has been committed, make sure to report it to the police immediately to avoid any issues during the claims process.

How do I File a Claim Against Someone Else's Homeowners Insurance?

To file a claim against someone else’s insurance, gather evidence of the damage or injury, contact the insurance company, and provide them with all relevant information. An attorney can help with legal advice to ensure that your claim is handled properly.

What Should I Do When Homeowners Insurance Denies My Claim?

The Florida Homeowner Claim Bill of Rights outlines the rights and responsibilities of homeowners and insurance companies during the claims process, including specific timelines for acknowledging and responding to claims, and provisions for mediation and evaluation services. Within 14 days of filing a claim, the insurance company must acknowledge receipt. The homeowner must submit a completed proof-of-loss statement detailing the damage, cause, and estimated repair costs, and the insurance company has 30 days to review and respond to this statement. Within 90 days of receiving the completed proof-of-loss statement, the insurance company must either fully settle the claim, pay the undisputed portion, or deny the claim; otherwise, they must pay interest on the unpaid amount.

What Are Three Common Reasons Why Insurance Claims Are Denied?

Here are three common reasons why a homeowner’s insurance claim might be denied:

  1. Damage Not Covered Under Policy: Home insurance covers a wide range of damages to your home and personal belongings, but certain losses are excluded. For example, standard homeowners’ insurance policies typically do not cover flood damage. Homeowners in Florida may need separate flood insurance, especially in flood-prone areas, as well as additional coverage for specific risks like hurricanes or earthquakes. While hurricane coverage is often included in Florida home insurance policies, flood insurance must be purchased separately, and windstorm coverage might require a special endorsement or a separate policy​.
  2. Late Filing of Claims: Insurance policies often have strict deadlines for filing claims, which can vary by state and insurer. In Florida, for claims resulting from hurricanes, tornadoes, windstorms, severe rain, or other weather-related events, the date of loss is determined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For property insurance policies, notice of an initial or reopened claim must be filed within one year after the incident occurred. Notice of a supplemental claim must be given within 18 months after the date of loss. These deadlines can be extended for specific reasons, such as service members deployed in combat zones or combat support postings, which materially affect their ability to file a claim.
  3. Insufficient Documentation: To support a claim, homeowners must provide sufficient evidence of the damage and the value of the lost items. This includes receipts, photos, or videos of the damaged property, both before and after the loss. Creating an inventory of your belongings can help substantiate your claim. A lack of documentation may cause an insurance company to deny or underpay the claim. Witness statements can sometimes provide additional support if primary evidence is missing.
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