The Boca Raton, Florida underpaid insurance lawyers at Bernstein Polsky can assist you if your homeowner’s insurance claim was underpaid or denied. If your insurance company isn’t offering you the settlement you believe you deserve, or if the settlement being offered doesn’t cover the full cost of the damages to your home, you may be entitled to appeal your claim. Bernstein Polsky is a Boca Raton, Florida underpaid insurance law firm that may be able to help you appeal your underpaid claim.
Why are Homeowner’s Insurance Claims Underpaid?
Insurance claims might be underpaid for a variety of reasons. According to many studies, insurance companies may routinely underpay insurance claims, even knowing that underpaid claims can result in litigation. Why might insurance claims be underpaid? Some reasons why your claim may not cover your losses involve legitimate exclusions or limits on your policy, while other reasons might involve insurance bad faith or errors. Unfortunately, the average homeowner may not always be able to distinguish between a legitimate settlement and an underpaid claim. What are some legitimate reasons why your homeowner’s insurance claim might be underpaid? Here are a few:
- Deductible is high. If your insurance policy has a high deductible, you may be expected to pay out of pocket before insurance will cover damages. Understanding your deductible in relationship to the value of your damages can help you figure out whether your insurance claim was underpaid. This can get complicated if you disagree with your insurance adjuster about the value of your damages, though.
- Insurance adjusters may consider depreciation when settling your claim. An example of this might be the case of a damaged roof. If the roof is quite old, your insurance adjuster may take into account the age of your roof when estimating the value of your claim. For example, if a tree falls and destroys a 14-year old roof that should be replaced anyway next year, the settlement amount will be different than a settlement for a person with a brand new roof with a 15-year expected lifespan.
- Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value. When it comes to replacing items damaged or stolen from your home, it is important to note whether your homeowner’s insurance covers replacement cost of items or actual cash value of these items. Replacement cost insurance will pay to help you purchase replacements of the items damaged or stolen from your home, while actual cash value will only pay for the value of the damaged or stolen item. So, if a 5-year old computer was damaged in your home during a storm, replacement cost insurance will pay you to buy a new computer of similar model and type, while actual cash value insurance will look at how much a 5-year old used computer of the same model would cost you if you tried to buy it from a second-hand store. In this case, you might receive a settlement that is lower than you expected, because you wouldn’t be able to take the settlement, go to a store, and buy the items new.
These are some reasons why your claim might at first appear to be underpaid, but may in fact, not be a situation where insurance adjusters are acting in bad faith. However, most homeowners can’t tell the difference. This is where an underpaid insurance claim lawyer in Boca Raton, Florida at Bernstein Polsky may be able to help you.
Underpaid Claims and Insurance Bad Faith
There are situations where insurance claims are underpaid where insurance adjusters are acting in bad faith. Knowing when this is the case can be difficult. How might this happen?
- Misrepresenting your insurance policy. If insurance adjusters say your policy only covers actual cash value, but you paid for replacement cost coverage, this could be a situation where bad faith may be an issue.
- Depreciating too much. When calculating depreciation for a roof or for other repairs, sometimes insurance adjusters might take more depreciation than they are entitled to take. However, homeowners are not insurance adjusters and don’t always understand how depreciation formulas work. Having a Boca Raton, Florida underpaid insurance claim lawyer at Bernstein Polsky to review your claim, review your adjuster’s work, and fight to help you get the settlement you may deserve can make an immense difference in your claim.
- Mistakes in adjusting the claim. Sometimes insurance adjusters use formulas or computer programs to estimate the value of a claim. These formulas may not always take into account the actual cost of repairs. They may not accurately reflect labor costs, material costs, or even increased gas costs. If your insurance adjuster is offering you a lower settlement than you believe you deserve, you can ask him or her how these conclusions were reached. Sometimes it is clear that adjusters didn’t accurately take into account the cost of repairs and sometimes it might not always be clear how an adjuster arrived at his or her conclusions. A Boca Raton, Florida underpaid insurance claim lawyer at Bernstein Polsky can review your proof of loss statements, look at the damage to your home, review your policy, and fight to help you get the claim you might deserve.
- Missed Damages or Failing to Submit Proof of Loss for Things Covered. Sometimes adjusters completely miss damages. If you don’t point it out, or fail to include it in your proof of loss statement, you could end up with an underpaid claim. Don’t count on your insurance adjuster to let you know everything that is covered under your policy. For example, if you don’t include a list of damaged furniture or electronics, you can’t expect your adjuster to cut you a check for these items. If you don’t tell your insurance adjuster that you had to stay in a hotel and eat out because of a house fire, your insurance adjuster may not always ask you for the receipts. If you fail to let your adjuster know that the kitchen counters damaged in a storm were made of Italian marble, you can’t expect your insurance adjuster to take these costs into account when estimating your losses. A Boca Raton, Florida underpaid insurance lawyer at Bernstein Polsky can look at the proof of loss statement you submitted, take the time to understand your losses, and fight to help you get the settlement you may deserve under the law.
- Delays in payment. Under the law, if your insurance company fails to pay your claim in a timely manner, you may be entitled to receive interest for the delayed payment. Bernstein Polsky is an underpaid insurance law firm in Boca Raton, Florida that can estimate the value of the underpayment, and fight to help you get the right payment plus interest.
These are just some of the situations where an underpayment may be due to an error or insurance bad faith. If your homeowner’s insurance claim was underpaid, reach out to Bernstein Polsky, an underpaid insurance claim law firm in Boca Raton, Florida today. Our lawyers may be able to help you.
Fighting Underpaid Homeowner’s Insurance Claims in Boca Raton, Florida
The underpaid insurance claims lawyers in Boca Raton, Florida at Bernstein Polsky can help you fight an underpaid claim. If you think your claim might have been underpaid in error or due to bad faith, your insurance claims lawyers may be able to help. Contact Bernstein Polsky today to learn more.