Property Damage Attorneys
Levy & Partners and Property Damage
Is your insurance claim being denied for reasons you do not understand? Have you been told you do not have coverage for a claim in which you thought you were covered for? Are you being told you should settle your claim for far less than it is worth, putting an unfair burden on you for repairs or replacement and other expenses?
If you are engaged in any such dispute with your homeowners or business insurance carrier, don’t fight that battle on your own. The insurance attorneys at Levy & Partners have substantial insurance litigation experience and are ready to protect and enforce your rights against the insurance company. represent clients who have suffered damage to their home resulting from hurricanes, floods, fires, smoke, water damage, vandalism, and burglary.
We also represent businesses and commercial property owners in property damage claims and business interruption claims. An attorney with experience in property insurance litigation is an invaluable tool to obtain a maximum settlement.
What can Levy & Partners do for you?
Levy & Partners has the experience and experts needed to handle claims. Our Firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of the homeowner and business to receive their insurance benefits from the time the loss occurs through the litigation process. In all of these cases, time is of the essence, so acting quickly to file the claim with proper documentation is critical. To learn more about representation by Levy & Partners in the event of an insurance claim, please contact us today.
We negotiate and fight against the insurance company to obtain the fair compensation property owners are entitled to under the terms of their policies, including the reimbursement for destroyed possessions and living expenses such as hotel or relocation expenses while the property is uninhabitable due to required repairs.
Levy & Partners are extremely good at what they do. I recommend them to anyone who will listen.
At Levy & Partners, our attorneys understand that the aftermath of a fire can be a stressful experience, especially when a valid insurance claim is denied or underpaid. After paying costly insurance premiums, homeowners expect that claims submitted for compensation will be honored. In some cases, this expectation has proven to be too high, as we have witnessed insurance companies habitually deny or underpay valid claims without explanation.
Our fire damage insurance claim dispute attorneys have years of experience dealing with insurance companies and understand the tactics they may employ to avoid payment. Our attorneys are committed to helping homeowners recover the compensation to which they are entitled.
If your fire insurance company has been denied or underpaid, we’re here to help keep insurance companies accountable, and give you the opportunity to get your life back on track.
How can an Insurance Dispute Attorney Help me?
If you file a claim which is not denied initially, your insurance company will likely launch an investigation to determine the cause of the fire, the extent of the damage, and the value of the claim. Some companies have a history of blaming homeowners for the loss of the home and may go to great lengths to hire special investigators to find reasons to justify that blame.
Our insurance dispute attorneys have access to resources which allow us to perform separate assessments, which can be used in negotiations and settlements with the insurance company, should a dispute arise. We can work with experts to determine the cause of the fire, estimate the value of assets lost in the fire, uncover the extent of damage to the home that may be overlooked by the insurer, and estimate the value of your claim.
Is the Damage Covered by my Insurance?
The language in your policy will determine the damages that will be covered in the event of a fire. Some policies may cover damage only inflicted by the fire itself, while others will cover problems stemming from the fire including smoke and water damage. Structural damage, wind damage, melted personal property, roof damage, and plumbing and electrical damage may also be covered.
Why was my Fire Insurance Claim Denied?
As a for-profit entity, it is in the insurance company’s best interest to avoid payouts to policyholders; however, they must have a justifiable reason for denying a claim. Many states, including Florida, have adopted the Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act (UCSPA), which aims to protect policy holders from wrongful or deceitful actions of their insurers. Some common forms of unfair claims handling include:
- Undervaluing damaged property;
- Allegations of arson;
- Failure to investigate in a timely manner;
- Denial of a total loss claim despite supporting evidence;
- Threats of prosecution to the insured in an attempt to lower the payout;
- A clear violation of the terms of the insurance policy.
- Insurance companies may delay the valuation or payment of a claim alleging that fraud or arson played a role in the fire. Obviously, if arson was the cause of the fire—and that you played a role—your damages will not be covered and we would not represent you. However, it is important to know that the burden of proof is on the insurance company, and not on the homeowner. Without direct or circumstantial evidence, an insurance company that denies these claims may be acting in bad faith.
If you believe your insurance company has wrongfully denied or undervalued your claim, our firm may be able to help you take the next step.
Hurricanes are one of the most destructive forces in nature, with the ability to destroy homes and entire communities in just a few hours. This sudden loss of your property and the emotional toll it can take is devastating, but having a homeowners insurance policy that covers hurricane and tropical storm damage should offer you some piece of mind. However, that may not be the case.
The insurance company may undervalue your damages and find a way to pay you as little as possible, or avoid paying altogether for the damages sustained to your property.
We will investigate your case and consult with our team of insurance experts to determine the full value of your claim. We will fight for you both in and out of court, to obtain the insurance benefits that you are owed from your insurance company.
Our representation may begin with calling the insurance company on your behalf to report your claim and attending the insurance company’s inspection of your home. We will make every attempt to reach a favorable resolution for you. If this cannot be obtained, we can file a lawsuit to recover the insurance benefits owed to you. We can handle your insurance claim from beginning to end.
It is critical to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights.
We’re here to help keep insurance companies accountable and give you the opportunity to get your life back on track.
Steps to Take After a Hurricane
Unfortunately, even the best attempts to protect one’s property will likely end with some kind of damage in the event of a hurricane. If your home or business is damaged in the storm, you will want make sure you take the following steps to ensure your insurance claim is handled promptly in a fair manner.
Cover Up Your Damaged Property It’s important that if your property sustains any damage, that you cover it up with a tarp or something similar to prevent water intrusion or any other further damage. Remember, the insurance company will take any reason it can to avoid paying you, and if they claim your damaged property became more damaged after the storm they may blame you for the damage and deny your claim.
Document Everything It is recommended that you start outside and get your entire house in each shot — all four sides and as much of the roof as you can. Make sure to take photos of your entire yard, also. Start by taking wide shots of the yard, then move in closer to take shots with more detail. Then, head inside and start taking photos there. Start by taking photos of entire rooms, then move on to taking photos of individual items. A complete photographic record is important to prove your losses if you need to file a claim. As you take your photographs, make an inventory of damaged property. This will also help with your claim.
File Your Insurance Claim Promptly Insurance policies typically require you to act fast after storm damage. This is why it’s paramount that you take your photographs, write your inventory, and file your claim as quickly as you can.
What Does my Insurance Cover?
In Florida a general homeowners policy will cover wind damage, meaning if your roof or siding is ruined by the wind, the damage will be covered.
Further, roof damage caused by a storm can lead to other ensuing damage to your home that is covered under most homeowners insurance policies. When a storm dislodges and damages roof shingles or roof tiles, it creates an opening allowing water to leak into your house, thereby causing water damages to the interior of your home including your drywall, cabinetry, electrical system, flooring, appliances, counter-tops and personal items. All of the above, and more, are most likely covered by your insurance policy. Moreover, if the damaged roof shingles or tiles are discontinued and cannot be matched, you may be entitled to a new roof.
Your insurance policy will also cover structures outside your home like sheds or fences. It will also cover your rental or hotel expenses should your home become uninhabitable as a result of the hurricane. If you have personal property damage, such as clothes, furniture, and household goods, your policy will cover this, too. Your policy also provides a certain amount of coverage for debris removal and for temporary measures taken to protect your property from further damage, such as tarping your roof or temporarily repairing a roof leak. Of course, every policy is different and an experienced attorney can explain what your policy does and does not cover.
Keep in mind that there is a special deductible for hurricane damage in Florida, which is set at a fixed percentage based on the amount of the entire policy, and must be met before the insurance issues payment.