Discovering that you have sustained unexpected damage to your Boca Raton property can leave you feeling overwhelmed, out of sorts, and worried about the financial fallout. All too many people find themselves struggling to figure out how to pay for a long stay in a hotel or to cover the costs of repairs, especially following catastrophic damage to their Boca Raton home.
The insurance company may not make it any easier, either. All too often, insurance companies try to withhold the full compensation you deserve, especially if you suffered catastrophic damage that requires extensive repairs.
What comes next? What if your insurance company will not pay out the full compensation you deserve? If you suffered serious property damage due to another party’s negligence or your insurance company will not pay out the compensation you deserve for your financial losses and property damage, an experienced Boca Raton property damage attorney can help. Contact Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman today at 833-552-7274 to learn more about how we can help you seek compensation for your losses.
Dealing With Property Insurance: The Challenges Boca Raton Property Owners Face
You took out property insurance to help you pay for any damage to your property. Whether you need insurance for your possessions in a rental property, insurance to cover the cost of a building you own and its contents, or simply insurance to cover damage to the specific building, you rely on your insurance coverage to provide much-needed compensation following expensive property damage.
Types of Insurance
The level of insurance coverage you have may depend on the type of insurance you carry.
Renters’ insurance provides insurance coverage for individuals who rent a space, but do not own the space itself. Renters’ insurance provides coverage for the contents of a building, but will not provide coverage for the building itself. For example, if you suffer serious flood damage to your home, your landlord will need to use his property insurance to pay for the damage to the building, but your insurance will cover damages to your property.
Property insurance provides coverage for the property. Depending on whether you live on or operate out of the building, or you rent the property out to someone else, you may choose to insure just the building or the building and its contents. You will need to discuss the contents of the building and what you own with your insurance company.
Auto insurance. Your vehicle, like your home, represents an expensive investment. You need your vehicle to get to and from work and leisure activities each day. Many people choose to protect their vehicle with insurance.
However, the type of coverage you carry may determine when you have the right to seek compensation through your auto insurance company for damage suffered to your vehicle.
- Liability-only coverage offers compensation to the owner of another vehicle for damage that occurs in an accident you caused.
- Collision coverage will provide compensation to you if your vehicle suffers serious damage in a collision, regardless of who caused that collision.
- Comprehensive coverage will provide compensation if non-accident damage happens to your vehicle. For example, comprehensive coverage may cover flood damage or the damage to your vehicle if a tree limb falls on it.
Understanding Your Coverage
Many Boca Raton property owners do not fully understand the insurance coverage their provider offers. You may struggle to understand just how much protection you have or what protection the items in your home may have. Sit down and take a look at your insurance coverage long before property damage occurs, if possible. You may find that you need to reevaluate or increase your coverage. If you have had problems with your insurance company and the coverage offered after serious property damage, work with your attorney to better understand your coverage and what you can expect.
You may need to know:
- How much you will have to pay before your insurance kicks in. In most cases, you will have to pay for the first percentage of any repairs to your property, whether your home or your vehicle. The amount you will have to pay, known as your deductible, may tell you what minimum damage your home or vehicle must suffer before you can use your insurance. You may not always have to pay out the amount of the deductible directly. For example, if you carry a $1,500 deductible on your homeowner’s insurance, and you suffer $5,000 worth of damage to your home, you may receive $3,500 in compensation and have the right to decide how you want to spend those funds.
- How much your insurance will cover. Most policies have a maximum amount that they will cover, usually based on the value of your home and possessions. You may, for example, own a $200,000 home, and have $350,000 in coverage for the home itself and your possessions. However, if you have possessions in your home that total more than that amount, you may need not receive further compensation for your losses.
- What your insurance will cover and what it will not. Many property owners’ insurance policies have a clear set of exceptions. For example, you may need to add a special rider to your homeowners’ insurance policy to cover jewelry or expensive collectibles, or your insurance company may require you to individually insure or mention some higher-end electronics in your home. You should also consider what damage exceptions apply to your policy. For example, you may need to take out a specific flood policy to cover flooding and hurricane damage to your home, rather than just expecting your homeowner’s insurance policy to cover it.
Common Challenges Faced by Boca Raton Residents
Dealing with your insurance company can offer a unique set of challenges. You may assume that your insurance company will automatically pay out for any damage to your home. Unfortunately, the insurance company may not always issue the compensation you deserve. The insurance company may use several methods to try to limit its financial liability.
Those efforts, if they succeed, can prevent you from receiving the funds you need to repair your home or deal with other financial challenges you may face due to the disaster that damaged your property.
- The insurance company may try to prove that you, either deliberately or through negligence, caused the damage to your home. For example, if you suffered fire damage to your home, the insurance company may try to prove that you set the fire or caused it through a knowingly negligent act. If you caused the damage, the insurance company may not have to pay.
- The insurance company may try to prove that the damage fits into an exception in your policy. For example, you may have insurance that covers water damage. When a leaky pipe causes significant damage to your home, you may assume that your insurance company will pay automatically. Unfortunately, the insurance company may try to prove that the damage resulted from recent floods in the area, which your policy does not cover.
- The insurance company may try to undervalue your property or the repairs to it. Ideally, you want your insurance to cover the replacement or repair of any damaged property. Unfortunately, that may not always work out as well as you had hoped. Your insurance company may try to deny the full amount that you deserve for the damage to your home, leaving you struggling to deal with the resulting bills.
- The insurance company may try to delay issuing payment for as long as possible. The longer the insurance company waits to pay, the longer it can hold on to that money. In the meantime, however, you may struggle to take care of the damage to your home or vehicle. As you wait to take care of the damage, it may compound: for example, you may notice increasing mold damage due to improper cleanup after a flood.
Common Types of Property Damage in Boca Raton
Property damage can occur in a variety of ways. Sometimes, another party’s negligent act may cause serious damage to your home: a neighbor cutting down a tree that drops onto your roof, for example. Other times, property damage may occur due to acts of nature. A Boca Raton property damage attorney can help you understand what coverage you have, including your right to compensation if someone else causes serious damage to your property.
High winds, rising waters, and a long stretch without power can create a recipe for disaster in the middle of a hurricane. Many property owners find that hurricanes lead to serious damage to their homes and vehicles: water damage inside the home, roof damage, flood damage to vehicles and homes alike, and serious damage to the exterior of the home. Even if you took precautions like boarding up the windows, you may have broken glass and even missing walls. Cleanup after a hurricane can include mold and mildew treatment as well as throwing out waterlogged furniture, rugs, and other possessions.
Like hurricanes, floods can cause serious problems for your home. While you may not have to contend with high winds during flooding, you may still notice challenges with rising water inside your home. You may also notice that high, heavy rains cause serious damage to your roof and throughout your home, often including many of your possessions. While quick remediation can help decrease the incidence of mold and mildew, many items may prove harder to clean than you think. You may also find yourself vying with others in your local community to bring remediation services out fast.
Cast Iron Pipes
Cast iron pipes can, over time, begin to erode. While modern homes usually avoid these types of pipes since the danger has grown well-known, older model homes may still have those cast-iron pipes, which may lead to increased risk of water damage throughout the home. Those pipes may leak steadily over time, leading to hidden water damage. Sometimes, they may burst unexpectedly, leaving you with water spread across your home.
A fire can cause devastating damage to your home in a matter of minutes. You may suffer direct fire damage to the structure and many of your possessions. As the fire rages, it can also send smoke and soot throughout your home. In some cases, this may cause damage that makes it impossible to repair those items. In addition, as firemen fight the fire and work to reduce damage to your home and family, they may spray large quantities of water throughout your home. Unfortunately, this can lead to water damage on top of the soot and smoke damage throughout your home.
Your vehicle can suffer damage in several ways. Most often, you will suffer damage in an auto accident, when one car strikes another. You may have vehicle damage with or without injury to the passengers. Most auto insurance policies offer separate coverage for injuries and repairs to the vehicle, so you can often seek compensation for the damage to your vehicle even if you need to file a large car accident claim.
You can also suffer damage to your vehicle due to factors that have nothing to do with an auto accident. For example, high winds could cause a tree branch to fall on your vehicle, leading to a broken windshield or serious damage to the top of the car. Rising floodwaters can submerge your vehicle, leading to serious internal damage. Many people choose to replace their vehicles altogether following a flood, especially if the vehicle later proves unreliable. Comprehensive car insurance can help repair or replace a vehicle following a disaster.
Contact an Experienced Boca Raton Property Damage Attorney Today
Did you suffer property damage, either due to another party’s negligence or due to factors beyond your control? Have you struggled to get the compensation you deserve through your insurance company? Contact Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman today at 833-552-7274 to learn more about your legal rights after serious property damage.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
301 Yamato Road, Suite 1240
Boca Raton, Florida 33431