Most homeowners are unaware of their rights when making an homeowners insurance claim. Insurance companies have one goal – to make more money. The insurance companies make their money by collecting premium payments, and in return, paying as little as possible for insurance claims. This means that the insurance companies have a financial interest in denying or underpaying the value of the insurance claim.
This post addresses the latter – underpaying the value of the insurance claim. The homeowner does not have to accept the insurance company’s valuation of the claim. The homeowner can dispute the valuation and hire his/her own loss consultant or contractor to evaluate the loss and prepare an estimate for the repairs. The homeowner can provide the insurance company proof that the payment will not cover the cost of repairs and request additional payment. The homeowner can pursue this option even if payment has already been tendered and accepted.
The insurance companies go through great lengths to hide this option from the homeowner. Several insurance companies in Florida, including Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company, have endorsement language on the back of the settlement checks that states the insured waives his or her right to seek additional payment once the check is endorsed. Such endorsement language is likely not enforceable, but it is a despicable practice by the insurance companies. It serves no purpose other than to give the impression that no additional payment could be made.
If you or anyone you know have made an insurance claim and need assistance with obtaining sufficient funds to repair your home, contact our office for a free consultation.