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Jacksonville Insurance Law Blog

Checking your policy for sinkhole coverage

For Florida property owners, the idea of a sinkhole opening at their location is a nightmare. Unfortunately, it may also be a reasonable fear, based on news reports over the last few years. If you have homeowner’s or property insurance, you may assume you are covered if the unthinkable happens.  At Tyler & Hamilton, P.A, we often assist clients whose insurance claims were denied or were offered insufficient compensation for their loss.

Property Casualty 360° reports that some sinkholes appear with no warning, while others may show signs that they are developing. Those that occur on a distant o part of the property may go unnoticed until they expand to a frequently used area. When water collects underground, with no external drainage, it begins eroding the bedrock. This may happen as a result of many situations, including ruptured sewer lines or seismic activity. Over time, underground spaces and caverns form, making the area above unstable. Sinkholes may also develop in areas where there is drilling or mining. Signs that something may be wrong underground include dying or wilting vegetation in an area where it is green and thriving everywhere else. New ponds, slumping trees and fence posts or cracked foundations may also indicate issues.

What are some examples of insurance bad faith?

While you would expect your insurance company to be there for you after an accident or injury, this isn’t always the case. In fact, some insurance companies in Florida will deny valid claims made by the insured with absolutely no legitimate reason for doing so. HG.org offers the following examples of bad faith insurance practices, which will help you identify any issues when making a claim to your insurance company.

Your insurance company must respond to your claim in a timely manner. Failure to do so is a type of bad faith, and usually entails the company waiting an inordinate amount of time to let the policyholder know whether the claim had been approved. Companies are also obligated to perform a thorough inspection regarding the claim, and if the necessary work is not performed a company may be acting negligently.

What are reasons for car insurance claims denial?

If you have an accident in Florida and make a claim with your insurance provider, you probably expect a quick resolution. After all, you pay your premiums on time and put a lot of trust in your insurance company to keep up its end of the agreement. However, your insurer may deny your claim. There are various reasons this may occur.

According to ValuePenguin, one of the top reasons for a claim denial is that you broke the law when the damage occurred. Your insurer does not have to pay for claims that result from your own negligence.

How much property insurance do I need?

When you choose an insurance policy for your property in Florida, one of the decisions you need to make is how much coverage to buy. This is not always a straightforward thing. You have many considerations to make. It requires understanding what the policy covers and what coverage you actually need.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, you need to think of two different amounts when figuring your property insurance. First, you have to figure out how much you would need to rebuild your home. Second, you have to determine the replacement costs for your possessions.

What are some signs of a bad insurance company?

You expect an insurance provider in Jacksonville to provide with qualified assistance, whether you’re filing a claim or simply asking a question. However, this isn’t always the case. The fact remains that there are some unscrupulous insurance agents out there and getting involved with one can cost you quite a bit of money. That’s why The Balance offers the following advice, which will help you get the coverage you need.

There are no credentials to speak of

What is the best way to avoid an insurance claim denial?

Getting a large hospital bill that you were not expecting can be a financial nightmare. If your health insurance in Florida, denies your claim, it can take a long time to iron things out and get the bill paid. The better option is to avoid a denial in the first place. Consumer Reports explains there are several things you can do to prevent a claim denial from your health insurance company before you ever get treatment.

Above all, you should understand your coverage. Know what doctors you can use and what procedures the policy covers. Be aware of anything that requires preauthorization. These days, preauthorization may even be needed for certain pain medications. Knowing this ahead of time is important to avoid having to pay the bill yourself. Also, understand what to do if you need care due to a work or auto accident. Often your insurer will not cover those claims initially since they may be covered under worker's compensation or an auto insurance policy.

Water vs. flood damage

Florida homeowners know all too well the damage water can inflict on their property. Such damage often results in a claim made to the homeowner’s insurance company, from which compensation is provided to repair and replace damaged fixtures. While water damage can be covered by standard property insurance, flooding and other types of water damage require separate coverage.

To know the difference between flood and water damage, you must first understand the definition of a flood. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), flooding is defined as typically dry land being partially or totally besieged by seas, inland bodies of water, runoff surface waters, and mudslides. Floods usually fall into three categories, which includes shallow, river line, and coastal flooding.

What it means if you live in a wind pool area

Having a house on the Florida shore is a dream come true for many residents. Properties at or near the beach can command top dollar. If you are like most homeowners, you want to protect your investment by purchasing the right insurance. At Tyler & Hamilton, P.A., our team has experience representing policyholders when they are denied insurance claims.

The United States hurricane season begins June 1 and continues through the end of November. According to Insurance Market Source, most coastal states affected by high winds have a wind pool. This is government-subsidized coverage against hail and windstorm damage. However, it does not cover everything. If you have a high-value home in a wind pool area, you may want Excess Wind insurance for coverage gaps. A wind migration inspection can determine if your property qualifies for premium credits towards the policy cost.

Negative emotions over a denied insurance claim

When it comes to denied insurance claims, some people may focus on the financial effects of this issue, which can certainly have a major impact on a person's life. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that there are other reasons why denied insurance claims can be incredibly difficult, especially when an insurance company is in the wrong. For example, the emotional toll of these challenges can be overwhelming. Some people in Jacksonville and all over Florida who have had their insurance claims wrongfully denied may experience a great deal of stress over legal matters, while others may face different emotional difficulties.

Aside from legal stress, which can be especially hard for some people, some may become angry because they feel as if their insurance company has failed to live up to its promises and respect their rights. Others may become depressed and feel hopeless over the entire situation. While all of these negative emotions are understandable and can be very tough, it is crucial for you to work through them properly. For example, if you believe that your insurance claim has been wrongfully denied, you should not hesitate to take action and hold your insurance company accountable in the courtroom, if necessary.

Does my insurance protect against hurricanes?

Hurricane Florence is on the minds of many people living in Florida and surrounding areas. Along with concerns about getting you and your family to safety, you may also be wondering whether your property is protected under your current insurance policy. Allstate explains how coverage is determined when a home or other property is damaged by a hurricane.

Wind damage

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