Many Florida residents were impacted by Hurricane Irma, prompting homeowners to file claims against their insurance companies. The top 20 insurers in Florida were served with nearly 11,000 lawsuits in during the first quarter of 2018. This represents a 61.5 percent increase over the number of claims filed during the previous year. This increase could cause insurance costs to rise next year when homeowners apply to renew their insurance contracts.
One company reported that approximately 58 percent of new claims were related to damage caused by Hurricane Irma. Many of the claims filed challenged the scope of damage assessed by the insurance company, asserting that the amount of money paid was not adequate to restore properties to their previous conditions. Other claims challenged insurers' denial of responsibility for payment of claims.
Some homeowners in the area are still waiting to receive their insurance payouts. Some experts believe that this is an issue of concern because a new hurricane season is quickly approaching.
Homeowners who have received notice of an insurance claim denial may have a legal claim against their carrier. Insurance carriers are obligated to abide by the terms and conditions of contracts they have executed with insured parties as well as applicable state law. An attorney may be able to file a lawsuit to enforce the terms of the parties' contract when a homeowner believes that they have not been fairly compensated by their insurance company.
Homeowners who have been affected by hurricane damage claims denial may wish to consult an attorney regarding their legal rights during the claims process. Many homeowners want to start repairs right away, but insurance companies may require an assessment before the repairs are to begin. An attorney may be able to assist homeowners by analyzing important legal documents and advising homeowners about how to file a claim with their insurance company.