Here in Florida, all of us face the very real possibility that a severe weather event may destroy, or at least significantly damage, our homes. If you are a homeowner in Florida, you understand that maintaining a strong grasp on your homeowner's insurance policy is extremely important, because it may be the thing that sets your life back in order after a weather disaster.
If your home sustains significant damage during a storm or some other weather event, then it is wise to file a claim to your insurer as soon as you can, but don't wait on the insurance company to begin repairing your home. Insurance companies may use many different tactics to avoid paying an insurance claim in full, including stalling the process to increase pressure on a homeowner to accept less than they deserve.
The repairs you need when you need them
Your home is not just a building that may sustain serious damage, it is your home. You are far more motivated to see repairs completed in a timely manner than your insurance provider, and should not needlessly wait on its timetable. It is usually best to have the repairs completed as quickly as possible and then have the insurer compensate the party that performs the repair after it processes the claim.
This does not mean that you can simply hire anyone you want to repair your home and expect all the expenses paid by your insurer. Your policy contains many specific provisions that determine what your coverage does and does not address, and your insurer looks for ways to disqualify your claim any way it can.
Before you hire someone to come do a repair, it is wise to make sure that you understand these guidelines and limitations. However, staying within your policy's guidelines is not always simple, and your insurer may bend the truth to keep itself from paying out a claim. While this does not happen in every case, it is certainly something to watch out for.
Protect your rights and your home
If your insurer denies your claim, this is not the end of the road. You may have many opportunities to appeal the denial to bring a lawsuit against the insurer. Take great care to use strong legal tools and guidance to build any action against your insurer, to keep yourself and your priorities secure as you put your home back together and get back to normal pace of living.