Policyholders: Gather Evidence Before You File Insurance Claims
Almost eleven months’ to the day, the V. family had a new roof to replace the one hurricane Irma damaged beyond repair.
With the replacement roof completed, the family would now be able to have the interior wall, where water from the roof leaked into their master bedroom, replaced. As the reconstruction crew opened the wall, they discovered mold. Now, the family had a new problem to deal with.
Finding new damage, they could now “reopen” the claim and file for the additional money they would need for mold remediation. Heeding professional advice, the family submitted pictures of the mold to their insurance company and retained sections of sheet rock, some with mold and some without mold, to prevent any doubt of the accuracy of their photos.
Requesting a Supplemental Payment
In our experience, most claim disputes arise when there is a dispute that cannot be resolved between the insurance company’s cost for repairs and that of the policyholder. This is often due to each side having differing expectations of ‘scope of loss’. In the case of the V. family, the insurance company agreed to the roof and interior wall damage. However, it wasn’t until the sheet rock was exposed that there was evidence of mold. They would need the additional compensation for mold remediation, which had to be done prior to the interior wall being repaired.
Gather Evidence: Take Photos AND Keep Damaged Property
You can’t always tell the full extent of the damage until the initial problem has been exposed. This is why it’s recommended that you, the policyholder, take photos (and/or video) of the initial damage as well as throughout the repair process and again, once the work has been completed. It’s also a good idea to keep portions of the damage, not only for your records, but in the event you need to file for supplemental funding, or in case there is a dispute between you and your insurer over the scope of loss or the cost for repairs or replacement.
The information provided here is intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal advice.
About Desir Law Firm
Attorney Leonard Desir is the founder of Desir Law Firm, a boutique insurance law office representing only insurance policyholders. We work with homeowners, renters, homeowner associations (HOAs), condominium associations, small and mid-sized businesses, and commercial property investors throughout the State of Florida.
When damage happens to your home or business, you have enough to worry about without having to worry about whether your insurance company will act in your best interests. Learn how Desir Law Firm can help you with your insurance damage claim. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.