Residential and commercial insurance rates are on the rise throughout Florida. Some homeowners insurance providers have increased their rates by as much as 16 percent.
According to an article from Naples Daily News, it is not the state's hurricanes that are causing the problem. Instead, insurance companies are pointing the blame at fraudulent claims. Meanwhile, many policyholders still report difficulties getting the help they are entitled to for perfectly legitimate property damage claims.
Insurers Blame Assignment Of Benefits
Insurance companies say that they are suffering huge losses, in part due to fraudulent activity associated with "assignment of benefits." This is a practice that allows a contractor to collect money from the insurer directly, provided the claim has been assigned to them by the homeowner. Insurance companies say that claims are more expensive when they are assigned, and are more likely to lead to disputes.
But what of the property owners who do need help and instead have had their property damage claims denied, either because the insurance company has accused them of fraud or for some other reason? The article states that fraud may be committed under the guise of water damage claims related to broken water heaters, damaged pipes and other not-so-natural disasters. But certainly these can be legitimate claims too.
Tips For Policyholders With Property Damage Claims
According to the article, a spokesperson for the Office of Insurance Regulation offers a few tips for policyholders, such as making certain that all repairs are necessary, allowing the insurance company to inspect property damage before making repairs, and getting to know the ins and outs of the insurance policy.
Sometimes these are easier said than done. Insurance policies can be extremely complex, repairs might be needed quickly to prevent further damage and many property owners may not have the technical savvy to know exactly what repairs are necessary.
One step that can be taken to combat allegations of fraud and to overcome disputes with the insurance company is to get an experienced lawyer involved as soon as possible to help you understand exactly what you are entitled to under your policy.