- 25 Sep
Insurance Companies Reportedly Misguiding Clients on Outside Advice in Wake of Hurricane
Following the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, attorneys are reporting that certain insurance companies are advising homeowners against seeking the opinion of public adjusters, an action currently forbidden under state law. Policyholders are saying that insurance companies are making claims that hiring outside attorneys or public adjusters will delay the insurance claim, and that outside input will only lead to higher costs in the end.
In Florida, state laws restrict insurance adjusters from advising against seeking the advice of attorneys or a public adjuster. Generally, a public adjuster is advocating for the policyholder when determining the amount of a specific claim, while an adjuster working with an insurance company or an independent adjuster is representing the side of the insurer. Insurance agents might seek to keep their clients from obtaining outside information because many insurance companies offer bonuses for lower policy premiums and loss ratios.
A reason a policyholder may want to seek the guidance of an outside attorney or public adjuster before filing a claim with their insurance company is so that the policyholder can determine whether the damage will exceed their deductible. As well, having a certain number of claims within a few years may prevent an individual from getting insurance from some major carriers.
While specifically advising against obtaining an outside attorney or public adjuster is against state law, many insurance companies try to have policyholders quickly file a claim following a known disaster or issue. This is in part because policyholders may have certain rights that they are not aware of, which could change the extent paid in a claim. Attorneys suggest anyone thinking of filing a claim with their insurance company to seek the advice of an attorney or a public adjuster in order to be sure of their complete rights and to obtain an accurate estimate of damages involved in the eventual claim.
If you are unable to get in touch with your insurance company or wish to gain more information about your particular issue, get in contact with the lawyers at the Lamchick Law Group, P.A., serving Florida with offices in Miami-Dade County.
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