Complimentary Claim Review

If your property has been damaged, please complete this brief form.  This will give us an idea as to your specific situation when we speak with you.  If you’d rather not fill in the form but would still like to let us know about your damage so that we can help you get a full, fair settlement, you can call us at (954) 463-8100.

Three things to consider for a Claim Review:

  1. Even if you are unsure of whether or not your damage would be worthy of filing, you should submit your information to us.  Often times damage that goes unrepaired turns into a bigger problem later.
  2. After a storm, you may have damage that is not visible to the untrained eye.  If you are in an area where properties around you have sustained damage, there’s a good chance that your property also has damage.  Fill in the form, let us know about it and one of our adjusters will be able to advise you as to the best way to proceed.

Once you submit your information, one of our associates will contact you to follow up. We look forward to assisting you with your claim.

Florida Appellate Court Affirms Holding that Arson Constitutes Vandalism

Arson Constitutes Vandalism

An incendiary fire destroyed a home that had been vacant for more than thirty days. The carrier denied the claim under the policy’s vacancy exclusion that excluded damage caused by vandalism and malicious mischief. The policyholder argued that while one could argue that arson constitutes vandalism, since vacancy was not defined by the policy, the exclusion should be considered ambiguous. The 5th District Court of Appeals in Florida disagreed and affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the plain meaning of vandalism included intentionally set fires. Botee v. Southern Fidelity (Feb. 6, 2015, Fla. 5th Dist.).

House bill aims to curb contractor abuses by barring attorneys fees

Attorneys would not be able to collect fees if they sued insurance companies on behalf of a repair contractor or other third party to an insurance contract, if a proposed state law filed this week is enacted.

State Rep. John Tobia, R-Melbourne Beach, filed the bill Monday, minutes after insurance industry spokesmen asked lawmakers to help curb contractor abuses and increases in lawsuits and repair bills for water damages.

The insurers blame the increase on the ability of home insurance policyholders to sign over their claims benefits to repair contractors.

At a House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee workshop in Tallahassee on Monday, insurance industry spokesmen said attorneys are coaching water damage repair contractors to persuade policyholders to sign over benefits, then inflating invoices and suing. Contractors say they sue when insurers deny payment or pay less than the invoice amounts.

Insurers called for banning or restricting policyholders’ ability to assign their claims benefits.
Continue reading

Tips for Filing a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim

homeowners insurance claim Citizens

homeowner's insurance tipsMost Florida homeowners have an insurance policy to protect their home against water damage, storm damage, vandalism, theft and fire. When a loss occurs, your insurance policy should allow you to return your property to its pre-loss condition. Yet, countless homeowners experience a feeling of helplessness when their claim is denied or underpaid by the insurance company. This article addresses a few important points that you should know about a typical Florida Homeowner’s insurance policy and will hopefully increase your awareness of your rights and the steps to take in the event of a loss.

1. Understand your insurance policy.
All homeowners in Florida should read and attempt to understand their policy. If you have a question about what is covered or not covered, speak to your insurance agent or an experienced property insurance attorney to obtain a detailed explanation. A typical Florida Homeowner’s insurance policy will pay for damage to your property and possessions after a loss. A loss can be a storm such as a hurricane, tornado, fire, plumbing or roof leak, theft, or act of vandalism. The insurance policy should also cover your out of pocket expenses if the loss is significant enough to displace you from your home.

Most Florida Homeowner’s insurance policies do not include coverage for damages caused by power failure, faulty zoning, earth movement, defective maintenance, bad workmanship and flooding. Also, with respect to plumbing leaks, most policies exclude damage caused by any leaks that have been ongoing for an extended period of time, or damage caused by “constant or repeated seepage or leakage.” Your insurance company may rely on its interpretation of the policy to wrongfully deny your claim.

2. File your claim immediately
A Florida Homeowners’ insurance policy lists the duties you have to comply with in order to have a right to coverage. One such duty that exists in every insurance policy is the duty to timely report your claim to the insurance company. The window to report a claim can be as short as only a few days. Additionally, by not immediately reporting your claim, you might be allowing the conditions of the property to worsen over time, which could result in the insurance company denying your claim for failure to mitigate damages. Keep in mind that you, as the insured, are entitled to challenge the insurance company’s denial and it is the insurance company’s burden to show why a claim is not covered.

3. Document everything
Another important duty that is included in a Florida Homeowner’s insurance policy, is the Homeowner’s obligation to provide the insurance company with documentation of their loss. This includes providing any receipts, police reports, photographs or videos in your possession. To avoid a denial based upon lack of cooperation by the insurance company, you should keep copies of everything.

If you have any questions concerning your Homeowners’ insurance policy, or think you may have a property claim, call The Property Claim Lawyers of The Mineo Salcedo Law Firm. One of our attorneys will be happy to review your insurance policy and conduct a free inspection of your home.

Personal Injury & General Civil Litigation

Although our practice primarily focuses on property insurance claims, our attorneys have a wide array of litigation experience and backgrounds.

Our firm has handled personal injury and auto negligence cases, wrongful death cases, products liability cases, medical malpractice, corporate and partnership disputes, as well as family law and criminal cases and many others.

For any legal need you might have, please contact us for your free consultation so that our firm can assist you.

Schedule Your Consultation. Call Today:  954-463-8100

[maxbutton id=”1″]

HOA Insurance Claims

Association Insurance Claims

When a disaster strikes a community, who is responsible for repairing what can be a tricky road to negotiate.

Portions of damage to common areas of property in housing developments, townhome communities, and condominiums may be covered under an insurance policy maintained by the homeowners or condominium association.  Other areas and contents will most likely be covered under insurance policies maintained by the individual homeowner.  When these insurers pass the buck between one another, or wrongfully deny or underpay claims, this can pit neighbor against neighbor in a struggle between associations, homeowners and the insurance companies.

This does not have to be the case.

If your community has suffered damage, our team of experienced attorneys can help both associations and homeowners work together to navigate these waters and ensure that your community is fully repaired by any and all responsible insurance companies.

Please contact us so that we may assist you with your denied or underpaid claim, or by representing you from the onset with your new insurance claim.

Schedule Your Consultation. Call Today:  954-463-8100


[maxbutton id=”1″]