Incredible Insurance Claim Stories

Proeprty Claim Law
New house destroyed by fire

Insurance claims stories seems to make news headlines nearly everyday, which is no surprise, as 1 in 15 homeowners make a claim each year, according the Huffington Post. Given the many potential disasters that come with homeownership there is a high chance all of us will be reaching out to our insurance provider at one point or another to make use of the insurance we pay for.

While there are certainly stories of simple claims processes, the anecdotes below show there may not be such thing as a standard insurance claims. Some of these stories highlight fraud; others show instances where homeowners were required to pay out of pocket for disasters and faulty appliances. As you’ll see, most of these stories took quite a negotiation to get claims paid and others were unable to collect payment from their provider.

  • After a fire, a homeowner threw out a charred designer purse. Noticing the purse, the claims adjuster opened it up to find $400,000 of precious jewels and jewelry inside – saving the homeowner another catastrophic loss.
  • A homeowner was hiding cash in her bookshelf and claimed it was stolen. Fortunately, she was covered and able to recover most of the money, but if a house fire had destroyed the money, she would be out of luck as this instance was not on her policy.
  • A house was completely burnt down, but the homeowner’s claim was denied because she owned a dog on her insurance company’s prohibited dog breeds list, even though the dog had nothing to do with the fire.
  • A homeowner was denied, by their insurance company, after filing a claim for damage from their broken refrigerator. The claim was originally denied because the home was ‘customarily unoccupied,” although the insurance company is now reevaluating this decision.
  • In an attempt to cash in on his property and automobile a homeowner lit them both on fire. He did not receive money, but did receive five years in federal prison for insurance fraud.
  • An electric cooker, used by children, caused a kitchen fire, which was reported to the insurance company.
  • An insurance company denied a claim for damage, from excess steam, caused by a malfunctioning washing machine. After taking legal action and pointing out to the judge, steam is a form of water, the homeowner won the case.
  • A homeowner’s wine collection was damaged due to sewer backup, which exposed the wine to heat. The homeowner was able to win the claim, but not before a challenging battle.
  • While a family was away on vacation, their home had a kitchen fire causing nearly $16,000 in damage. Upon arriving home, they were shocked to discover they were not covered, by their policy, for insurance fire.
  • In another odd instance, a goose swallowed a homeowner’s diamond ring and the insurance company refused to cover it.
  • Another homeowner had a toilet flood causing damage to his home, Even though this was immediately reported to the insurance company, they avoided his calls, did not pay out the claim and even became hostile causing an already stressful situation to become even worse.

To ensure you are covered and receiving the appropriate compensation from your homeowner’s claim please call the Mineo Salcedo Law Firm at 954-463-8100.

EF-1 tornado touched down in Coconut Creek

Property Claim Law

EF-1 tornado touched down in Coconut Creek

Property Claim LawIt is believed a tornado touched down in several areas throughout Broward County January 27, 2016, causing significant damage. While each of the touchdowns lasted only 10 or 15 seconds, it was plenty of time to cause several car accidents, tear off roofs, overturn vehicles and cause injuries to people in the area.

The first of the three touchdowns came on Broward College’s North Campus where students heard loud banging and severe rain around 9:30 am. Fortunately, there were no injuries reported at the college, as class was in session and students were safely indoors. In response, the college followed emergency protocol, alerting students and canceling daytime classes to allow for clean up.

On the turnpike, near Sample Road, there were several car accidents and a semi trucks that were flipped over due to the nearly 100 miles per hour winds. The tornado also made its way through Pompano Beach where it caused significant structural damage to at least one industrial building and left some residents fearing for their lives.

The third and final touchdown lasted no more than 15 seconds, but still ripped shingles from the roof of the Wyndmoor Retirement Community and uprooted tress before dissipating. The American Red Cross has been dispatched and is helping residents of the community.

During tornados and other severe weather, it is recommended, to stay inside and near an internal room to avoid and debris that may be flying due to the heavy winds.

If you think your property sustained any sort of storm damage, contact The Mineo Salcedo Law Firm for a consultation.  Call (954) 463-8100.



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.).

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.