Filing A Miami Property Damage Insurance Claim
If you’ve never filed an insurance claim for property damage on your residential or commercial policy before, it’s important for you to know that your policy will contain specific provisions about filing a claim. If you fail to file your claim correctly, you can find your claim delayed at a time when you need benefits the most, and you may even find your claim denied. Damage to your property due to fire, flood or some other disaster is a tragedy; losing out on your vital insurance benefits is another tragedy that comes at a time you can least afford it. Fortunately, this second tragedy is avoidable. Miami property damage insurance claim lawyer Juan Velasquez can help by completing the initial reporting of your claim on your behalf, so you can be sure it is done timely and correctly. Our office is further available at every step of the insurance claim process, should any issues arise. Don’t let your claim be denied, delayed or underpaid. Call Velasquez & Associates for help with any property damage insurance claim in Miami. We’re here for you with the knowledge, skill and experience needed to get you paid.
How do I file a property damage insurance claim in Miami?
The best time to find out about how to file a claim is before you need to. In the best-case scenario, these steps are explained to you at the time you purchase the insurance, or they are clearly spelled out for you in the documentation that comes with your policy. If not, take the time now to check your policy, or call your agent if you are unsure about how to file a claim.
If you are currently experiencing property damage and need to file a claim immediately, call Velasquez & Associates at 786-776-0130. We’ll talk you through important first steps, or we can take over and file your claim for you. In general, the following steps apply to filing a property damage insurance claim in Miami.
- Call the police in the event damage may have been due to theft, vandalism or some other criminal act.
- Promptly notify the insurer about the loss. Your policy may define what “promptly” is, but consider that it may be as little as three days from the incident.
- Submit “proof of loss” in the form required by the insurance policy. Don’t be surprised if they require a signed, sworn and notarized statement.
- Conduct an inventory of the damaged property.
- Mitigate the loss by taking safe and reasonable steps to prevent further damage. It is generally not advised to make any permanent repairs without first talking to your attorney.
- Comply with reasonable requests by the insurance company to inspect the property.
- Cooperate with the insurance company’s investigation, consulting with your attorney as needed.
- Keep the insurance company apprised of any changes to the condition of the property.
What is “proof of loss”?
This is a statement by you of the loss you have suffered, backed by documentation that proves the loss and the amount of damages you are requesting. Your insurance company may have its own form for you to use. It is important that this form is filled out accurately, honestly and completely, and that it be returned in a timely fashion. You may need to have itemized estimates from different companies to support the proof of loss statement, so contact the appropriate professionals as soon as possible to get this process started. The proof of loss is a very important step, and you should go over your statement with your lawyer before you submit it, so that any mistakes can be caught and corrected beforehand. Failing to timely submit proof of loss, or submitting it incorrectly, can delay your claim or cause it to be initially denied.
What is an “examination under oath”?
An examination under oath, or EUO, is exactly what it sounds like. At an EUO, an insurance company lawyer will ask you questions regarding your claim. You will first be “sworn in” by taking an oath that your answers will be truthful. The proceeding will be recorded by a court reporter. Your insurance policy, by its terms, likely requires you to submit to an EUO at the request of the insurance company, and refusing to participate could result in the denial of your claim.
You can have an attorney present with you during an EUO, but unlike a deposition taken during litigation, your lawyer won’t be making objections on the record. Regardless, it is important to have your lawyer prepare you for the EUO so you will know what to expect.
An examination under oath is not just requested as a matter of course in every claim. If the insurance company is requesting an EUO, in all likelihood this means they are preparing the ground to deny your claim. This makes it very important to speak with a lawyer beforehand, as the insurer is likely hoping to be able to use the results of the EUO against you in limiting or denying your claim.
Effective Legal Help with All the Steps in Your Miami Property Damage Insurance Claim
For sound legal advice and excellent representation and assistance with every step of your Miami property damage insurance claim, call Velasquez & Associates at 786-776-0130.