It has come up a lot lately from insurance companies that homeowners need to go out and try the insurance companies method of repairing before they hire a lawyer or claim the repairs aren’t sufficient. Then they claim if the repairs don’t work we will be there to help you and we will take care of it at that time. Really? I couldn’t tell you how many of my clients were non-renewed by their insurance company within a year after they filed a sinkhole claim. Usually it is for some generic reason like we don’t write policies in this area anymore or your roof is too old or we found out you lied about having a poodle. The reality is that these insurance companies are not going to be there for you. They want out of town as fast as they can. And then what if you do try to repair the home the way they wanted and it doesn’t work, what happens then? You’re kidding yourself if you think they are just going to skip back out and write you a check to do more work. What we typically see is an adjuster will begrudgingly come back out, walk around for 10 minutes, go back to the office and type up a letter that says your house looks fine and it’s normal to see some additional cracks after you fix it. Then they close the file……..again. Very rarely have we seen insurance companies jump to come back and investigate the damage or cover items damaged during the repair process. Countless times we have heard “call the contractor, they should fix that for you, not our problem”. The other issue is the Statute of Limitations in Florida was shortened by Bill 408 so now homeowners only have two years to re-open a claim. As long as their repair works for two years, the insurance company is home free. Finally, if the insurance company has non-renewed you or even if they continue to insure you, they will almost certainly drop the sinkhole coverage so if you think you are going to file a new claim after that two years runs, think again. This is all another ploy and propaganda campaign from the insurance companies to make themselves look like the angels and the homeowners the bad guys. There is no good guy or bad guy in this. It’s mother nature and an insurance contract and that contract is what needs to be the focus, not the people behind it.
December 5, 2015 by Morgan Barfield