First-party Property Claims – Sewers

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In Florida, many insurance companies will deny your claim for certain sewer damage causes. By having the right Florida attorney on your side to protect your rights as a policyholder can, in many cases, improve your chances of a successful sewer damage claim.

What is a First Party Insurance Claim?

A first-party homeowner’s insurance claim is when you, as the insured, suffers a loss. To put it simply, if you are the owner of the Florida homeowner’s insurance policy, and your insurance policy is supposed to protect you against losses to your Florida property, then any claim you file on your insured property is considered a first-party claim.

Can You Handle Claims for Sewer Backups and Broken Sewer Lines in Florida? 

 We all know that Florida sewer problems are disgusting but also can pose a serious risk to you and your family’s health. 

Wastewater can carry a serious amount of bacteria and can be expensive and difficult to clean up. Additionally, if your home is in a historic district or in an area that receives a large amount of rain and/or flooding, you have a higher risk of sewer backups. 

Many people in Florida experience:

  • Sewer backups on a regular basis
  • Potentially severe property damage
  • Reduced property values

The Florida insurance claim lawyers at Stevenson Klotz regularly assist our clients with a variety of homeowner insurance claims, including sewer damage.

Sewer Coverage and Claims in Florida

The most efficient way to make sure you are covered for sewer damage in Florida is to plan ahead. Most standard Florida homeowner’s insurance policies specifically do not cover sewer damage. 

You must purchase a Florida homeowner’s insurance rider should be for the following: 

  1. Repairing broken sewer lines
  2. Cleaning up sewer backups

It would be prudent for Florida homeowners to purchase these riders to ensure you have the necessary coverage should you experience sewer damage.

How do I file a First Party Claim in Florida?

The first step is to report your sewer damage claim to your Florida homeowner’s company. When you choose to file a claim, you should have the exact cause of your sewer damage as well as the full amount of damage.

Your Florida homeowner’s insurance company may deny your claim for specific sewer damage causes. By having the right Florida insurance claim attorney by your side, you have a better chance of your claim being accepted. 

How Can I Dispute a First Party Sewer Damage Claim in Florida?

If you have a first-party claim in Florida and your insurance company refuses to pay your claim, there a few ways to dispute your claim.

The first thing to try is working directly with your Florida homeowner’s insurance company to negotiate a payout on your claim. The goal is to get the insurance company to agree to pay the amount your policy says it owes you.

It is advisable to have a Florida insurance claim attorney represent you during this process because the language in your Florida homeowner’s insurance policy can be complex, and your insurance company may act in bad faith. 

If the above suggestion fails to work, you can take your Florida homeowner’s insurance company to court. There are two legal theories available in which to do this:

  1. Breach of Contract: Because your Florida insurance company sold you the policy if they don’t live up to the terms of their agreement with you, a Florida court can compel them to do so.
  2. Florida’s Bad Faith Insurance Statute: If your homeowner’s insurance company misleads you in any way, intentionally delays paying your valid claim or doesn’t provide you with information that explains the policy basis for the payout, then you can sue them under this statute.

If you or a loved one is involved in an insurance dispute, you need expert Florida legal advice. The insurance claim attorneys at the Florida law firm of Stevenson Klotz has the knowledge and experience to help you successfully litigate your claim.

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