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Consumer Advocate Shows Difficulty of Filing Insurance Claims in Florida

Hurricane season is always tough in Palm Beach County, but homeowners may face an even greater challenge when dealing with insurance companies after damage sustained to their property.

Across Florida, insurers have denied thousands of claims for a variety of reasons, many of them technical. According to a recent article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, homeowners across the state have often been required to fill out complex paperwork in a hurry, with claims adjusters then unfairly going through these documents with a fine-toothed comb for any inaccuracies or missed details. Others have seen their policies promptly canceled after insurance agencies determined that previous credit data or other information wasn’t cited correctly.

Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Robin Westcott has put together a work group made up of attorneys, advocates, insurance agents and public adjusters to help address this problem. The group aims to develop legislative changes to even the playing field for individuals and families attempting to get the compensation they deserve after home or building damage due to everyday events, such as plumbing problems, roof leaks, vandalism or natural disasters.

Westcott’s work group will focus on a wide range of issues, including how insurers adjust and investigate claims, how they determine material misrepresentation on applications, the process for assigning claims and how insurance companies determine the non-renewal of policies. These are all matters that have burned homeowners throughout Florida—including locally in Delray Beach and West Palm Beach—many times in the past.

While this work group effort might make things a little better, progress will likely be slowed due to the sheer power of the insurance industry in Florida. As the Sun-Sentinel article states, insurance companies are major political donors, including more than $1 million to the governor’s 2010 campaign. To be sure, these companies have a much greater voice in Tallahassee than the average homeowner in West Palm Beach or Boca Raton.  

These very serious issues are all the more reason to work with a public adjuster for home damage claims. While many insurance claims adjusters are helpful when working with insured homeowners, the fact remains that they work for an entity—the insurance company—that has a goal to pay the least amount of money possible for claims. Their business model depends on it. Thus, insurance adjusters are not completely on your side.

A public adjuster, on the other hand, works for you. These professionals have no ulterior motives, and therefore can focus solely on getting you the most amount of money possible for your claim. Public adjusters know the insurance industry inside and out, including key legal considerations, which means you give yourself the best chance possible at a successful claim.

Public adjusters have come to the rescue for homeowners across Palm Beach County and the entire state of Florida, reducing the likelihood that technical errors or miscalculations impact their claims. If you have a home or building damage claim and are weary about working with your insurance company, we encourage you to explore the possibility of working with a public adjuster.

Advocate Claims serves home and business owners throughout south Florida, including Delray Beach, Riviera Beach, Juno Beach, Wellington, Boynton Beach and Lantana. To learn more, call 1-888-443-4403 or contact us online.

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