It’s been four months since Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida panhandle and things are not getting easier for homeowners. Many people have started to voice their frustrations about “lowball” settlements. In less than 30 days after the storm, more than 100 complaints had been filed against insurance companies. Many of those were related to denials.
If you are dealing with similar frustrations regarding your claim, you have several options including filing a formal complaint or seeking the help of a qualified property damage attorney. Read one to learn which is best for you.
Option One: Filing A Formal Complaint Against Your FL Insurance Company
If you are frustrated with how your Hurricane Michael insurance claim is being handled, your first thought may be to file a formal complaint. However, this is usually not your best option when seeking a resolution to your claim issue.
Unfortunately for policyholders, no one agency handles all insurance affairs for the state, like a “Department of Insurance.” Currently, that role is served by the Department of Financial Services or DFS. The DFS is made up of 13 divisions, including The Division of Consumer Services where insurance complaints are handled.
You can file your complaint online, via email or by a telephone call. If you file online, you will create an account and use an online form. If you call, you will give your information to a friendly clerk. The information you need to supply includes your insurance company name, policy number, claim number, contact information and a detailed description of your claim and dispute.
Regardless of the route you take, once DFS has your information they will contact your insurance company and ask for their position on your claim. Once the insurance company responds to the assigned clerk, your complaint file will be marked as “resolved.”
It’s important to note that DFS does not have the jurisdiction or ability to help you with your insurance claim. When your complaint is deemed resolved and your file closed by the DFS Division of Consumer Services, you will get a letter, thanking you for contacting the DFS and letting you know that your insurance company has not changed its position. The DFS will also advise that two other remedies are available, DFS mediation or consultation with a lawyer.
Option Two: Seeking Help From A Property Damage Attorney
There are times when seeking help from an attorney is obvious – like if you are going through a divorce. However, there are many other situations when seeking legal advice is not as readily apparent and property damage claims are a great example. If your Hurricane Michael insurance claim has been denied or underpaid, requesting a free consultation should be your next step.
A qualified property damage attorney knows the laws and will be able to review your insurance policy, understand what you are covered for and be able to tell you if your claim has been wrongfully denied or underpaid. Unlike filing a complaint with DFS, an attorney is ready to help with your insurance claim and can work on your behalf to get your claim fairly paid.
Get Professional Help Today
If you need a Hurricane Michael claim review, our team can help. Schedule a free consultation today and get the opportunity to discuss the specifics of your situation with one of our team members and potential options available to you for resolution.
Click here to get started or give us a call at 813-940-1500 today to learn more.