Why You Should Avoid Accepting An Initial Offer In Your Property Damage Claim
As a homeowner, you pay high premiums for property damage insurance to ensure you are covered when unexpected events happen. When it comes time to file a property damage claim in Daytona Beach, you may be relieved to get an immediate settlement offer. Unfortunately, this amount is likely to be less than what you are entitled to and once you accept, you forfeit rights to any future claims. The following explains why you should avoid an initial settlement offer without talking to our property damage claims attorney first.
Insurance Company Practices and The Problem With Immediate Settlements
Property damage insurance can prevent you from having to pay out of pocket for damages you suffer due to fire, theft, wind, hail, or other storms. However, when dealing with insurance companies it is important to recognize that they are for-profit businesses. As such, they have a financial incentive to delay, downplay, and outright deny your claim. Tactics they often employ include:
- Disputing the terms of your policy;
- Claiming you failed to follow proper guidelines in submitting your claim;
- Downplaying the amount of damages you suffered;
- Downplaying total recovery costs.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average Floridian pays the second-highest insurance rates in the country and typically covers their home for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, when it comes time to file a claim, the average payout is just over $10,000. In addition to delaying, downplaying, and denying claims, another common tactic is to make an immediate settlement offer but this amount offered is likely to be far less than what you deserve.
Issues To Consider Before Accepting An Immediate Settlement
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau advises that there are numerous factors that go into how long you have to wait for a property damage claims settlement. While an insurance company adjuster may be sent out immediately and have the authorization to settle your claim, other issues that need to be considered include:
- The full extent of damages: While some damages are immediately obvious, it can take long weeks or months to determine how wind, hail, fire, or water damage impacts other property in and around your home.
- The amount needed to cover repairs: An immediate settlement is based on estimates of repairs. As any homeowner knows, glitches are common during the repair process and can cause total costs to skyrocket.
- Other costs involved: It takes time to adequately gauge other costs you are likely to incur, which may include business operation losses if you work from home or living arrangements if you need to stay elsewhere at any time during repairs.
Contact Us Today for Help
Before accepting a property damage settlement that is likely far less than what you deserve, discuss your options with Bundza & Rodriguez first. To request a consultation with our Daytona Beach residential & commercial property damage attorneys, give us a call or contact our office online today.