Orlando First-Party Insurance Claims Lawyers

Do You Need Legal Help?

    Orlando First-Party Insurance Claims Lawyers

    Do You Need Legal Help?

      Orlando First-Party Insurance Claims Lawyers

      Serving Clients in Orlando, Pinellas Park and Central Florida

      Homeowners insurance is one of those necessary protections we need in life that we pay for and hope we never use. Damage to your home is hard enough to deal with physically, financially, and emotionally. When you are unfairly denied coverage for this damage by the insurance company you trusted, you deserve justice.

      If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been denied a claim on your homeowners insurance. You may not even know why. You’re probably frustrated and angry. You may have missed work trying to deal with the problem, causing financial strain. You are probably stressed looking for someone to help with a first-party insurance claim.

      Do You Need Legal Help?

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        Homeowners insurance is one of those necessary protections we need in life that we pay for and hope we never use. Damage to your home is hard enough to deal with physically, financially, and emotionally. When you are unfairly denied coverage for this damage by the insurance company you trusted, you deserve justice.

        If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been denied a claim on your homeowners insurance. You may not even know why. You’re probably frustrated and angry. You may have missed work trying to deal with the problem, causing financial strain. You are probably stressed looking for someone to help with a first-party insurance claim.

        We are here to help. We offer free legal advice. Call our Orlando first-party insurance claim lawyers today.

        Don’t worry about having money upfront to get answers to your claim questions. Just give us a call to schedule your free legal consultation as soon as possible.

        The information below will give you an overview of first-party insurance claims. We’ll begin with showing you common mistakes we see people make in their first-party insurance claims in Orlando. Next, we’ll use a client story to relate additional information you should be aware of. Make sure you read this to the end to get the most out of it.

        Common First-Party Insurance Claim Mistakes

        There are many missteps you can make that can damage the value of your first-party insurance claim. Be sure to check out each of the mistakes described below to ensure you don’t make the same ones.

        Not Getting the Coverage You Need

        Insurance is not the most interesting topic to many people. It is, however, necessary to slow down when purchasing a policy to make sure you get the coverage you need and understand how it works.

        To do this, you must understand the distinctions between different types of insurance. This requires asking questions until you are sure you know what you’re buying. For instance, does your coverage pay to actually replace damaged possessions, or just pay you what the now-used item was worth if appraised right before it was damaged?

        For example, computers, printers, and other office equipment lose value over time. Getting paid 40% of what your computer will cost to replace it is not going to help you restore your home office after a fire.

        It’s important to ask whether your policy covers things like wind damage (possibly not) and flooding (probably not). Coverage for these types of catastrophes may require a separate policy.

        Not Taking Care of Your Property

        It’s a mistake to confuse homeowners insurance coverage with routine home maintenance responsibilities. If you let your deck go untended over the years and the boards rot, you probably won’t be able to file a claim successfully to replace your deck. If a tree falls and destroys your deck, however, you’re probably covered.

        This goes back to really understanding what’s covered and under what circumstances. If you aren’t sure, ask your insurance company. If you think you know, it’s not a bad idea to run it by your agent and ask them if your understanding is correct.

        Being Late with Policy Payments

        This one probably goes without saying, but make sure you are up-to-date with your payments to ensure continuous coverage. You can prioritize these payments by setting up auto-pay from your bank. If you aren’t comfortable with auto-pay, it’s a good idea to set reminders to pay the bill before your policy lapses. 

        Poor record keeping

        Be sure to stay organized. Know where a copy of your policy is kept in your home. It’s also a good idea to have your policy payment records saved, too, just in case.  In addition, keep a detailed record of the date, time, and specifics of the accident for which you are filing a claim.

        You’ll need as much documentation as possible to help prove your losses, such as estimates to have the damage repaired and receipts for any repairs you’ve had done at the time of filing.

        Documentation should include photos of the damage as soon after the event as possible. Providing photos of the undamaged space or item before the event for comparison is even more helpful.

        Make sure that your description of the damage is very clear and understandable. Failing to communicate clearly or to provide necessary documentation in your claim can lead to delays and claim denials.

        Waiting to file Your Claim

         There is no benefit to procrastinating on filing a claim when you’ve had damage to your home. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to document the damage clearly on a timeline.

        Don’t Be So Speedy with Your Clean Up

        Don’t clean up the damage before taking photos and getting proof, such as repair estimates. Remember that successful claims require clear documentation.

        Not Hiring a Lawyer

        Experiencing property damage big enough to file a homeowners insurance claim can be scary and is definitely stressful. When the insurance company you trusted to take care of you when disaster strikes denies you claim, it’s understandable to become angry in addition to being stressed.

        Taking on the process of suing the insurance company by yourself in this state of mind is a difficult and overwhelming challenge.

        Insurance law is complicated. The amount of proof required to successfully sue an insurance company can be daunting. You can expect to face a pile of paperwork and filing deadlines.

        Don’t take this on alone. Our Orlando first-party insurance claim lawyers have extensive knowledge in insurance law. We’ve helped many people going through battles similar to yours, and we want to help you. Call us for free legal advice.

        Hiring the Wrong Lawyer

         When choosing a lawyer to handle your first-party insurance claim, it’s important to remember that, like doctors, lawyers have specializations. When you need a doctor, you typically look for a doctor who specializes in the type of medical care you need. Be sure to seek out your lawyer the same way. Someone who doesn’t regularly handle insurance law is not your best bet.

        Taking it a step further, make sure you find a trial attorney with a winning record. If your claim doesn’t get resolved in a settlement, you need to know your lawyer has a good chance of winning at trial.

        Our first-party insurance claim attorneys have in-depth knowledge in insurance law, and a long and successful trial record. Give us a call to discuss your specific case in a free consultation.

        Orlando First-Party Insurance Claims Client Story

        The story that follows will give you more information about your first-party insurance claim. Names and details have been edited to protect client privacy, but the value of the information remains. Be sure to read it to the end. Then please give us a call to talk about your specific claim in a free consultation.

        On a rainy August evening in Orlando not too long ago, Charlotte and Bob Gordon cleared away dinner plates, loading the dishwasher and watching the storm build outside.

        “Wind’s really picking up,” Charlotte murmured, as the palm outside the window suddenly thrashed. She jumped back from the glass, bumping into Bob, who nearly dropped a plate.

        Bob put his hand on his wife’s shoulder. “It’s okay, Babe, if this were going to turn into anything serious—”

        The blare of the severe weather alert on both their phones made them both jump. They laughed nervously and read Bob’s screen. “Severe thunderstorm moving in,” he read aloud, even though Charlotte was reading along with him. “Nickel-sized hail, wind gusts to 70 miles per hour.”

        Wind speed increased as the couple left the kitchen to tuck their son and daughter into bed upstairs. The power went out as they got to the landing, plunging the house into darkness. Miles and Emily screamed.

        It was a long night, but Charlotte and Bob did their best to make it an adventure, declaring it time for “Tent World!” They strung blankets in Bob’s office and covered the floor with an inflatable mattress and pillows of every shape and size.

        Bob’s office was in the middle of the first floor, with walls lined with books instead of windows. With battery-powered camping lanterns blazing, they told stories and ate boxed rice krispie treats, washing them down with bottled water.

        Sleep was hard to come by and fitful at best. The wind was the worst, an angry banshee howling furiously down the streets. Charlotte and Bob reassured the children they were safe and read them stories until they finally slept.

        The next morning, the couple emerged from the den to assess any damage. Everything looked okay from the inside until they reached the upstairs bathroom and saw sky instead of the ceiling.

        “Good thing we’ve got homeowners insurance,” said Bob, as his wife struggled to remain calm.

        “How fast do you think they’ll respond?” Charlotte replied, watching the clouds pass over. Thankfully, the storm seemed to have cleared the area and were parting to reveal a clear blue.

        Six weeks later, Bob came home to find his wife on the phone. Pacing the living room, Charlotte wildly waved a paper in the air, trying once again to remain calm.

        “No, no, ma’am. I’m sorry, what deadline? How could we miss the deadline for filing an appeal on a claim we didn’t know you denied until this afternoon?” Charlotte reached the end of the rug and spun the other way. Seeing Bob, she rolled her eyes before closing them tightly in frustration.

         “That’s not correct. I submitted that application twice! Your website froze up when we tried to submit the application online, so I printed it and filled it out on paper, just in case… You’re right—I didn’t send the second application certified mail; I hand delivered it! …No ma’am I’m not yelling at you, it’s just that— no, please don’t transfer me again, wait! Hello? HELLO!”

        A howl of frustration escaped Charlotte’s lips as she dropped onto the couch with her head in her hands. She passed the insurance letter to her husband as he silently sat next to her.

        “Okay, time to call in the cavalry,” Bob sighed, dialing our number. He made an appointment for a free legal consultation to discuss a potential first-party insurance claim. He said there were three things they needed to find out in the consultation: how much it would cost to hire us, whether they had a realistic shot at suing the insurance company, and if they had a chance to recover the full amount of compensation for the damage to the bathroom ceiling.

        How much does it cost to hire a lawyer for my first-party insurance claim?

        Bob and Charlotte took a seat in our offices the next morning. “Before we tell you the ‘Skylight Saga,’ as it’s come to be known at home, I need to ask how much hiring you will cost. Sorry to be abrupt, but we ended up paying for the repairs ourselves in hopes of getting reimbursed. Money’s pretty tight.”

        “It’s a completely understandable and reasonable question. We don’t charge anything upfront. Our firm works these cases on a contingency model, so we only get paid when we bring your claim to a successful resolution.”

        There was an audible sigh of relief from both of them. “Okay, great, thanks. Honey, you did all the paper-chasing on this, why don’t you explain what happened?” Bob asked, turning to Charlotte.

        Do we have a case against the insurance company?

         Charlotte said she immediately filed a homeowners claim after the roof damage. When the insurance website froze up on her, wasting over an hour of her time on the claim application, Charlotte printed it out and walked it into the office herself.

        When she called to follow up three weeks later, though, she was told the insurance office was still “digging out” from under all of the claims filed from the storm. They told her to wait at least another ten days before calling back.

        The letter they received six weeks later stated that the insurance company was closing out their claim because the deadline for appealing their decline of benefits had passed.

        When Charlotte called about the letter, she’d been transferred three times and spent 20 minutes on hold before the ‘customer service’ rep told her curtly that she should have sent the application in via certified mail.

        When challenged, the rep “transferred” Charlotte into dead air. She’d been disconnected.

        “Can you believe it?” Bob said, exasperated. “We never got the first notice declining coverage— not that they had any grounds to decline the claim in the first place!”

        “Unfortunately, I can believe it,” our lawyer said. “It’s sad that some of these companies who claim to exist to help people through disaster actually prey on those same people. When it comes to saving money, dishonest insurance companies have all kinds of maneuvers.

        “There are four main ways that insurance companies commit breach of contract— meaning offenses for which they can be sued. These include not responding to claims within an acceptable period of time, underpaying or declining claims that should be covered, failing to properly investigate claims, and misleading customers about their policies.

        “On the face of it, it looks like your insurance company is guilty of at least two of these infractions. They’ve also engaged in some of the telltale behaviors characteristic of bad faith, such as stalling, not sending you a letter of rejection, and not providing information on the appeals process before closing out your claim. But let me ask you some questions, for additional clarity.

        “Do you have all of your records showing the terms of your policy and when it took effect?”

        The couple nodded “yes” in unison.

        “Have you kept all of your payments current?” Another affirmative nod.

        “Did you read and thoroughly understand your policy when you signed it?” Again, the couple said they did.

        “Did you submit all the requested documentation of proof with your claim application, including photos of the damage?”

        “We did. We also get that email service from the post office that tells you what’s arriving in the actual mailbox each day. The email showing that one claim closure letter was the first email notice we received about getting anything from the insurance company since we filed our claim.”

        “It sounds as if you two have played by the rules and been diligent about your record keeping, and you have the right to challenge them with a lawsuit for breach of contract.”

        If we sue the insurance company, what chance do we have of getting full compensation according to the terms of our insurance policy?

        The Gordons were encouraged by what they were hearing. Sliding forward in her chair, Charlotte asked, “Do you think we have a chance at being fully reimbursed for our expenses for repairing the bathroom ceiling?”

        “Yes, if a legitimate claim was denied, you not only have a chance to get economic damages for benefits you didn’t receive, but you may also be entitled to two additional forms of damages.

        “One form is non-economic, for the emotional strain you’ve been put through. The other is punitive. It’s a big deal when insurance companies play games with their customers, and there are punitive damages intended to punish such behavior to discourage it from being repeated.

        “Most insurance companies that act in bad faith count on their clients not being aware of their rights. You were smart to contact us as soon as you were aware of the problem. Our trial attorneys are experienced handling first-party insurance claims. Not only do the insurance companies know who we are, but they sometimes arrive at quite favorable settlements just to avoid going in front of a jury against us.

        “That’s why we always recommend you choose an attorney who’s not only experienced in the area of law you need help in, but also at trial.”

        Bob and Charlotte were relieved at the answers they got in our meeting and retained us that day. Today, we are happy to say that the couple was awarded seven times the amount the insurance company initially offered, including punitive damages.

        Call Our Orlando First-Party Insurance Claims Lawyers Today

        We hope this page has given you a thorough overview of first-party insurance claims. Please keep in mind that every case is unique. We invite you to call us to talk about your specific claim in a free legal consultation. Don’t try to navigate the complex world of insurance law by yourself. Call today and let us stand up for your rights.

        Client Reviews


        “In October 2015, My husband was a passenger in a horrible car accident and was hospitalized for two months. After being in ICU for a little over a month , I reached out to Mr. Corzo and He met me in the hospital a day after. Since my husband was still unconscious and in ICU I decided to hire Mr.Corzo for Davids personal injury and workers compensation case. From the moment I met Mr.Corzo he was very emphatic and attentive to all my questions and concerns. Anytime I would email him with a question he would get back to me right away. I would even email/text his paralegal Denise after hours if I had any questions and she would get back to me within a hour. Mr. Corzo made sure he fully explained and went over everything with us before we made any decisions. Mr. Corzo went out of his way to make sure David was taken care of. After my husband was released from the hospital, Mr. Corzo called and checked up on David and made sure he was getting the care he needed. I truly believe Mr. Corzo went above and beyond for my husband in winning both cases. We are extremely blessed with the outcome and would highly recommend him to anyone that may need a lawyer. Due to my husbands injuries we will need to apply for disability, Mr.Corzo offered to help us fill out the paper work and make sure everything is done correctly. We can’t THANK him enough for all that he has done for our family. #Thankful”– David and Jennifer Alvarez

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