Did You Get a Check from the Insurance Company? Read This Before Cashing It
Under the Florida Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights, property insurance companies have a legal duty to pay policyholders for the full value of their covered damages without any undue delay. In the event that an insurer fails to live up to this duty, they could face a bad faith insurance practices claim. Unfortunately, with the laws in place, many insurance companies still try to send policyholders settlement checks that are worth substantially less than the fair value of the claim. If you have received an insurance check, the urge to simply cash it and move on with your life can be overwhelming. Still, you need to be patient. You owe it to yourself and to your family to recover a full and fair settlement offer from the insurance company. To ensure that you are properly protecting your insurance claims rights and financial interests, please read this before you cash that settlement check.
Three Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Cashing an Insurance Settlement Check
- Does It Cover the Full Extent of Your Losses?
First and foremost, you need to determine whether the settlement offer actually accounts for the full extent of your damage. Not every homeowner is entitled to a settlement for the full value of their losses. In some cases, homeowners’ losses are legitimately excluded by the terms of the insurance policy. That being said, if you have losses that are not accounted for in the settlement check, and you believe those losses should be covered under the terms of your policy, you need to keep fighting.
- Did the Insurer Properly Investigate Your Claim?
One of the most common reasons why property damage claims are undervalued is because the insurer failed to adequately investigate the claim. If your claim is being undervalued by the insurance company and you know that they did a poor job investigating your claim, you need to keep pursuing a better offer.
- Will Accepting the Check End Your Claim?
Before cashing an insurance settlement check, find out whether doing so will bring an end to your claim. You should look to see if the check comes with any documentation indicating that it is your “full” payment or “final” payment. If it does, the insurance company will likely view the act of cashing the check as your acceptance of that amount of the final settlement. The bottom line is simple: Do not cash a check until you have confirmed whether or not it is your final payment.
Contact Our Office Today
At Geyer Fuxa Tyler, our property insurance dispute attorneys have helped many policyholders throughout Florida recover full and fair compensation for their damages. If you have received a settlement offer that you feel is less than you deserve, please give our office a call today to request a free review of your claim. We serve homeowners and business owners throughout Broward County, including in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach and Pompano Beach.