There are many sayings about insurance that although humorous, have some basis in truth. Two of the wittiest are, 'It is the only product that both the seller and buyer hope is never actually used," and 'Education is what you get from reading the fine print; experience is what you get from not reading it." The bottom line is that when a Florida homeowner files a claim for some loss associated with his or her home, there is an expectation the claim will be handled expeditiously and payment will be forthcoming. Often, however, this is not the reality.

Most homeowner claims are based on either some damage that occurred to the home or an injury sustained by someone other than one of the residents of the home. The first step a homeowner should take when a loss occurs, if not done before the incident, is to read the policy. Insurance experts report the primary basis for denial of home insurance claims is that the loss is simply not covered by the policy. A second common reason is the homeowner failed to meet a required condition for the coverage to apply.

A fundamental concept of insurance is that the company must act in good faith. This is important because it is the insurance company that initially determines its own liability to pay on the claim based on the facts and circumstance in consideration of the language of the policy. While the insurance claim adjuster may present this as a matter of fact, there are many instances where actual liability is a matter of some interpretation.

The terms of the policy can include confusing language, and it may not be readily apparent what is covered and perhaps more importantly, what is excluded. An insurance law attorney can assist in evaluating a denied claim.

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