People expect their homeowners' insurance companies to pay for many types of damages in Florida. How damages are addressed, however, often does not become clear until people file claims. Most insurance companies now include a right to repair clause in their policies. This clause effectively gives the insurance companies complete control over who performs repairs and how they are done.

When an insurer invokes its right to repair, the policyholders have no say in how repairs are executed if they want the insurer to pay for the work. This lack of control could mean that an insurer chooses a cheap repair. In one case, an insurer ordered the repair of a leaking dishwasher. Two years later, the leak had resumed and caused extensive mold damage throughout the home. The homeowner said that she would have replaced the dishwasher if she had known that the repair would be insufficient.

Right to repair clauses are extremely common in insurance contracts, but a public adjuster says that people do not have to buy these policies. The adjuster advises people to discuss alternatives with their insurance agents if they want to maintain control over decisions about hiring contractors and choosing repairs.

The complexity of insurance contracts and infrequency of use might leave a person unprepared to deal with an insurance dispute. When someone suspects that an insurer is not meeting its obligations, a consultation with an attorney who understands homeowners' insurance claims may provide insights about the person's legal position. An attorney may examine the policy and question claim denials or low settlement offers that appear to fall short of insurance coverage. Direct discussions with the insurer might resolve a dispute, or an attorney may file a lawsuit to defend a person's financial needs.

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