When you’re home gets damaged as the result of a natural disaster, leaky roof, burst pipe, vandalism or more, it can be very stressful to make the necessary repairs to get your living spaces back in working order. This process becomes even worse if your home has been completely destroyed.
There is a silver lining to this situation in that the state of Florida has a Valued Policy Law in place to expedite claims when homeowners suffer total losses. However, like all insurance-related laws and regulations, this process can still become complicated and confusing with all of the exceptions and underlying rules that come with the law. If you believe Valued Policy Law may fit your situation, there are a few things you should consider.
Specifics of the law
When your home or building is completely destroyed, it’s referred to as a “total loss.” Valued Policy Law states that when this occurs, your insurance company is liable, up to your policy limits, to compensate you for the value of the property. Therefore, if your $200,000 home is destroyed and your policy covers you up to $175,000, your insurer is obligated to pay the full value of the policy. While the remaining $25,000 in this scenario would be up to you to cover, the idea is that the process gets sped up when you’re dealing with a total loss.
In these circumstances, however, you need to pay attention to the specifics of your policy and the type of disaster that has occurred. You’ll also notice that the term “covered loss” applies to this law. If the damage to your home was caused by something not covered in your policy, such as a flood, Valued Policy Law does not apply.
Additionally, the compensation you receive may depend on the value of your home. If the value of your home increased since it was assessed for your insurance policy, you may not receive adequate compensation from your insurer. This is problematic if your home has increased in value over the past several years, but you did not adjust your insurance policy to account for the change.
There may also be clauses in your insurance policy that prevent Florida’s Valued Policy Law from applying to your claim. One of these is called the “co-insurance clause,” and it can act to reduce the amount recovered for a total loss. To prevent this from happening, make sure you are insured to your home’s actual value.
If you are concerned about the potential outcome of a claim should your home experience a total loss, consult a Florida public adjuster. These professionals will examine your insurance policy and tell you exactly what is and is not covered, as well as run through some scenarios with you. This gives you added peace of mind in case disaster some day strikes.
The public adjusters at Advocate Claims work with homeowners and business owners across Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Wellington and Boynton Beach. To learn more, call 1-954-369-0573 or contact us online.