Property Damage Insurance Claims
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A sinking feeling in Pasco and Hernando

Once again, property owners in sinkhole-prone Pasco and Hernando counties are getting shafted by the governor and Legislature. A new law taking effect in January gives insurance companies the option of summarily dropping property owners who have standard sinkhole coverage – a major protection that helps people fix their homes when a sinkhole is detected.…

INSURANCE CLAIMS: Wilma damage wasn’t apparent at first, but now Boynton Beach home needs a new roof, family says

Alexis Villios: So much lingering damage “we’re terrified if there’s a hurricane” Boynton Beach resident Alexis Villios didn’t realize at first how much Hurricane Wilma damaged his house. In the weeks after Wilma, he didn’t even file a claim, figuring he’d pay out of pocket to hire a contractor. About a year and a half…

What Additional Living Expense Coverage Means to Homeowners

Suffering major damage to a home is a traumatic event for any family. The experience brings shock, worry about family members and pets, grief at the loss of treasured possessions, and stress about the overwhelming task of replacing it all. Right on the heels of these emotions comes a more immediate question: Where will the family live now, and how will they pay for it? Fortunately, standard homeowner’s policies provide coverage for loss of use of a home.

The standard policy contains three Loss of Use coverages: Additional Living Expense, Fair Rental Value, and Civil Authority Prohibits Use. Additional Living Expense coverage pays for the homeowner’s necessary increase in living expenses when the home, damaged by a covered cause of loss, becomes unfit to live in. For example, assume that a severe windstorm knocks a tree into a home’s upstairs. It wrecks three bedrooms and two bathrooms, causing pipes to break and damaging electrical wiring. Since the policy covers windstorm damage and the home is unsafe for the family to occupy, this coverage will pay the extra amount the family must spend to live elsewhere for a period of time. However, the insurance company will pay only the amount necessary for the family to maintain its normal standard of living. If the family was not living in a luxury condo before the loss, the company will not pay for them to live in one after. The company will pay for the shortest period of time necessary to repair or replace the damaged property or to permanently relocate.

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