Every insurance policy contains various policy terms and conditions, which can provide beneficial information for you in times of loss, but also create pitfalls in your efforts to attain benefits, should you fail to follow them.
A lot of people don't realize that an insurance policy is a simply a contract between you and your insurance carrier.
Most, if not all, policies, have conditions for the timely reporting of losses, mitigation of damages, etc. Again, there may be valuable information available here which could help you, but just as importantly, failure to properly abide by these terms (your obligation as the insured) can allow the insurance company to deny coverage for your loss.
Additionally, it is quite common for an insurance company to initially deny a claim, as "uncovered loss", citing language that may seem to apply. What we have found is that on many occasions, there are related portions of the claim or loss, that are covered.
Document your case
Be sure to secure any evidence which may later be useful for you in pursuing your claim. Don't take anything for granted. Your time and money is too valuable. Over the years countless clients have come to us with valid claims, but without the necessary evidence to proceed with the claim.
Taking photographs, videos, etc. can by extremely helpful for you. Matter of fact, having some "before pictures" is a good idea.
Take the time to photograph, and/or video your home or property, and other valuables "now" so that you can properly document your losses to your insurance company at a later date. Keeping a file with purchase receipts, etc. is also wise.
Consult with an attorney or other professional
Our law firm, and many others, provide free initial consultations.
In addition, should your insurance company fail to pay your claim, many states, such as Florida allow prevailing parties to recover attorneys fees. In other words, our fees would be paid by, or compensated by your carrier, should you have the need to retain us to protect your rights.
As mentioned above, a coverage denial may be proper for part , but not all of your claim. In our experience, the "covered part" may be quite substantial.
For example, an "old plumbing line" may create a water loss. The carrier may correctly cite to a policy exclusion for deteriorated conditions, or wear and tear exceptions. The plumbing line replacement would not be covered. What they may not tell you is that "subsequent damage" such as tearing up your floor and coverings, wall access damage, cabinet is typically covered.
It is important to know your rights. The insurance company has their attorneys, so should you.