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Property Damage Claims

Property Damage Claims

Protect your Property & Your Family

Portuondo Law Firm, P.A. is a Miami-based practice offering legal counsel to homeowners facing damage to their property.  Homeowners insurance claims that are underpaid, denied, or substantially adjusted can be negotiated with the help of an experienced attorney.  Having previously worked as defense counsel for multiple insurance companies, Marisa Portuondo has a unique perspective when it comes to representing homeowners in actions against their insurers.

Homeowners Insurance

Property insurance protects a homeowner from the expense of restoring real and personal property to its original state after an accident.

Homeowners pay large premiums to their insurers to protect the value of their homes and other property. In return, insureds expect that a property claim will be paid fully, and in an efficient and timely manner when disaster strikes. Unfortunately, many homeowners instead find that an insurance company has failed them. Rejected or underpaid insurance claims often force a homeowner to pay out-of-pocket to repair or replace real and personal property damaged in an emergency incident.

Why Hire an Attorney for Property Damage?

Many homeowners believe that hiring a public adjuster is the best choice when they need representation regarding a property damage claim.  Often, this is due to the assumption that public adjusters cost less than attorneys. However, when a public adjuster has exhausted all routes available to him or her, there is no next step for a homeowner to take except to file a lawsuit.  At this point, the homeowner will retain an attorney and will now have to pay for the services of both the adjuster and the attorney. Portuondo Law Firm provides the benefit of attorney representation from the start at a rate competitive with public adjusters.  From the moment the Firm is retained, Attorney Portuondo will handle your claim in a manner that ensures your position in potential future litigation is not put at risk.

The cost of repairs and replacement of building structures, landscapes, out-buildings, and personal property after a hurricane, storm, fire, or plumbing disaster can be significant and may be recuperated with a property damage claim filed and navigated with the assistance of an experienced attorney.  When Homeowners choose to represent themselves with regard to a property damage claim, they often find the processing of their claims delayed by unresponsive adjusters or, worse, underpaid or denied altogether. Post-loss obligations described in homeowners policies are often vague and easily misunderstood by homeowners, further complicating the process for those who choose to represent themselves.

Failure to comply with these complicated obligations can lead to an underpayment or denial of the claim.  Regardless of where a homeowner is in the claims process, it is likely that the Firm can assist them when they are unable or unwilling to continue to handle a claim on their own.

Attorney representation of a homeowner is often the difference between a denial or underpayment and a well-paid claim.  Insurers often deny claims based on an insured’s alleged failure to comply with insurance policy obligations. The Firm ensures that our clients have the proper documentation and compliance needed to meet their obligations under the insurance policy. Portuondo Law Firm also works with an extensive network of contractors experienced in working on insurance claims and who understand how to meet post-loss obligations in the form of quality work and estimating.  Attorney Marisa Portuondo is experienced in guiding clients through each step of the claim process: from insurance reporting; presuit settlement of the claim; or through litigation.

Cast Iron Pipe Claims

The extensive real property and collateral personal property loss resulting from a cast iron pipe failure incident can involve significant repairs to the home. Plumbing issues often go undetected by homeowners or are mistaken for “wear and tear” or issues typical to an older property. Common symptoms of a plumbing failure include foul smells, frequent backups, slow drains, dirt or sediment in your water, an increase in cockroach sightings, and hollow sounding tiles. Denial of claims for water damage caused by cast iron pipes is a common litigation dispute in Florida courts. For this reason, it is recommended that a homeowner retain an attorney experienced in handling these specific claims. If you suspect you may have a covered plumbing issue, contact Portuondo Law Firm today to schedule your free in-home consultation.

 Hurricane and Storm Claims

The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (“FHCF”), established in 1993, is a public-private partnership set up as a state-administered reinsurance program responsible for oversight of the residential property insurance coverage mandate, and the preservation of the private sector’s role as primary risk-bearer.  Homeowners insurance property claims involving hurricane damage frequently involve a separate deductible; often higher than the deductible required for damage caused by other perils. To avoid delayed or rejected property damage claims in the future, a homeowner can evaluate their insurance contract for deductible premiums and other insured obligations. Portuondo Law Firm will evaluate the potential claim keeping these concerns in mind and, when appropriate, will assist a homeowner in filing and processing the claim. In the event your hurricane or storm claim is improperly underpaid or denied, the Firm stands ready to aggressively litigate against your insurance company for a better resolution.

Third Party Claims Against Homeowners

Homeowners liability insurance can provide financial risk reduction to property owners by providing coverage in the event of a negligence claim by another party.  For example, if a visitor slips and falls at your property, property liability insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses and other damages. However, when this type of claim is underpaid or denied, homeowners may find themselves in the position of defending themselves or incurring legal expenses not covered by their policy. Without adequate representation, the risk of a judgment against a homeowner increases exponentially. In the case of a significant judgment against a homeowner, bankruptcy is often the only option. For this reason, it is important that a homeowner become educated on the specific protections provided, and perhaps most importantly, not provided, in his or her homeowners policy. Attorney Portuondo will review your policies and advise you of any coverage gaps that need to be remedied. The Firm also provides representation to homeowners whose claims are underpaid or denied.

Contact Portuondo Law Firm, P.A. for an insurance policy review or for representation in a property claim matter.