What Are Potential Resolutions to First-Party Insurance Disputes? Will We Take Our Case to Court?
A lot of these cases go to court. The amount of the suit will determine if it’s going to be filed in a county court or a circuit court. Another option is appraisal. A lot of insurance policies have appraisal provisions, which is sort of like an arbitration between the two sides, represented by appraisers who assess the loss. If they can’t agree, they go to an umpire, who determines the award. Appraisal cases are often resolved pre-suit or after filing suit but before the case has been in court. Litigation, appraisal, and negotiation are the three most common options for insurance disputes.
What Would You Say Sets Your Firm Apart in Handling First-Party Insurance Claim Disputes?
I began interning at a medium-sized first-party firm in 2012 and then began working fulltime in 2014. That gives me eight years of focus on this particular area of the law. Now, being part of a small, family-owned firm, we are able to give a different level of client service than you would get at a large firm, where an attorney who might be handling a few hundred cases at once. We control the volume of cases that we’re handling. That means my clients can have my cellphone number, and text me if they need an update on their case, and I’ll typically respond to any and every communication within a matter of hours.
I’ve handled cases all over the state, as far south as Key West and up north in the Panhandle, Pensacola and Tallahassee. I have litigated property damage cases in almost every county in the state. I’ve also handled all types of claims, everything from multi-million-dollar hurricane Irma claims in Marco Island to small pipe burst claims worth $2,000 or less. Almost every type of property damage claims there is—fire, wind and hurricane, water damage, decayed animals—you name it, I’ve probably worked it.
Every time there’s a storm approaching, attorneys start coming out of the woodwork advertising for property damage claims. These attorneys don’t practice this law, but want the business. It’s important to make sure your attorney has real experience working with property damage claims.