This post discusses homeowners insurance policyholders’ rights, options and obligations when their homeowners insurance carrier invokes its right to repair (also known as option to repair) for a property damage insurance claim in Florida. Some of the Florida insurance companies currently engaging in the right to repair is People’s Trust, Florida Peninsula Insurance Company, Heritage Property and Casualty Insurance Company, and Prepared Insurance Company. Although the concept of right to repair has been around for quite some time, it is only in recent years that Florida insurance companies have begun making this process part of their everyday business practice.
When an insurance company invokes the right to repair, the insurance company repairs the damages caused to your property by using their own contractor or repairmen. In contrast, on a typical insurance claim where the right to repair is not invoked, the insurance company will just pay the policyholder directly for the dollar value of damage caused to the property. In typical insurance company fashion, by using their own contractors and repairmen, the insurance company can put more money in their own pockets rather than paying it to their policyholder. However, many times the right to repair process can result in:
- substandard repairs
- partial repairs such as resurfacing of materials rather than replacing with new materials
- a total lack of control over the repairs being performed by the insurance company
- unlawful repairs and repairs performed without permits
- lost time while the policyholder has to stay at home to monitor the insurance company’s repairs
Before agreeing to allow your insurance company to repair your property after a loss, it is important to know your legal rights and to make sure the repair is being performed properly and lawfully. If your insurance company has invoked the right to repair for your insurance claim, it is extremely important that you do not sign any documentation presented to you by the insurance company without first talking to an attorney and discussing your rights under your insurance policy.
At Schatzman & Hovanyecz, P.A. we are experienced in handling and litigating right to repair cases successfully, and many times we are able to secure a cash payment rather than allowing the insurance company to repair your home. Contact us for a free consultation regarding your right to repair insurance claim.