Insurance Litigation

Insurance Litigation is a focal point of Coquina Law Group. We represent policyholders with insurance claim disputes against their insurance company. Everyone has insurance, whether it is mandated car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, business insurance, or insurance on a leisure item or specialty issue. Insurance protects our investments and hedges our bets against loss. You pay your insurance premiums and deserve to be paid correctly when your property is damaged. Insurance litigation is litigation regarding the coverage provided by the insurance policy or the scope and price of the claim.

We represent the policyholder (insured) against the insurance company (insurer) after the insurance company has either denied the claim, denied part of the claim, or underpaid the claim. We review the insurance policy and apply our experience and knowledge to your claim and the policy to obtain full payment owed for your claim. 

The attorneys at Coquina Law Group are experienced in prosecuting insurance claims. Attorney Ashby Underhill started his insurance law career representing insurance companies before transitioning to representing policyholders. He has vast experience representing policyholders. We have litigated insurance issues through trial and have the experience and knowledge to negotiate the claims to a satisfactory resolution. We have vetted experts in construction, engineering, meteorology, and other areas that we can trust to provide the information we need to evaluate the claim and provide you with realistic expectations regarding the claim. 

Insurance Litigation can be disputes regarding coverage for claims and the amount of the loss. The attorneys at Coquina Law Group handle the following insurance matters:

  • Aviation claims
  • Bad Faith claims
  • Boating and yacht claims
  • Business interruption claims
  • Commercial property claims
  • Condominium insurance claims “Condo Association and Individual Unit” 
  • Coverage claims
  • Declaratory actions
  • Disability Insurance
  • Hurricane claims
  • Life Insurance
  • Motor vehicle insurance
  • Premises claims
  • Residential property claims (homeowners)
  • Roof claims
  • Maritime Claims “Boats and Yachts” 
  • Water loss & Pipe Break claims

Insurance coverage litigation is one of the most common types of legal disputes that we handle at Coquina Law Group. It involves disputes between an insurance company and a policyholder or beneficiary over whether or not the policy provides coverage for a particular incident or event. There are many ways in which people can end up in this situation. 

For example, maybe your insurer denied your roof claim asserting the damage was wear and tear or that the damage was minimal and could be spot repaired despite the age and condition of the roof requiring replacement. Or the insurance company refuses to pay for replacing items such as upper cabinets or continuous floor in an adjacent room that will leave your home repaired but not in the same aesthetic condition.  We make sure the insurer pays for the full recovery of your damages.

Or maybe you’re trying to get property damage covered by an insurance company after their adjuster says that they don’t need to pay anything because they won’t replace appliances such as dishwashers and stoves. At Coquina Law Group, we understand the frustrations of insurance claim denials and underpayment. Our attorneys are here to help keep our clients informed on the insurance litigation process by answering a few common questions and getting them the compensation they are owed. 

What is Insurance Litigation?

Insurance litigation occurs when a policyholder believes that their insurance company has not provided adequate coverage under a policy. For example, suppose your insurance company denies your claim because they think it is not caused by a covered event or they believe the damage is below your deductible. In that case, you will file a lawsuit against that company in an attempt to recover damages to which you are entitled under your policy. 

Here is a breakdown of the many insurance matters that our attorneys can help you with, such as:

Hurricane Claims

Hurricane Insurance Claims are unique to themselves. The coverage normally has a higher deductible. Due to the widespread damage in the State of Florida or multiple states, insurance companies are rushing to adjust claims as timely as possible, making mistakes. Additionally, the cause of loss may not be apparent to the adjuster resulting in a denial of coverage. An adjuster can fail to observe the storm-created opening, fail to distinguish wind damage from flood damage, and underestimate the claim. We will evaluate your policy and coverages and investigate the cause of damage & scope and price of the damage to recover your Hurricane Insurance claim fully.

Roof Claims

The roof of your home is the most important feature to keep rain and elements out of your home. Damage to roofs can be caused by hurricanes, wind from thunderstorms, Nor’easters, and hail. Damage to the roof usually does not create a leak that you will observe immediately; however that damage will significantly reduce the life of your roof system and result in leaks down the road. Oftentimes, damage to the roof will be denied by the insurance company.  Roof damage claims are often denied by the insurance company claiming the damage is…

  1. Wear & tear and deterioration, mechanical breakdown, latent defects, poor installation.
  2. The damage can be spot repaired, and the damages are below the deductible, or spot repaired and minimal damages.  

Unfortunately, many roofs cannot be spot repaired and require replacement due to the condition of the roof or unavailability of matching shingles, tiles, or metal. If the insurance company denies your roof claim or underestimates the damage, we will evaluate your claim and often get a full replacement for our clients.  

Water Damage Insurance Claims

Water damage claims are usually the most frustrating and are often underestimated, and resolution may require insurance litigation. The insurance company may deny the claim claiming there was no storm-created opening despite an opening they missed, wrongfully applying an exclusion or sub-limit. In addition to water mitigation, the home must be repaired correctly, including tearing out the drywall and replacing drywall.  

Often insurance companies are not prepared to estimate and adjust for high-end or specialty finishes such as Venetian plaster, custom paint, wallpaper, or flooring.  We are familiar with the applicable exclusions, limitations, and Florida law regarding water damage related to your insurance policy and have the resources to estimate the damages to your interior properly. Coquina Law Group will work to make sure you receive just compensation for your water loss claim.

Maritime Insurance Litigation 

Boating and Yacht insurance claims are made every day. However, these claims are easily denied or underpaid if the policyholder doesn’t have representation. We have seen insurers deny coverage after a collision with a submerged object simply because the adjuster did not understand what breaks and where damage is expected during such insurable events. 

Often claims will be denied due to failure to maintain the vessel or a claim the vessel was unseaworthy. Newer boats and yachts are being built with state-of-the-art construction methods, which make it difficult or impossible to make some repairs. We have the resources to evaluate your claim, obtain a proper evaluation of the damages and obtain the proper recovery of your insurance benefits.   

Aviation Insurance Litigation 

Aircraft damage insurance claims are a specialty at Coquina Law Group. Attorney, Ashby Underhill is a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialty in aviation law. His experience in aviation and aviation insurance claims allows him to help his clients sustain the full recovery of the insurance benefits owed for the damage to the aircraft. Most aviation insurance policies state they will pay for reasonable repairs; as such, the dispute is that of the price & scope of the repairs. Whether the aircraft is an experimental piston. 

For sophisticated business jets or turbine helicopters, the analysis of the sustained damages is the same, make it airworthy, appear as if there was never an incident, and ensure all necessary repairs were done correctly. Are the repairs a betterment to the aircraft or necessary to repair the aircraft? Is the warranty still in place after the insurable event, or do expensive inspections have to be performed? 

If your helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft has been damaged, we are prepared to help you navigate the insurance claim process and obtain full recovery of the insurance benefits owed to you. 

Fire Insurance Claims

Fire claims are some of the most complex insurance claims. Due to the nature of the claim, most insurance companies adjust fire claims from their fraud and special investigations unit, which entails investigating the cause of the fire to rule out arson and to review any subrogation rights the insurance company may have. The loss can be devastating, and repairs are not simple. The home may require substantial law and ordinance upgrades such as plumbing and electrical as well as structural repairs and replacement of trusses and portions of a roof. 

Fire damage can ruin your property and contents and require substantial cleanup and mitigation before repairs are made. Fire claims are routinely underestimated and require proper documentation to secure a full recovery for your loss. If you feel that your insurance company is taking too long to investigate and adjust your claim, we are ready to assist you. We will evaluate your coverage and obtain experts to ensure you recover all the fire damage insurance benefits owed to you and that you can repair your home as if there was never a fire.

Condominium Insurance Claims

Coquina Law Group represents Condo Associations and individual condominium unit owners with insurance claims. Florida Statute 718.111 dictates what the association’s policy (the master policy) covers and what each unit owner’s policy covers. The master policy covers claims with the following such as…

  • Roof
  • Walls
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Railings
  • Drywall

The individual unit owner’s policy covers claims with the following such as…

  • Flooring
  • wall finishes
  • window treatments
  • Blinds
  • Shades
  • Cabinets
  • Contents

Our experience helps you identify the covered portions for each policy and maximize your coverage. We are prepared to push back when either insurance company wrongfully claims the responsibility is on the other policy. Condominium claims can be extremely complicated and vastly underestimated due to conditions that estimating software does not account for, and in some instances, adjusters forget. If you have damage to the association or your unit, let Coquina Law Group navigate you through the claim process to ensure you recover all insurance benefits owed. 

Insurance Appraisal 

Coquina Law Group provides representation for clients through the insurance appraisal process when invoked by the insurance carrier. We use a team approach that includes professional appraisers, contractors, adjusters, and engineers to evaluate the claim and ensure the best information is presented by your selected appraiser and the potential umpire. This approach allows all Coquina Law Group members to be intimately familiar with the intricacies of each claim. 

The insurance appraisal process addresses the scope and price of the damaged or destroyed property.  Each party selects an appraiser, and both appraisers select an umpire.  If the two appraisers do not agree on the price and scope of the loss, then the umpire becomes involved, and the scope and price are awarded pursuant to any agreement reached by two of the three individuals. The appraiser is expected to arrive at a value of the loss that is fair to both the policyholder and insurer. Firm partner and attorney Ashby Underhill is also a Wind certified insurance appraiser and umpire who brings his vast experience and professionalism to each appraisal assignment. The expertise of our appraisers allows Coquina Law Group to provide the most accurate estimates for each client. 

Why Do People Need to Hire a Lawyer for Insurance Coverage Litigation? 

The answer here is simple and lies within the technical issues involved in these cases, such as whether certain exclusions apply or specific clauses can be interpreted one way or another. Our attorneys Coquina Law Group have years of experience handling all aspects of insurance litigation. They can help guide you through every step of the process until we come to a resolution you are happy with. 

What Are My Options If I Disagree with An Adjuster’s Decision About My Claim? 

When you need to file an insurance claim for a disaster or any other circumstance, you hope that everything will go smoothly. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are times when you may disagree with your insurance company over the amount of compensation you receive for a loss. We can help you navigate your options to retain full recovery of your insurance claim. 

Our team will evaluate your claim and obtain scope and price estimates of your loss by licensed contractors, adjusters, or your contractor if they can provide the necessary estimate.  Before filing a lawsuit, we notify the insurance company or our representation and file a Notice of Intent to Litigate (NOI) with the State of Florida.  We inform the insurer of the dispute and the amount we believe the claim to be valued and provide supporting documentation. The insurance company has 10 days to respond and can either stand by their decision, make an offer, enter settlement negotiations, re-inspect, or invoke appraisal. A majority of cases are resolved at this stage. 

If the decision is a standby decision, we immediately file suit. If an offer is made, we evaluate the offer and negotiate if reasonable, or we move forward with a lawsuit after consultation with you. If the insurance company requests re-inspection, an attorney or one of our experts is present during the inspection. After the inspection, the insurance company will either stand by its decision, make an offer, or invoke appraisal. 

If the appraisal is invoked, we manage the appraisal process for you. Ensuring you have a competent appraiser and he or she has all the relevant information. We coordinate scheduling for you and processing the appraisal award to ensure the insurer pays the full award. Sometimes, but not often, we have to file suit to ensure the appraisal is timely completed and the insurance company pays the full award.    

The appraisal process can be frustrating and daunting, and you want someone who will give you an honest opinion about your case—someone who can look at both sides and see where there might be a compromise or an opportunity for settlement. Attorney, Wind certified insurance appraiser, and umpire Ashby Underhill isn’t afraid of fighting for what his clients deserve. His use of aggressive litigation and personal approach has earned him many successful litigations wins for his clients.

Ashby states, “Whatever the insurance company says, that is not the end all be all. We can help people not only get fair and full recovery with sufficient funds to repair the damage properly but ensure the proper documents are submitted to get payment of all recoverable depreciation owed and bear the stress of the process for our clients.” 

What Can I Expect During the Insurance Litigation Process?

The insurance claim process can be overwhelming, especially if you’re going through it for the first time and the insurer’s denial forces you to go into litigation. Insurance companies are notorious for working to delay or deny payments to their policyholders, and many people find themselves feeling like there’s nothing they can do about it. If you’re dealing with an insurance company denying a portion of your claim, you should always consult with an attorney to help ensure you get what you deserve.  

Our attorneys at Coquina Law Group are here for you throughout the process. We take each case on a contingency basis, meaning there is no fee unless we win your case. We will handle all the paperwork and filing for you so you can focus on getting back on your feet. 

The first step in our process is to send a letter of representation and a notice of intent to litigate through the state of Florida. In many cases, this letter is enough to persuade the insurance company to reach out directly with a settlement offer. If it doesn’t get settled outside of the courtroom, we will file the suit to get a complete settlement of what is due for you. We take on the stress of fighting the insurance company for you. 

How Long Does It Take for Insurance Litigation to be Resolved?

It’s difficult to pin down an exact time frame for when an insurance coverage issue will be resolved. However, in our experience at Coquina Law Group, we’ve found that a typical claim can take anywhere from 4 to 24 months from start to finish. This varies based on the case’s complexity and how well it fits into an insurer’s general guidelines for approving or denying claims.

The following are some factors that affect how long this will take:

  • The court docket 
  • How soon can we get a trial date
  • Obtaining proper documentation of the damage 
  • Severity and complexity of the damage

Do You Have Any Other Questions About Insurance Litigation? Contact Coquina Law Group!

Here at Coquina Law Group, we have a team of experienced attorneys and staff with a proven track record of success with insurance litigation. We take pride in having a hands-on approach for each client while working with a network of experts who provide damage estimates that insurance companies won’t. 

If you have recently filed a claim with your insurance company and are unhappy with the final decision, you have options! Our attorneys will take a second look at all available options and fight for the compensation you deserve.

We hope this article has given you a better understanding of how insurance litigation works. We handle claims throughout the state of Florida and our two offices are local to the following areas in North Florida. 

  • Daytona Beach, FL
  • South Daytona Beach, FL
  • Ponce Inlet, FL
  • Flagler Beach, FL
  • Daytona Beach, 
  • South Daytona, FL
  • Ponce Inlet, FL
  • Daytona Shores, FL
  • New Smyrna, FL
  • Edgewater, FL
  • Ormond Beach, FL
  • Palm Coast, FL
  • Flagler Beach, FL
  • Bunnell, FL
  • St. Augustine, FL
  • Crescent Beach, FL
  • Crescent City, FL
  • Vilano Beach, FL
  • Hastings, FL
  • Palatka, FL
  • St. Johns, FL
  • Port Orange, FL
  • Ponte Vedra, FL

Contact Coquina Law Group for a consultation and get the compensation you deserve!