An important detail for all property owners in the mist of settling a property damage claim is to know that virtually all insurance companies are going to try and get you to sign a “Full & Final Release” before handing you over a settlement check. This will especially be the case when you are not being represented by a Public Adjuster or Attorney.
What is a “Full & Final Release?” In a nut shell; it’s a contract. And as with all contracts you should review, in extensive detail, any important document before signing. While this is always a smart practice, it is even more critical when it comes to property insurance claims. In some states, such as California it’s actually illegal for an insurer to issue a check with such conditions.
In Florida however the courts leave it to the insurer and the policyholder to agree on the conditions of the settlement and Florida courts have a strong presumption in favor of enforcing the terms of a signed document. This is true even if the policyholder did not fully understand what they were signing. There are very few exceptions to this rule. Remember, a property damage release form should be thought of as a contract.
If you have any questions about signing a release form, or have a property insurance claim pending or getting ready to open a property damage claim in general, please contact the experts at Cavalry Public Adjusters for immediate help.
What are you being asked to release? While it is a great feeling to reach a settlement because it allows you to move forward with your life, you must take care in reviewing anything that you sign. Before you get a settlement check from your property insurance company, you may be asked to sign a “release of claims” form. In the majority of cases, signing this form will essentially mean that your claim has been finalized. You are agreeing to release the company from any further liability related to this specific claim in exchange for your settlement check.
The benefit of hiring Cavalry Public Adjusters is that you will be obtaining experience insurance adjusters that will have your best interest in mind. The only time it will be okay to sign a “Full & Final Release” is if you are are receiving a full and fair settlement offer. You may be prematurely forcing an end to the claims process. You may be entitled to a better settlement than you are currently being offered.
Would you know what a fair offer is? The answer is simple, if you are not being represented; you are not being offered a fair settlement offer. Insurance companies ask the insured to do it when they think there’s a problem or big dispute coming.
It is very important to remember that you are not required to sign a release to receive properly owed benefits under an insurance policy. The home insurance policy does not require the insured to execute a release, so why should you?
What rights do the homeowners (policyholders) have in Florida?
Here is a link to the Homeowners Bill of Rights: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0600-0699/0627/Sections/0627.7142.html
Determining whether a property damage settlement offer is fair depends on the facts of each specific case. Call Cavalry Public Adjusters: 305-898-7562 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE consultation.