What Happens If My Property Is Deemed "A Total Loss?"
Updated: Aug 18, 2022
What Is A Total Loss In Florida?
Florida homeowners who have lived in the state for any length of time understand the threat of hurricanes and significant weather-related events. When a major hurricane impacts homeowners in Florida it is not uncommon for some to suffer a total loss. What does that mean, exactly? A total loss essentially means that the cost to repair your home is more than what your home is currently worth based on an appraisal. Repairing your home after a total loss doesn't make good sense from a financial perspective. If your Florida property is deemed a total loss, the insurance company should pay out the maximum benefit on your policy in order to provide you with funding to rebuild your property.
How Will The Insurance Company Determine If My Property Is A Total Loss In Florida?
Insurance companies have a process in determining whether your Florida property damage claim has resulted in a total loss. During your property damage claims process your insurance company will send an appraiser out to assess the damage to your property.
There are two tests that appraisers may use identify a total loss:
Identity Test: Is the property still recognizable as a home? If the dwelling is still identifiable as a dwelling, it passes the test. If the property is no longer recognizable from it's original state, it fails the test.
Constructive Total Loss Test: Can the property in it's current state meet local and state property, safety, and health codes? If no, it fails the constructive total loss test. If the property is not damaged enough to create issues with local and state codes, it's not a total loss.
What If My Insurance Company Doesn't Pay Out The Full Policy Amount After A Total Loss?
If your Florida property damage insurance claim has been deemed a total loss, your insurance company is required by law to pay you the full value of your policy. In order for your total loss to be paid out in full, the event that caused the total loss must be covered in your policy.
For example, if your home was deemed a total loss due to massive flooding, your policy will only pay out the full amount if your policy included flood insurance. You must be able to prove that a covered peril caused the damage. It is important to revisit your policy frequently to ensure that potential adverse events are updated and added to your coverage. Also, keep in mind that your policy should keep up with the current value of your home. If you fail to adjust the policy limits as home values rise, you may find yourself falling short in the event of a total loss payout when it comes time to rebuild.
If your property has been deemed a total loss after a property damage insurance claim in Florida and you need help collecting your full pay out, contact Max Factor Law. Our firm has over 25 years of experience serving the people of Florida during the insurance claim process. We will review your property damage insurance claim at no-cost to you. Call 850-577-1699 to schedule your no-obligation consultation today and speak with a knowledgable and experienced property damage insurance claim attorney today!