Securing Neutral Evaluation Of A Sinkhole Claim
Under F.S.A. Section 627.7074, if there is a dispute regarding the existence or non-existence of a sinkhole, either the policyholder or the insurance company has the right to request a neutral evaluation from the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS). This is also the case if you cannot agree on the method of repair.
The evaluation is carried out by a neutral evaluator approved and, if the parties cannot agree to a neutral evaluator, appointed by the DFS.
Unfortunately, the neutral evaluator may not be as neutral as the name suggests. These evaluators are always paid by the insurance company, not by the insured. And as long as less than 90 percent of their income comes from insurance companies, they are deemed “neutral”!
Would you trust someone to determine if there is a covered loss under your policy after finding out that a vast majority of his or her income came from an insurance company? We wouldn’t, unless we knew the neutral evaluator had our own testing done, that he could review along with the report generated by the insurer’s “expert.”
What Can I Do About Getting A Fair Evaluation?
In our experience, a completely objective and neutral sinkhole evaluation is the exception, not the norm. Even if the neutral evaluator’s determination is against you, however, it does not mean that you cannot pursue a claim.
Experienced legal counsel can guide you through the process of filing a successful sinkhole claim in Florida. At Wells Law Group, P.A., we have decades of experience successfully litigating claims against major insurers. We can provide objective and compassionate help with your claim.
What Happens To The Neutral Evaluator’s Report?
The evaluator’s report is not binding upon either party and the parties retain access to court following the neutral evaluation process. However, if the insured, or the insurer, challenges the neutral evaluator’s findings in court, the neutral evaluator’s written report is admissible in any action regarding the claim.
How Do I Retain The Services Of An Experienced Attorney?
You may not be able to trust your own instincts when handling a sinkhole claim, but you can trust Wells Law Group, P.A. Alone, attorney Kim Wells has more than 29 years of experience working for and against insurance companies. He knows every trick in the book and knows how to make your claim a successful one.
To make an appointment at our law office in Tampa, send us an email or call 813-413-7377. All initial evaluations are free and you are guaranteed to work directly with our managing attorney after retaining our services.