Blog

August 6, 2018

HIGGS LAW, P.A.’s Appellate Victory Against American Integrity Insurance Company in Water Damage Case

In a recent Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal (“Fifth DCA”) decision, HIGGS LAW, P.A. prevailed against American Integrity Insurance Company when the appellate court reversed the lower court’s summary judgment ruling.  The Fifth DCA decided in favor of HIGGS LAW P.A.’s clients and held that the trial court erred in entering summary judgment because material issues of fact remained. Larry and Sherri Whitely, own a vacation home in The Villages, Sumter County, Florida.  When a neighbor went to check on their property—as she did periodically while the Whitelys were away—she noticed water pouring from the faucet of both bath […]
July 24, 2018

What to Do When Your Florida Home Has Water Damage

If water from a tropical storm or burst pipe damages your home, your first thought might be to get rid of the water and clean up the mess.  This seems like the logical thing to do, but you could find that your cleanup efforts end up costing you in the end. Your insurance company could very well deny coverage if you remove items damaged by water or repair anything before their representative has assessed the damage.  So be cautious after a disaster and follow the steps I’ve outlined in this blog post.   1. Notify Your Insurance Company It’s a […]
May 14, 2018

Preparing for the 2018 Florida Hurricane Season

With less than a month left before the 2018 Hurricane Season officially begins, it’s time to think about preparing for this year’s batch of tropical storms.  Although meteorologists are now predicting fewer storms in the tropical Atlantic than last year, we know that it only takes one whopper like Hurricane Irma to wreak havoc on our lives in the days leading up to the storm and in the aftermath of assessing and repairing the damage. So, this year, before we start hearing about storms approaching Florida, let’s take the time to prepare our homes and families.  This includes having necessary […]
April 18, 2018

When Do You Need an Appeals Attorney?

When you lose a case or are not satisfied with part of a court’s decision, you can appeal to a higher court.  If the higher court accepts the case, it will review the record of the original trial to determine if there are grounds for changing the court’s ruling. To make your case in appellate court, your appeals attorney will need to research the case thoroughly and write a legal brief explaining why the trial court made errors and why the court’s decision should then be reversed or changed.  Your appeals attorney cannot present new facts or evidence or correct […]
March 28, 2018

Is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance Enough Protection?

Florida law currently requires all vehicle owners registered in the state to have a minimum of $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage.  This insurance, commonly known as no fault insurance, is intended to provide you with up to $10,000 in medical coverage if you are in an accident. With PIP coverage, you are responsible for your own injuries in a car accident no matter who caused it.  Sometimes this works out for people injured in car accidents, with PIP and medical insurance paying for medical expenses.  However, often, accident victims are left with unpaid medical bills, unanswered questions about […]
February 2, 2018

Contractors, Roofers and Restoration Companies Subject to Penalties for Filing an Insurance Claim on Behalf of Insured

A new provision of Florida’s public adjuster law took effect on January 1, 2018 and has significant ramifications for unlicensed contractors, roofers, restoration, and mitigation companies who act as public adjusters or otherwise prepare, complete or file an insurance claim on behalf of an insured.  Florida has regulated the public adjusting industry for years, but the new law provides 626.854(19): (19) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no person, except an attorney at law or a public adjuster, may for money, commission, or any other thing of value, directly or indirectly: (a) Prepare, complete, or file an insurance claim […]
January 31, 2018

Insurance Claims for Hurricane Irma Damage in Orlando

Hurricane Irma was months and months ago.  Last year.  Old news.  Right?  Not on your life! For many of us in Orlando, the hurricane’s destruction is still ever-present, and the cost of repairs overwhelming. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation estimates that statewide losses from Irma have totaled over $7 billion, with Orange County being one of the hardest hit areas in the state. So far, 69,201 insurance claims for damages have been filed in Orange County.  Over 37,000 of them have been paid, and another 21,838 have been closed but not yet paid.  That leaves close to 10,000 open, […]
December 4, 2017

Filing a Florida Homeowner’s Insurance Claim

In Florida, we’re well acquainted with the dangers of tropical storms and hurricanes as well as the problems associated with cleaning up and making repairs after a storm.  However, even as we sigh in relief that hurricane season has ended, it’s important to remember that our homes can be damaged in many other unexpected ways, and we might not be as prepared as we were for Hurricane Irma.   Handling Property Damage When your property has been damaged by a hurricane, water, or wind driven rain, you should first protect it from any further damage as much as possible.  Roofs […]