Hurricane Losses and Prompt Notice to Insurance Carriers

Hurricane Losses and Prompt Notice to Insurance Carriers
Hurricane Losses and Prompt Notice to Insurance Carriers

Well now that hurricane season is underway for all of the folks in Florida, there are some key points that you will want to remember if you sustain damage to your home. Your homeowner’s policy is a contract, which is a gauntlet of exclusions and conditions. Exclusions are events or damages that are specifically not covered under the homeowner’s policy. Conditions are typically things that the policyholder needs to do in order to hold up his/her side of the contract. Policyholders must be very careful as to not breach the terms of the insurance policy because the insurer can use this breach as a way to avoid making payment under the policy.  An important condition for an insured to comply with is giving the insurer prompt notice of any potentially covered losses.

 

Prompt Notice

Most homeowner’s insurance policies include the condition requiring policyholders to give the insurer prompt notice of any potentially covered loss. As far as how much notice is necessary, Florida courts have interpreted phrases such as “prompt” “immediate” and “as soon as practicable” to mean that notice should be provided “with reasonable dispatch and within a reasonable time in view of all of the facts and circumstances of the particular case.” Yacht Club on the Intracoastal Condo. Ass’n, Inc. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 599 Fed.Appx. 875, 879 (11th Cir.2015).

 

What is reasonable in light of the circumstances is up for interpretation but its important to know that an insured should be telling his/her insurer about any covered loss as soon as possible and save any proof of this notice as it may be relevant if an insured ends up having to sue his/her insurance company. As such, insureds want to be in the best position to prove he/she has given timely notice to avoid denial of coverage.

 

Failure to Give Prompt Notice

If an insured fails to give prompt notice to his/her insurance carrier he/she has the ability to prove that the insurer was not prejudiced by the untimely notice. During this step, prejudice to the insurer is presumed and the insured bears the burden of proving otherwise. Bankers Ins. Co. v. Macias, 475 So.2d 1216, 1218 (Fla.1985). An insured may rebut the presumption of prejudice by showing that another insurer using competent individuals made a compete investigation of the claim. Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co. v. Mills, 171 So.2d 190, 195 (Fla. 1st DCA 1965).  The other way that an insured may rebut the presumption of prejudice is by showing that the insured had access to “substantial information” regarding the claim, creating an issue of fact whether the delay prejudiced the insurer. Robinson v. Auto Owners Ins. Co., 718 So.2d 1283, 1284 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998).

 

Having a home damaged or destroyed is an upsetting situation as it is. In times of trials and tribulations, it is important that insureds take the steps necessary as to not compound the stress of dealing with losses to their homes. Therefore, it is imperative that insureds do not fail to comply with the simple condition of putting their insurer on notice of their loss.

 

If you need assistance with hurricane related damage, contact The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC today @ (561) 699-0399 to see how we can help. Our office is located in Lantana, Florida. We serve South Florida.

Hurricane Damage? It’s Time for a Proof of Loss

 

Hurricane Damage Attorney
Hurricane Damage Attorney

Hopefully you didn’t sustain any hurricane or other damage to your home during this hurricane season, but if you did, it is important to know some things about submitting a proof of loss to your insurance company. An insurance policy is a contract, in which the insurer agrees to indemnify the insured policyholder for sudden and accidental covered losses in return for the policyholder’s agreement to pay a premium and comply with certain post-loss requirements. An insured’s compliance with the post-loss obligations mandated in the policy can determine liability. See State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Licea, 685 So.2d 1285, 1288 (Fla.1996) Therefore, it is important that an insured obtains a certified copy of their insurance policy to assess his/her post-loss obligations.

 

The filing of a proof of loss is a typical post-loss obligation that if not complied with could result in the denial of an insurance claim. A proof of loss is a formal declaration made by the insured regarding a claim so that the insurer may determine its liability under the policy.  The insurance policy will provide what must be included in a proof of loss, so insureds should cross-reference their actual policies to ensure that nothing is missed.

 

As with many other legal matter, timing is crucial when submitting a proof of loss. The sworn statement in proof of loss usually must be submitted within 60 days from the date the insurance company requests it, but it may be required 60 days from the date of loss. As such, it is important to review the insurance policy’s section on “Duties After Loss” to determine the exact amount of time provided for under the insurance contract. Failure to timely submit a proof of loss may result in denial of an insured’s claim.

 

Florida courts have found that when an insurance contract contains a provision which applies to submitting a proof of loss an insured must give notice of the loss that implicates a potential claim without waiting for the full extent of the damages to become apparent. Kendall Lakes Towers Condo. Ass’n v. Pacific Ins. Co., No. 10-24310-CIV, 2012. Florida courts have also found that when post-loss obligations are not complied with that it is improper to compel appraisal. State Farm Ins. Co. v. Xirinachs, 163 So.3d 559 (Fla. 3RD DCA 2015). Therefore, it is important that insureds comply with all post-loss obligations under the insurance policy to maintain his/her rights under the insurance policy.

 

Proofs of loss can be complicated and small mistakes can create delays in the claims process. As such, insureds should make certain the correct policy number, claim number, policy term, date of loss and other specifics are correctly and legibly listed on the proof of loss. Additionally, public adjusters are state certified professionals representing the interests of the policyholder in the claim process.

 

If you need assistance with hurricane related damage, contact The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC today @ (561) 699-0399 to see how we can help. Our office is located in Lantana, Florida. We serve South Florida.

West Palm Beach Escrow Deposit Dispute

Earnest Money Dispute
Escrow Deposits Dispute

What Happens When a Buyer or Seller Defaults/Breaches a Florida Residential Contract for Sales and Purchase?

Are you a Buyer, Seller or Real Estate Agent in Palm Beach County?  Are you under contract and the deal just went south? Is the title company, law firm or real estate agent/broker holding your escrow monies hostage? You may be having a West Palm Beach Escrow Deposit Dispute.

If you have already referred to your Florida Residential Contract for Sales and Purchase and it is your position that the other party is in default, and all communications with the otherside have been exhausted including both parties not signing-off on a cancellation and disbursement of escrow funds, we then need to look at the proper Florida procedures for having those escrow monies/ earnest money deposits returned.  Again, we look back to your Florida Residential Contract for Sales and Purchase for direction.

According to the 2017 Florida Residential Contract for Sales and Purchase, paragraph 16 states:

  1. DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Unresolved controversies, claims and other matters in question between Buyer and Seller arising out of, or relating to, this Contract or its breach, enforcement or interpretation (“Dispute”) will be settled as follows:

(a)  Buyer and Seller will have 10 days after the date conflicting demands for the Deposit are made to attempt to resolve such    Dispute, failing which, Buyer and Seller shall submit such Dispute to mediation under Paragraph 16(b).

(b)  Buyer and Seller shall attempt to settle Disputes in an amicable manner through mediation pursuant to Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators and Chapter 44, F.S., as amended (the “Mediation Rules”). The mediator must be certified or must have experience in the real estate industry. Injunctive relief may be sought without first complying with this Paragraph 16(b). Disputes not settled pursuant to this Paragraph 16 may be resolved by instituting action in the appropriate court having jurisdiction of the matter. This Paragraph 16 shall survive Closing or termination of this Contract.

  1. ATTORNEY’S FEES; COSTS: The parties will split equally any mediation fee incurred in any mediation permitted by this Contract, and each party will pay their own costs, expenses and fees, including attorney’s fees, incurred in conducting the mediation. In any litigation permitted by this Contract, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover from the non-prevailing party costs and fees, including reasonable attorney’s fees, incurred in conducting the litigation. This Paragraph 17 shall survive Closing or termination of this Contract.

Above information may sound a bit overwelming. And that’s ok. The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC and its experienced team of real estate attorneys and support staff are here to assist and work with you through all of your West Palm Beach Escrow Deposit Disputes. Whether it be commercial or residential contract, we’re here for you. The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC assists clients in the legal fields of Real Estate Law and Business Law in Palm Beach County and throughout South Florida.

Call us today at (561) 699-0399 or visit us at 814 W. Lantana Rd. Suite 1 | Lantana, Florida 33462. Sometimes you need a West Palm Beach Real Estate Attorney. And when you do, The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC is here for you.

****Call 24/7 for all of your legal needs****

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Mortgage Foreclosure in Florida?  Explore Your Options – Deed in Lieu

Confronting a Home Mortgage Foreclosure in Florida can be one of the most stressful events in your life.  It is important to explore all options available when faced with foreclosure in an attempt to avoid foreclosure.  One option that many lenders in Florida offer is a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure (often called a Deed in Lieu).  The process for a Deed in Lieu usually involves the homeowner surrendering the deed and possession of the property to the lender in order to avoid a foreclosure.  In some instances, the lender may give the homeowner a cash payment to walk away from the home and turn the deed over to the lender (called “Cash for Keys”).  A Deed in Lieu may affect your credit, however it usually does not have as much negative effect as a foreclosure judgment would.  Before agreeing to a Deed in Lieu it is important to understand all of your rights and obligations involved under a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure.

If you are facing foreclosure and have questions regarding a possible Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure, call The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC today @ (561) 699-0399 or set-up an appointment to come visit us at our Lantana, Florida office location. Our dedicated team of Foreclosure Defense Attorneys are here to assist during this difficult time.

Our services also include assistance with Mortgage Modifications, Mortgage Help, Short Sales, Foreclosure Defense, and Representation of Homeowners in Condominium and Homeowners Association Lien Foreclosure Lawsuits.

We serve the following areas in South Florida:

Palm Beach County Florida

Boca Raton
Boynton Beach
Delray Beach
Lake Worth
Lantana
Palm Beach Gardens
Riviera Beach
Wellington
West Palm Beach

Broward County Florida

Dania Beach
Davie
Deerfield Beach
Fort Lauderdale
Hallandale Beach
Hollywood
Parkland
Pembroke Pines
Pompano

Miami-Dade County Florida
Aventura
Brickell
Coral Gables
Doral
Golden Beach
Hialeah
Miami
North Miami Beach
Sunny Isles Beach

Writ of Possession Florida

Shipp LawOnce the Landlord obtains a judgment of eviction for possession against the Tenants, the Clerk of Court will be instructed by the Judge, pursuant to the Final Judgment of Eviction, to issue a writ to the county sheriff.  Pursuant to Florida Statute 83.61, this writ will describe the premises and direct the county sheriff to put the Landlord in possession of the subject property after twenty-four (24) hours notice.  The Landlord may not enter the property until the Writ of Possession is issued and executed by the county sheriff.  It is important to note that Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays do not stay the twenty four (24) hour notice period.  The county sheriff is the entity/department to execute the writ and not the judiciary.

Once the county sheriff executes the Writ of Possession, the Landlord may enter the property as he/she has regained possession of the property.  Further, the Landlord may change the locks.  Thereafter, if the Tenants left personal property and personal belongings in the property, the Landlord may remove that property “to or near the property line”.  This means that the Landlord can remove the Tenant’s belongings to the sidewalk.

The Writ of Possession is the all-important document that gives the Landlord the power to regain possession of the property.  Without this writ, the Landlord can be held liable for self-help tactics if he/she changes the locks or turns off the electricity/water.

The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC and its team of dedicated landlord-tenant attorneys and staff are here to help.  Call us today at (561) 699-0399 to set up your free 20-minute consultation.  We are located in Lantana, Florida.  We serve South Florida.

FL Asset Protection

Florida does not impose state taxes on Inheritance, estates, or gifts.  Protect your hard earned assets and leave a lasting legacy for future generations and charitable causes.

Florida has a longstanding reputation as a favorable destination for retirees.  Many people view Florida as a retirement haven because of Florida’s warm weather and easy going lifestyle.  Florida is also an advantageous domicile for retirement in terms of protecting your hard earned assets, and ensuring that the younger generations of your family will be protected long into the future.  Florida does not impose any state taxes on inheritance, estates, or gifts.  However, it is important to realize that real property, and tangible personal property located in another state, may be subject to any estate taxes imposed by the state where the property is located.  There are strategies an individual can use regarding out of state property, to ensure that such property is not subject to state inheritance or estate taxes.  Transfers of assets during your lifetime to family, friends, colleagues, and charitable organizations are one way to limit tax liability and ensure your property will be used to enrich the lives of others.

If you are interested in how you can take advantage of Florida’s favorable estate and inheritance tax climate to your advantage and other Florida asset protection strategies, contact The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC  (FL Asset Protection attorneys) to help you with your needs.  Call us today @ (561) 699-0399 to set-up an appointment to come visit us at our Lantana, Florida office location.

FL Collections Attorneys

The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC is a South Florida Debt Collections law firm dedicated to helping  businesses collect outstanding debts and accounts receivable.

For most cases, Attorney Shipp and his team work on a contingency plus costs basis. What does that exactly mean? As a client, you owe no amount for attorney’s fees unless there is money recovery.

As a Florida Collections Attorney, Attorney Shipp takes pride in servicing each client by providing them with his personal attentiveness, experience, knowledge, skill, compassion, and tenacity as well providing his clients with the absolute most competitive rates in the industry.

When it comes to collecting for his clients, Attorney Shipp has a simple three-step process.

Step 1: Pre-Suit Collections (Demand Stage)

Step 2: Filing Suit/ Litigation

Step 3: Post-Judgment Collections

To learn more about your options, request a claim form, or inquire about our competitive rates, contact the Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC @ (561) 699-0399 or stop by our Lantana, Florida office location today. 814 W. Lantana Rd. Suite 1, Lantana, Florida 33462.

FL Condominium Association Attaches Unit Owner’s Rental Income

Q: FL Condominium Association Attaches Unit Owner’s Rental Income

A: The short answer is that a Condominium Association (“Association”) may go after a unit owner’s rental income in Florida if the unit owner is delinquent on dues and assessments.  Pursuant to Florida Statutes, Section 718.116(11), if a unit is occupied by a Tenant and the unit owner is delinquent on dues and assessments due and owing to the Association, the Association may send a written letter to the Tenant that the Tenant pay to the Association all future monthly rental payments until the delinquency is paid in full.  The Tenant has an affirmative obligation to make all the monthly rental payments, pursuant to the Residential Lease, to the Association instead of the unit owner.

The Association must provide the Tenant with written notice either by hand delivery or via United States mail.  A verbal demand will not suffice.  The Association must also mail the written notice to the unit owner.  Thereafter, if the Tenant makes the monthly payment to the Association, the unit owner cannot state that the Tenant has not made his/her monthly rental payment and should therefore, be evicted.  Further, the Tenant has no obligation to make more than the monthly rental payment pursuant to the Residential Lease with the unit owner.

The remedies available to an Association is that the Association may sue for eviction as if the Association were a Landlord if the Tenant fails to pay the required payment pursuant to the written demand.  This is important because the Association can stand in the shoes of the unit owner but only for eviction purposes.  The Association in not otherwise considered a Landlord under chapter 83, Florida Statutes.  Have a similar issue? The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC is here to help. We are boutique law firm that caters to our clients with a hands-on approach. Call us today at (561) 699-0399 to set up your free 20-minute consultation.  We are located in Lantana, Florida.  We serve South Florida.

 

Florida Condominium Law – Changing the Allocation of Assessments

Florida Condominium Law

There are many condominium communities in Florida that contain different sized units.  One area of contention that surfaces between unit owners, is how assessments are allocated between different sized units.  Allocation of assessments are set forth in the declaration of condominium.

According to current Florida law, condominium units can share the expenses equally, or based on the square footage of each unit.  When a community with different sized units has an original declaration stating that all units will share equally in the common expenses, issues can arise.  Many times owners of smaller units take the position that they should pay a lower percentage of assessments, and they want to change the declaration regarding assessment allocation.  The only way to change how assessments are allocated, is to amend the declaration.  This may sound simple, but to change assessment allocations is quite difficult.

Florida Statute 718.110(4), states that unless otherwise allowed in the original declaration of condominium, the record owners of all units and all record owners of liens on the units must approve any change to the assessment allocation.  Most condominium declarations do not provide for a different method to change assessment allocation, therefore in most cases all unit owners need to approve any changes to assessment allocation.  Florida condominium associations and condominium unit owners should consult an attorney before taking any action to change assessment allocation.

The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC is here to help you with all of your condominium association and homeowners association needs.  We are a boutique that caters to our clients with a hands-on approach.  Call us today  @ (561) 699-0399 or set-up an appointment to come visit us at our Lantana, Florida office location.

Landlord Eviction Attorney FL Cost

Shipp LawLandlord Eviction Attorney FL Cost? Are you a Florida Landlord that needs to Evict your Tenant?  The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC is your one stop shop for all of your Landlord-Tenant  and Real Estate Law needs.  Want to know our fees?  They are laid out below and can also be found on our website.

Residential Landlord Eviction Fee Schedule
EVICTION FOR POSSESSION ONLY (FLAT FEE) Two (2)-Tenants

The Attorney’s Fee and Legal Cost is a Flat Fee of $995.00 for an eviction for possession of two (2) tenants and it includes the following:

 

• Consultation with Attorney

• Review, Draft, and Serve Three (3) Day Notice on Tenant(s) (if necessary)

• Draft/File Complaint with Court, and Serve Tenant(s)

• Draft/File Motion and Proposed Order for Clerk’s Default

• Draft/File Non-Military Service Affidavit

• Draft/File Motion and Proposed Order for Final Judgment and Attendance at Court Hearing (if necessary)

• Draft/File Writ of Possession

The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC takes pride in offering its clients quality legal work, that is both timely and affordable. ***Therefore, the $995.00 Flat Fee applies to ALL residential evictions for possession only AND one Court related appearance if necessary.*** NO HIDDEN FEES OR COSTS. Additional fees and costs apply for evictions with more than two tenants, multiple court appearances, and defending potential counterclaims to the Landlord’s Complaint. Contact our office for Commercial Eviction Pricing.

Call us today at (561) 699-0399 to set-up an appointment to come into our Lantana, Florida office location.

We are located in Lantana, we serve South Florida.

Palm Beach County

  • Boca Raton
  • Boynton Beach
  • Delray Beach
  • Lake Worth
  • Lantana
  • Palm Beach Gardens
  • Riviera Beach
  • Wellington
  • West Palm Beach
Broward County

  • Dania Beach
  • Davie
  • Deerfield Beach
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Hallandale Beach
  • Hollywood
  • Parkland
  • Pembroke Pines
  • Pompano
Miami-Dade County

  • Aventura
  • Brickell
  • Coral Gables
  • Doral
  • Golden Beach
  • Hialeah
  • Miami
  • North Miami Beach
  • Sunny Isles Beach

Have you been served with Foreclosure papers? Call us today @ (561) 699-0399 for a free 20-minute consultation.
The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC is proud to announce the expansion of our office and new street signage in an effort to better serve our clients.
Need to Evict a Tenant? Checkout our Landlord Eviction Fee Schedule http://shipplawoffice.com/blog/?p=504
Is your Tenant not paying rent? #shipplaw is your one stop shop for all of your Landlord needs. (561) 699-0399. shipplawoffice.com
#Shipplaw handles Florida landlord-tenant disputes, unlawful detainers, ejectments, replevins, collections matters, foreclosure defense, & contractual disputes

Florida 4COP, Full Liquor license Available for Palm Beach County, FL

liquor2One of our long time clients has

The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC has assisted numerous clients in the process of acquiring and selling alcohol licenses, obtaining permits, and working directly with the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Bureau of Licensing in Florida to get these deals done. Give us a call or stop by our office at 814 W. Lantana Rd. Suite 1, Lantana, Florida 33462 to help facilitate the process.

Have you been served with Foreclosure papers? Call us today @ (561) 699-0399 for a free 20-minute consultation.
The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC is proud to announce the expansion of our office and new street signage in an effort to better serve our clients.
Need to Evict a Tenant? Checkout our Landlord Eviction Fee Schedule http://shipplawoffice.com/blog/?p=504
Is your Tenant not paying rent? #shipplaw is your one stop shop for all of your Landlord needs. (561) 699-0399. shipplawoffice.com
#Shipplaw handles Florida landlord-tenant disputes, unlawful detainers, ejectments, replevins, collections matters, foreclosure defense, & contractual disputes

 
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