In the fast-paced world of insurance claims, overlooking the fine print of an insurance policy can lead to dire consequences. From missed deadlines to unexpected coverage limitations, failing to review your client’s policy thoroughly can leave you and your clients vulnerable to significant financial losses. This holds true for roofers, contractors, public adjusters, and policyholders alike, as recent cases and real-life anecdotes vividly demonstrate.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations is the time that is required for a homeowner, homeowners association, or business owner to file legal action to enforce their rights to insurance coverage payments under an insurance policy. The statute of limitations varies from state to state, and failing to act within this timeframe can result in the forfeiture of an insured’s right to insurance coverage payments, as evidenced by a recent Owners Insurance Company case¹. In this instance, a business owner lost out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance coverage payments because they missed the deadline to file suit to enforce their rights to insurance proceeds from an insurance appraisal award. The suit was dismissed by the court for failure to file within the 2-year period to bring legal action outlined in the policy.

Avoiding Coverage Gaps and Surprises: Another common pitfall is assuming that an insurance policy provides comprehensive coverage, only to realize later that crucial aspects are missing or inadequate, such as coverage for matching, replacement cost, or updates required by local ordinances or laws. Picture this scenario: A contractor bids $500,000 for insulation work, only to discover later that insurance coverage is limited to $25,000. Shocking, isn’t it? Unfortunately, such discrepancies are not uncommon, and they often come to light only when it’s too late and much time and expense has been incurred. This is where a thorough review of the policy becomes indispensable. By scrutinizing the terms, conditions, and exclusions of the policy, you can identify potential gaps in coverage and take proactive steps to address them before disaster strikes.

Empowering Yourself Through Knowledge: The key takeaway from these cautionary tales is clear: Knowledge is power. Whether you’re a roofer, contractor, public adjuster, an insured, or even all four, taking the time to review the insurance policy can prevent costly mistakes and ensure a smoother claims handling process. And if you need help, don’t wait until it’s too late — schedule a policy review with Merlin Law Group today and safeguard against such risks.

Conclusion: In the complex world of insurance claims, ignorance is not bliss — it’s a liability waiting to happen. By prioritizing the review of the insurance policy, you can protect from unexpected surprises, missed opportunities, and costly mistakes. Remember: It’s better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to safeguarding your interests and securing your financial future.

This article serves as a wake-up call to roofers, contractors, public adjusters, and insureds themselves. Take control of your insurance destiny. Avoid the pitfalls of complacency, and arm yourself with the knowledge and the tools necessary to navigate the insurance landscape with confidence and resilience.

Thought for the Day

Success is where preparation and opportunity meet. 

— Bobby Unser

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With over 39 years of practice and $2 billion in recovered claims, Merlin Law Group comprises experience in all facets of the industry, with an unmatched combination of court-tested success, contractor and public adjuster knowledge, insurance industry insights, and passion for the policyholder. Our team stands by your side to ensure you can face any insurance challenge with confidence. Contact us today for a consultation, or read more about how we act as your trusted advocate.

Jonathan Bukowski, Esq., is part of the Merlin Law Group Denver team, which also includes founder and president, Chip Merlin, Esq., Larry Bache, Esq., Christopher Mammel, Esq., Matthew Stalcup, Esq., Mara Essick, Esq., and Nicholas Conklin, Esq.

¹Thornton Hamilton LLC v. Owners Insurance Company, No. 22-CV-02092-RM-SKC (D. Colo. Sept. 13, 2023).