Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do you take cases on a contingency basis?
A. Yes. We accept cases on a contingency basis, which means that our attorney’s fees are paid at the end of the case and we do not charge anything unless we win the case.

This does not mean that we take any case, or take all cases, on a contingency basis. But if, after a free consultation, we believe that your case has merit and is appropriate for a contingency arrangement, then our attorney’s fees and costs will be paid at the close of the case if there is a recovery. Please see the Florida Bar Statement of Client’s Rights for more information on attorney employment under a contingency fee agreement.

Q. Do I have the right to challenge an insurance company’s denial of my claim?
A. Yes. Florida insurance policyholders can fight an insurance company’s claim denial. Please contact us if you believe a valid insurance claim has been denied or if an insurance company is acting unfairly—such as delaying the processing of a claim, not communicating with you, or paying less than what is necessary.
Q. Can a Florida insurance company be held responsible for the attorney’s fees and costs of a policyholder when the insurance company denies a valid claim?

A. Yes. Under Florida law, an insurance company must pay the attorney’s fees and costs of an insured who prevails against their own insurance company to obtain coverage. The purpose of the law is to encourage insurance companies to pay valid claims and, if it does not, to compensate insureds who must hire an attorney to enforce their rights under insurance contracts.

The public policy behind the Florida statute is to place an insured in the place she would have been if the insurer had seasonably paid the claim or benefits without causing the insured to engage counsel and incur obligations for attorney fees.
—Florida Supreme Court. Lewis v. Universal Property and Cas. Ins. Co., 13 So.3d 1079

Q. Can an insurance company cancel my insurance for making a claim?
A. Most insurance policies prohibit cancellation unless there has been non-payment of the premium, or a fraudulent misrepresentation, or a substantial change in the risk. Further, most insurance policies allow for non-renewal of the policy only on certain conditions. We have successfully brought challenges for improper non-renewal and cancellation of an insurance policy.
Q. Why do I need an attorney for an insurance claim?

A. Obviously, you would need an attorney to go to court to dispute a wrongful denial of the claim or to dispute a bad result of the claim. (There’s an old saying, “a person who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.”) So the more important question is why you, a policyholder and customer of the insurance company, should have an attorney during the pendency of a claim, before the claim has been finalized? Doesn’t an insurance company have my best interest in mind? The answer, unfortunately, is that in many instances it does not. There are many pitfalls in the claims process. Visit CLAIMS PROCESS for further reading.

Q. Can a condominium association be held responsible for the attorney’s fees and costs of a condominium unit owner when the unit owner takes legal action against the association?
A. Yes. Under Florida law, a condominium unit owner has the right to bring a lawsuit against the condominium association for property damage caused by the association’s failure to comply with its duties and responsibilities. A unit owner prevailing in such an action against the association is entitled to recover his or her reasonable attorney’s fees from the Association. Moreover, in addition to recovering attorney’s fees, the unit owner may also recover additional amounts for any assessments involving the property damage claim.
Q. Why would an insurance company deny my claim?
A. Your insurance company may give you reasons ranging from the damage not being covered by your policy to there being a dispute over liability for your damage. The Law Offices of Geoffrey Gilbert, P.A. can help you understand your policy and ensure that your insurance company does not wrongfully deny your claim.
Q. What should I do if I sustain property damage because of a hurricane?
A. We recommend retaining a lawyer to serve your interests and maximize your claim following damage to your home after a hurricane. After a storm, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Take notes and keep your receipts and pictures of the damage well documented. The Law Offices of Geoffrey Gilbert, P.A. will assist you in recovering the full amount for your damages.