How Long Do Insurers Have To Pay Claims In Florida?
After your property has been damaged by flooding, a hurricane, tropical storm, or another natural disaster, you expect your insurance coverage to protect you. You have paid your premiums month after month and when you need it, and you rightfully deserve to receive coverage quickly. How quickly should you expect coverage, though?
Many insurers delay the process of providing coverage policyholders deserve. Sometimes, they hope that you will just give up on the process altogether. However, under the law, insurers are required to respond to and pay claims in a timely fashion. Below, our Daytona Beach residential property damage lawyer explains further.
The Legal Timeline for Handling Insurance Claims
Under Florida law, insurance companies must acknowledge a property damage claim within 14 days of receiving it. Within 15 days, the insurance company must conduct an investigation of the claim. If the insurer needs more time to complete the investigation, they can ask for an extension of no more than 90 days. While the law is quite clear and seems straightforward, like most legal issues, there are exceptions to the rules.
Factors that Delay Insurance Claims
There are many factors that can delay an insurance claim beyond the legal timeline. Of these, there are two that are most common.
Property damage claims are often delayed when a case involves certain complications. For example, if your property was severely damaged by a hurricane, the insurer may need more time to properly evaluate the damage and determine the cost to repair the damage. Due to the fact that many homeowners in the same area suffer damage during these events, it could take an insurer even longer to process a claim.
Improper or incomplete documentation is another common reason property damage claims are delayed. To ensure a lack of documentation does not delay your claim, you should keep all documents of the damage in a safe place. Documentation can include repair estimates, photographs, and receipts for any temporary repairs you may have made. If your insurer does not have this information, it could cause a significant delay in your claim.
Know Your Rights
It is critical that you know your rights any time you file a property damage claim. In addition to the timelines set out in the law, you also have the right to free mediation services by the Florida Department of Financial Services, although it is subject to some restrictions. If your property was damaged by a sinkhole, you also have the right to a free neutral claim examination. Lastly, after you have sent a written request to the insurer, you have the right to a proof-of-loss statement as well as updates on the status of your claim.
Our Residential Property Damage Lawyers in Daytona Beach Can Uphold Your Rights
When filing a property damage insurance claim, you have many rights. At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Daytona Beach residential property damage lawyers will make sure they are upheld so you obtain the full and fair coverage you deserve. Call or text us now at 386-252-5170 or chat with us online to book a free consultation.