Proposed Bill Could Help Homeowners after a Hurricane
News 4 in Jacksonville has reported on a proposed bill that is working its way through the statehouse. If passed, this bill could provide crucial protection to homeowners in the wake of a hurricane or other natural disaster, when they need money from their insurance policies to fix their homes. We hope the bill passes, since we have seen far too many homeowners struggle to get hurricane insurance claims paid after a disaster.
If you have questions about a claim, contact Bundza & Rodriguez today and a member of our team will help you identify your legal options.
Consumer Protection Act Truly Looks out for Consumers
The bill has passed its initial round of committee meetings but has not yet been passed by the entire legislature. However, details of the bill have already emerged, and we like what we see. These protections will help consumers get timely compensation after a hurricane and hold insurance companies to account when they delay.
If passed, the bill will:
- Require an insurance company settle a claim in 90 days. This should end the “delay and defend” tactics that many insurers use to try and put pressure on insureds to agree to inadequate settlements. With money in hand, homeowners can begin rebuilding or repairing their homes before more damage results.
- Provide crucial protections to Floridians when their insurance company goes bankrupt.
- Allow consumers more time to back out of public adjusters contracts following a natural disaster like a hurricane. This change will allow consumers who feel that they are being taken advantage of to back out without legal exposure.
- Crack down on unlicensed insurance agents, who unfortunately commit entirely too much fraud, or else injure our clients negligently. Consumers often do not have the time to perform detailed research on their agents, instead relying on state licensing.
With luck, Governor DeSantis will sign the bill once it is passed so that it will be in place for the 2020 Hurricane Season in Florida.
Get the Legal Help You Need
Even if the bill does not pass, there are substantial protections under current law for homeowners looking for relief after a disaster strikes. Every insurance agreement is a contract that provides crucial rights to homeowners. Florida also has bad faith insurance laws that regulate the insurance industry and prohibit some of the worst abuses.
For example, the terms of an insurance contract should control unless they are against public policy. These are dense contracts which many consumers cannot understand, and some insurers take advantage of that fact. A loss might fall squarely within the terms of the contract but an insurer dishonestly claims it is not covered.
In other situations, insurers do not fulfill their duties to promptly investigate and settle claims. Any delay costs an insured money and could keep them out of their home.
If you are struggling to get a claim paid, please contact our Daytona Beach hurricane insurance claims attorneys today. Our lawyers have handled many hurricane insurance claims in the area, and we can help you fight any denial. Call 386-252-5170.