Recent Changes In Property Insurance Law: What You Need To Know
This past July, Florida’s new property damage bill (Senate Bill 76 ) took effect, with changes that will affect property owners and insurers alike across the state. The bill included changes to property insurance litigation in Florida and proposed methods to stabilize rising insurance premiums for property owners.
The new legislation was spurred by reports of a combined $1.57 billion in underwriting losses among 56 combined Florida insurers, with insurers said to be spending more on claims and expenses than revenue via premiums. More insurers may enter or re-enter the Florida market as a result of the new legislation, it is claimed. On the other hand, some viewed the change in law as a victory for insurance companies over homeowners.
The overall intent, as stated, was to encourage insurance companies to write more policies for homeowners, and to avoid surprise rate increases that have dogged Florida property owners in recent years. However, the bill also included provisions that create new barriers for property owners to have their day in court if needed.
New Legal Requirements for Property Damage Claims
Most notably for homeowners, the new law reduces the time you have to file or reopen a property damage claim. Instead of 3 years from the time when damage occurs, a property owner now has only 2 years to provide notice of a claim for a “loss caused by any peril”. The clock starts ticking to report a claim at the same time as before, but with the filing deadline reduced by a full year. This makes it all the more important to contact an experienced property damage attorney as soon as you are aware of a problem that might be costly to fix.
The deadline to report a “supplemental claim” remains 3 years. A supplemental claim is a claim for additional loss or damage from the same issue that the insurer has previously adjusted, or for costs incurred during repairs. If the supplemental claim is not made within 3 years, you might not be able to recover.
There is some debate as to whether this bill will serve the consequences it intends. Will it protect property owners from rising insurance rates and declined coverage? Or will it be another mechanism for insurers to cut costs, raise rates, and deny property damage claims?
What Does This Mean for You?
Property owners need to remain vigilant and take action as soon as they can when they experience property damage or loss. The insurance companies partnered with Florida lawmakers to craft a bill that limits legal options and even recovery of attorney’s fees when claims go to litigation. Time is of the essence once you discover damage that your insurer should cover under your policy. Make sure your options are safeguarded and consult with an attorney to discuss your options when experiencing issues with a property damage claim.
Contact Our Daytona Beach Property Damage Claims Attorneys
Filing a homeowner’s insurance claim is never easy, and requires quick action on the part of the homeowner. Even if you get approved, the process for obtaining your settlement can be complex. To protect your rights and to help ensure you get what you are entitled to, reach out to Bundza & Rodriguez. Call or contact our Daytona Beach property damage claims attorneys online to request a consultation today.