Answered: Your Most Burning Questions About Florida Homeowners Insurance Claims
1. How long does an insurance company have to acknowledge my claim?
Florida law requires an insurance company to acknowledge receipt of your claim within 14 days. At this time, your insurance company must give you information such as what it needs to proceed with your claim and instructions for filling out claim forms. This requirement does not apply if your insurance company paid the claim within 14 days or if the failure to acknowledge the claim is caused by factors beyond your insurance company’s control.
2. Should I give a recorded statement?
If your insurance company requests that you provide a recorded statement, you are required under your policy to do so. However, it’s often in your best interest to speak with an attorney before giving a recorded statement because an insurance company can use your statement against you later to dispute your claim. Regardless of whether you consult an attorney, make sure you understand the process and are prepared before you give the statement. Remember also to stick to the facts of your claim/
3. When must an insurance company pay my claim?
Your insurance company must pay or deny your claim within 90 days after receiving notice of your claim unless the failure to pay is caused by factors beyond the control of the insurance company which reasonably prevents such payment.
4. Does an insurance company have to explain why it denied my claim?
Yes! Florida law requires your insurance company to explain in the denial letter the reason(s) it denied your claim.
5. What should I do if my insurance company refuses to pay my claim?
If your insurance company denies a claim, you should receive a written explanation for its action. A common reason for the denial is the insurance company's belief that the policy at issue does not provide coverage for the particular situation. Read your policy carefully to determine if you agree with the insurance company's position.
If believe your insurance company has acted wrongfully, contact the claims department for further explanation. Prepare a list of all your questions in advance, and remain calm during the conversation. Now and then, a simple clerical error or a correctable mistake could have led to the denial. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, ask to speak to a supervisor.
If you're still not making progress, you may want to consider pursing a legal action. When an insurance company refuses to pay a legitimate claim, delays payment, pays less than the full value of the claim, it is a breach of contract. In some cases, the insurance company has no legitimate reason for its actions and is simply acting in its own best interest, not that of the insured. Our office regularly takes on insurance companies that use unscrupulous tactics to avoid paying homeowners claims or to minimize payments seeking to maximize their profits at the expense of homeowners. Contact us to schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case.