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How Long Do You Have To Submit Home Insurance Claim in Florida?

If you’re a Florida homeowner dealing with property damage, it can be quite stressful trying to navigate the complex path of homeowners insurance claims. You might be grappling with numerous questions, and probably the most urgent one is, “How long do I have to submit a home insurance claim?”

Having a clear understanding of insurance company claims deadlines is vital to protecting your rights as a policyholder. According to Florida Statute § 627.70132, homeowners should submit a home insurance claim or reopened claim within 1 year after the date of loss.

That’s where Tighe P.A. steps in. Our mission is to provide the guidance and support you need to efficiently and effectively manage your Florida homeowners insurance claim. Book a free consultation today.

How Long Do Florida Home Insurance Claims Take To Settle?

When it comes to a homeowners insurance claim, there are two essential timelines to keep in mind: the filing deadline for your claim and how long it may take for your claim to be settled by the insurance company.

As mentioned above, homeowners should notify the insurance company of a claim or reopened claim within 1 year after the date of loss. However, for a supplemental claim—a claim for additional loss or damage from the same incident—homeowners have up to 18 months from the date of loss to notify their insurance company. 

A reopened claim refers to a claim that has been previously closed but has been reopened at the insured’s request for additional costs for previously disclosed loss or damage.

In the case of claims resulting from hurricanes, tornadoes, windstorms, severe rain, or other weather-related events, the date of loss is considered to be the date the event occurred, as verified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

We recommend you report your loss to the insurance company as quickly as possible. Not only can prompt action help to expedite the claims process, but it also ensures that all incident details are still fresh in your mind, a factor that can be extremely helpful during the claim investigation.

The time it takes to settle a claim can vary significantly, depending on the complexity and severity of the damage. Generally, insurance companies should provide an initial response within 14 days of your claim being filed and then have up to 90 days to investigate and make a decision about the claim. But delays can and do occur.

At Tighe P.A., we understand how important it is for your claim to be resolved swiftly and fairly. We commit ourselves to hold insurance companies to their obligations and to ensure that our clients are treated justly.

Don’t traverse the challenging world of insurance claims and insurance companies by yourself. Let the experienced team at Tighe P.A. be your ally in this process.

Important Time Limits for Florida Homeowners Insurance Claims

Beyond the initial deadlines for filing a claim or a supplemental claim, there are other key timelines and rights that Florida homeowners need to be aware of. Understanding these time limits can help you better navigate the claims process and ensure you receive the full benefits of your insurance policy.

Firstly, within 14 days of reporting your claim, the insurance company is required to acknowledge receipt, provide necessary claim forms, and give you clear instructions on what you need to do next. Next, the insurer has 30 days from the day you submitted your proof-of-loss statement to confirm whether your claim will be covered, partially covered, denied, or under investigation.

If your claim is under investigation, the insurance company has a total of 90 days from the date of notification to either pay or deny the claim. However, please be aware that your insurer can only deny your claim or refuse to pay the full dollar amount of the claim by providing you with a written statement listing all reasons for the denial or partial payment.

Homeowner Claims Bill Of Rights

It’s crucial to note that as a Florida homeowner, you’re entitled to certain rights under the Florida Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights. The homeowner claims bill of rights ensures fair and balanced treatment of homeowners by their insurance companies throughout the claims process.

Under the Bill, you have the right to receive acknowledgment of your claim within 14 days after the claim was communicated to the insurance provider. You’re also entitled to receive communication from the insurance provider regarding any claim payment within 90 days. Additionally, the Bill of Rights ensures that you receive full disclosure of any changes in the policy language that may affect your coverage.

Remember, the timelines and rights mentioned here are vital aspects of most insurance claims processes, and understanding them can significantly impact your claim’s outcome. As always, the team at Tighe P.A. stands ready to guide you through these nuances and provide you with the support you need in these challenging times.

Reasons You May Need To Submit A Home Insurance Claim In Florida

Florida homeowners face a unique set of challenges when it comes to protecting their homes. Given the state’s susceptibility to various natural disasters and other incidents, there are several reasons why you may find yourself needing to submit a home insurance claim to insurance providers. 

It’s crucial to understand these scenarios, as knowing what events your policy covers and what happens during a disputed claim will significantly aid your response in the aftermath of damage to your home.

Hail And Wind Damage

Florida is no stranger to strong winds and hail, particularly during hurricane season. It’s possible your home sustains wind damage from high-speed winds that can cause significant damage to your home’s structure, including the roof, siding, and even windows. Hail can cause dents in the roof, break windows, and damage exterior property. 

Homeowners insurance typically covers these types of damages. Always inspect your home after a storm and document any damage you find—photographs and videos can be compelling evidence when you’re filing a claim.

Water Damage

Water damage is another common reason for filing a home insurance claim in Florida. Whether due to a burst pipe, a leaky roof, or a flood, water can cause severe damage to your home’s structure and your personal belongings. 

While homeowners insurance generally covers water damage from sudden and accidental incidents, it’s important to note that damage from flooding—often resulting from hurricanes and other severe weather events—is usually excluded and requires separate flood insurance.

Fire & Lightning

Fire and lightning are also common perils covered under most standard homeowners insurance policies. Fire can lead to extensive property damage and even render a home uninhabitable, while a lightning strike can result in power surges that damage electronic equipment in your home. 

In such cases, your home insurance policy should cover the repair or replacement costs of your home and personal belongings.

Break-Ins & Theft

Unfortunately, break-ins and theft can occur regardless of where you live. If your home is broken into and personal belongings are stolen, your homeowners insurance will typically cover the value of the stolen items up to your policy’s limits. It can also cover damage to your home caused during the break-in, such as broken windows or doors.

Liability Claims

Finally, liability claims are another reason why you might need to file a homeowners insurance claim. If someone is injured on your property and you are found legally responsible, the liability coverage in your homeowners insurance can help cover medical bills and legal costs.

Understanding the reasons behind insurance claims can help you prepare and respond efficiently when these unfortunate incidents occur.

What You Should Do When Filing A Home Insurance Claim

Filing a home insurance claim can often seem daunting, especially if you’re dealing with it for the first time. However, there are certain steps you can take to ensure the process runs smoothly.

Firstly, you should notify your insurer as soon as possible after the incident. Initial communication is important. Provide them with a detailed account of what happened and the extent of the damage. It’s also advisable to document the damage with photos and videos, as they can serve as proof if your claim is disputed. You must report accurate information to increase your chances of success

Next, fill out the claim forms promptly and accurately. If you’ve incurred costs due to the damage (such as hotel bills if your home was uninhabitable), make sure to keep all receipts. You could receive full or partial payment under the ‘loss of use’ part of your policy.

Finally, once you’ve submitted the claim, maintain open communication with your insurance carrier and respond to their inquiries promptly. If the damage is significant, your insurer might send an adjuster to inspect your property.

Common Reasons For A Claim Denial

Insurance claim denials can be frustrating and stressful. Knowing the common reasons for denial or a disputed claim can help you avoid potential pitfalls and increase your chances of a successful claim.

Lack Of Coverage

One of the most common reasons for claim denial is simply that the damage or loss is not covered under your policy. This could be because the cause of the damage is excluded from your policy or you’re claiming more than your policy limit. Always review your policy carefully to understand what is covered and what isn’t.

Missed Deadlines

As mentioned earlier, insurance claims have strict reporting deadlines. Missing these deadlines can lead to your claim being denied. It’s always crucial to act quickly and notify your insurer as soon as possible after an incident.

Failing To Pay Premiums

Your claim can be denied if you fail to pay your home insurance payments. Insurance policies require regular premium payments to remain valid, and missing payments could result in the cancellation of your policy.

Failing To Disclose Information

Being dishonest or omitting critical information when applying for insurance or filing a claim can also lead to claim denial. Always be truthful and provide as much detail as possible to avoid issues.

Poor Documentation Of Damage

Insufficient documentation of the damage can lead to your claim being denied or underpaid. Documenting the damage thoroughly with photos and videos, along with keeping a detailed record of any repairs or related expenses, can be instrumental in a successful claim.

Failing To Secure The Home From Further Damage

After an incident, it’s your responsibility as a homeowner to prevent further damage to your property where possible. If you fail to do so, insurers might deny your claim or reduce your payout.

Remember, while these are common reasons for denial, each claim is unique. If your claim is denied, it’s always worth seeking professional advice to understand your options.

Mistakes Florida Homeowners Often Make When Filing A Claim

When filing a homeowners insurance claim, it’s easy to make missteps that may cost you time, effort, and potentially a fair payout. By being aware of these common mistakes, you can better navigate the claim process and improve your chances of a favorable outcome.

Failing To Read Your Policy

It may sound simple, but one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is not reading their insurance policies thoroughly. An insurance policy is a contract, and it’s important to understand the terms, conditions, and exclusions of your policy. This includes knowing your coverage limits, any time-sensitive requirements, and any deductibles that may apply.

Not Having The Right Coverage

In connection with the first point, not having the appropriate coverage for your home and belongings is another frequent misstep. Standard homeowners insurance policies have certain exclusions, such as flood damage, that require separate coverage. It’s crucial to ensure your policy aligns with your specific needs and risks.

Not Keeping A Home Inventory

Failing to keep an up-to-date inventory of your home’s contents can complicate the claim process. In the event of a loss, a home inventory inventory—complete with descriptions, photos, and receipts where possible – can make it easier to determine the value of your belongings and speed up the claim process.

Trying To Tackle A Big Claim Alone

Insurance policies and claims can be complex, and trying to handle a substantial claim on your own can be overwhelming. In such situations, it can be beneficial to enlist the help of an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and advocate on your behalf.

Cleaning Up Too Fast

While it’s natural to want to clean up and repair damage as quickly as possible—you’d think cleaning up in a timely manner would be a good thing. However, doing so too quickly can potentially harm your claim. It’s important to fully document the damage before starting cleanup efforts. Also, remember that some repairs may need approval from your insurance company before you begin.

Filing Too Many Claims

While you have insurance to protect against losses, filing too many claims in a short period can lead to higher premiums or even non-renewal of your policy. Consider whether a claim is necessary for smaller losses that you could cover out-of-pocket without financial strain.

Navigating a home insurance claim can be challenging, but avoiding these common mistakes can help make the process more manageable and improve the chances of a successful outcome.

What Can You Do If You Disagree With Your Insurance Company’s Decision

Insurance claim disputes can be an emotionally draining process. As a homeowner, you expect your insurance company to be there to help when disaster strikes. When your claim is denied or the settlement amount seems insufficient, it can feel like a double blow.

However, it’s crucial to know that you have options to reach an acceptable settlement.

The first step is to understand why your claim was denied or underpaid. The insurance company should provide you with a detailed explanation. If the reason for denial or underpayment isn’t clear, don’t hesitate to ask for further clarification. Once you understand their standpoint, you can start to build your case.

Revisit your policy and the incident that led to the claim. Gather all relevant documents, such as photographs, repair estimates, and any other evidence that supports your position. A thorough review can help identify any discrepancies in the insurer’s decision and your understanding of the policy’s terms.

If you’re still not satisfied with the insurer’s decision, consider hiring a public adjuster. A public adjuster is a professional who evaluates your property’s damage and helps you understand the complexities of your insurance policy. They can assist in re-negotiating with your insurance company.

You may also consider reaching out to the Florida Department of Financial Services. The Florida Department of Financial Services provides a wealth of resources and consumer services to help consumers understand their insurance policies and the claims process. They also oversee the insurance industry in Florida, ensuring that companies are adhering to the law. If you believe your insurer is treating you unfairly, you can file a complaint with the DFS.

Mediation is another option. During mediation, a neutral third party (the mediator) helps facilitate discussions between you and your insurance company to reach an agreement. It’s a less formal and usually less expensive alternative to litigation.

If none of these options brings about a satisfactory resolution, you may consider filing a lawsuit against your insurance company. This step should be taken under the guidance of an experienced attorney.

Lastly, you may want to consider contacting a legal professional. An attorney who specializes in property insurance law can provide valuable advice and guidance. They can help you understand your rights, communicate effectively with your insurance company, and potentially take legal action if necessary.

Remember, it’s your right to challenge the insurance company’s decision if you believe it is unfair or unjust. Standing up for your rights can make the difference between a lowball settlement and the fair compensation you deserve.

What Happens If I Submit A Home Insurance Claim Late?

If you submit a home insurance claim late, it can lead to complications or even denial of your claim. Most insurance policies require you to report losses promptly. The definition of “prompt” can vary, but typically, it’s best to report the claim as soon as possible after the incident.

Delaying a claim might lead to suspicions from the insurance company regarding the validity of your claim. It also can make it more difficult to assess the true extent and cause of the damage accurately. For instance, if your home was damaged by a storm and you wait several months to file a claim, the insurer may argue that additional damage may have occurred due to your delay in reporting or not taking appropriate steps to prevent further damage.

In Florida, according to Florida Statute § 627.70132, a claim under a property insurance policy should be given to the insurer within one year after the date of loss and a supplemental claim within 18 months.

Areas Our Property Insurance Lawyers Serve

At Tighe P.A., we’re proud to offer our expert legal services to property owners across Florida. We understand that each region has unique circumstances, and we have the local knowledge and experience to handle insurance disputes related to any peril, whether it’s a hurricane in Miami, a hail storm in Tampa, or a fire in Orlando. 

Our dedicated team is committed to helping Floridians in cities and communities all across the Sunshine State reach a favorable potential settlement.

Contact Tighe P.A. Today For A Free Consultation

Navigating the complexities of a home insurance claim can be stressful, but you don’t have to do it alone. Tighe P.A. is here to assist you every step of the way. Our team of experienced attorneys understands the nuances of property insurance law and the tactics insurance companies often employ. We are committed to advocating for your rights and ensuring that you get the recovery you deserve.

Don’t let insurers stand between you and the security of your home. 

Contact Tighe P.A. today for a free consultation. Together, we can take the stress out of your claim and help you get back to living your life. Let Tighe P.A. be your trusted ally in your home insurance dispute.

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