How long does a home insurance claim take in Florida?

How Long Does a Home Insurance Claim Take in Florida?

RRBHLAWZENblog Homeowners' Insurance, Insurance Litigation

How long does a home insurance claim take in Florida? When you file a homeowners insurance claim in the Sunshine State, you might expect immediate relief. Here’s why that’s a mistake.

While it is practically impossible to pinpoint how long an insurance claim will take to pay out, there are a few milestones you can rely on to get an idea about what to expect. It can take days, weeks, or even months—sometimes even years—before you see a single cent from your insurance provider. It all depends on the circumstances surrounding your claim.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you wait for the insurance company to cut you a check.

 

How long does a home insurance claim take in Florida?

In Florida, insurance companies have 90 days to notify you whether they have accepted or denied your claim. If your insurance provider approves your claim, the Florida Statues state that they must pay you within 20 days of their decision.

If they do not pay your approved claim within this timeframe, the payout will accrue an interest rate of 12% per year.

The larger the claim, the more likely your provider is to use the whole three-month limit, so they have as much time as possible to find ways to reduce your payout. You should definitely be wary of claim denials that give vague reasons—or no reasons—for the decision as this could mean you are the victim of bad faith insurance practices.

The important thing to remember is that you have rights as a homeowners insurance policyholder. It is critical to understand what your rights and responsibilities are so that you can prepare your claim accordingly.

 

Homeowner Claim Bill of Rights: Important Time Limits for Florida Homeowners Insurance Claims

In Florida, you have four years to file a homeowners insurance claim from the date of the incident. However, filing a claim in a timely manner will help you preserve evidence and increase your chances of an acceptable settlement, so it is important not to wait any longer than necessary. If you file outside of this time period, your homeowners insurance may deny the claim altogether.

After you first notify your insurance provider of your claim, they have 14 days to acknowledge that they have received your claim, as well as provide you with a Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights. Florida requires insurance providers to acknowledge the receipt of a claim within this timeframe, barring any circumstances beyond the provider’s control. This Bill of Rights outlines your rights as a homeowners insurance policyholder. You have the right to:

  1. Receive an acknowledgement of your claim from the insurance company within 14 days of your initial communication with them.
  2. Receive from the insurance company upon written request confirmation that your claim is covered in full, partially covered, denied, or that it is being investigated within 30 days of submitting a complete proof-of-loss statement.
  3. Receive full or partial payment for your claim or a denial of your claim within 90 days of filing the claim.
  4. Receive payment of interest on your claim if the insurance company does not pay or deny your claim within 90 days of filing.
  5. Receive free mediation of a disputed claim by the Florida Department of Financial Services.
  6. Receive neutral evaluation of a disputed claim that involves sinkhole damage covered by your policy.
  7. Receive free assistance from the Florida Department of Financial Services for any questions you may have about your claim.

In addition to confirming that they have received your claim, your insurance provider must also give you the proper forms for you to fill out along with instructions. Once you have the forms you need to submit your claim, you should focus on gathering and documenting evidence to support your claim. See our other blog post here to learn more about documenting evidence. Once your insurance carrier receives your proof of loss statements, they have 10 days to begin an investigation.

How long does a home insurance claim take in Florida? The answer could depend on whether you have the evidence to support your claim. Get in touch with RRBH Law so we can discuss your next steps.

 

What You Should Do When Filing a Claim

Many people simply don’t know what to do when filing a Florida homeowners insurance claim because they’ve never had to do it before. Insurance companies use this to their advantage to underpay and deny claims that should be paid partially or in full. If you put yourself in that category, the following steps could help you increase your chances of a payout that meets your needs:

  • Document all the damage your home sustained.
  • Do not start discarding ruined items until your home is inspected.
  • Make only temporary repairs that will prevent further damage to the structure.
  • Save all receipts—from hotel stays, repair supplies, and other expenses you incur as a result of the damage to your home.
  • Contact your insurance to get your claim reference number.
  • Receive and fill out the claim forms the insurance company sends to you.
  • Confirm whether the insurance adjuster is a company employee or an independent adjuster during the inspection.

Once the process begins, you shouldn’t have to wait more than three or four months to get the money you’re owed, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. After recent storms like Irma and Michael, we have seen many home insurance policyholders wait anywhere from several months to a few years to get the settlement they deserve.

How long does a home insurance claim take in Florida? The answer depends on several factors. If you want to make sure your Florida homeowners insurance claim is handled quickly and with the proper care by your insurance, get in touch with us before filing. We will help you work through the process with the goal of maximizing your claim.