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Homeowners like to have an immediate response after damage to their house. They file their insurance claim first chance they have so they can begin lining up contractors. Insurance companies, however, are not always as efficient with their part of the process. Delays of an insurance claim add to the stress for the homeowner. Learn some of the signs of a potential problem.
1. Waiting for Insurance Claim Information
Delays after a major weather event are expected. Some companies, however, intentionally drag out their claims process. Laws have been created to help prevent these kinds of delays. Insurance companies in Florida have 14 days to contact the client after filing an initial incident report. It’s the same when a client later requests an insurance claim update.
Insurance companies have to respond within 10 days after someone submits their proof-of-loss claim. This form is for explaining the damage and itemizing the cost of repairs. The insurer doesn’t need to deny or accept the claim in those 10 days. They, however, need to schedule an inspection during that time.
Ninety days is the max time allowed from when the insurance company sends someone to review the damage. The company must give the homeowner either a settlement check or a denial letter at the end of that time.
Contact the insurance company if they do not comply with these regulations. You can also express concern over the delay and request assistance. Be sure that you document all calls and keep all correspondence from the insurer. You can even record the date of all phone calls or office visits, and the name of the agent contacted. You may need a public adjuster if you can’t resolve the situation alone.
2. Requests for Recordings
A request for a recorded statement from the homeowner about the insurance claim is another concern. The insurer may have a recorded statement forwarded to them or record an interview over the phone. Some companies do this as a part of their procedure. It is still unusual.
Recorded statements have been used to enable a denial. A simple mistake, like stating the wrong date during the interview, could be a reason to not pay the claim. You could still get approval after an appeal, but it does delay the process. It’s only legal to refuse to process a claim without a recording if it is part of the original policy.
3. Investigation of Claim
Policyholders seeking an update on their claim are often told that their claim is being processed. This is normal. It means the paperwork is going through the necessary channels. Clients who are told their insurance claim is under investigation, however, should be cautious.
Investigations happen for two main reasons. The insurer thinks the damage was caused by a different problem or the claim amount is too high. Some insurance companies also use investigations to delay the claim.
There is protection available to policyholders in Florida against “bad-faith” insurance practices. Insurance companies can be guilty of this if they:
- Don’t handle a case professionally
- Allow unreasonable delays
- Refuse to accept a genuine claim
You have the right to seek out a lawyer. However, a public adjuster can be a faster solution. At Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting, we handle claims for people who have delays or had an insurance claim denied. Contact us if your insurance company is taking too long or acting hesitant about their end of the contract.