Once you file a hurricane claim, how long does your insurer have to pay the damages? That is a question every policyholder who has filed a claim asks! There are laws in Florida to help answer that question and things you can do to make sure that the claim payout is smooth.
Legal Time Limits in Florida
Florida has established consumer protection laws that tell insurance companies what timelines are reasonable and fair. In Florida, these laws set up timeframes for the following:
- Contact After Notifying Insurance Carrier: If you didn’t get to speak to a live representative when calling to report your hurricane damage, the insurance carrier has 14 days to respond to your call.
- Contact After Communications: If you call for updates or other issues and don’t get to speak to a live representative, your insurer has 14 days to respond.
- Proof of Loss: You will need to send your insurer a proof of loss sheet within 60 days of filing your claim. This proves that you have damage and calculates how much you will need to repair the damages. Once you have sent this form to your insurance carrier, they have 10 days to start their investigation to determine if they concur with your loss amount.
- Completed Investigation: Once the investigation is complete, the insurer has 90 days to pay or deny your claim. Typically, larger claims take longer than shorter claims.
- Payment: If your claim was paid, the insurance carrier must issue payment you within 20 days of informing you of their acceptance of your claim. If they do not pay within 20 days, they will owe you interest on the amount due.
Claim Payout Times After a Hurricane
Claim payouts for isolated events, such as a kitchen fire or a burst pipe, happen fairly quickly. Typically, you will:
- File a claim
- Insurance company inspects the damage
- Creation of estimate
- Check for repairs
However, after a hurricane, when damages occur across the state, the claim process can be delayed at every step. You could have trouble connecting with a live representative when filing a claim. Your insurance company will need more time to come to inspect your home. Creating an estimate will take more time. Even issuing checks will take longer. When you’ve experienced hurricane damage, you can expect insurance companies to take the full time allotted to them by the law.
Speeding Up the Claim Payout Process
Although there is not a lot you can do to speed up the claim payout process, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- File the claim properly
- Provide all the needed documentation ASAP
- Take photos of damages
However, the most important thing you can do to keep the process moving is to hire a public adjuster. Why will hiring a public adjuster help? They can help you file the claim properly because they understand the claim process and the lingo in insurance policies. They will also work on your behalf to negotiate a fair settlement, often getting you more for damages than you could have gotten on your own.
Finally, if your insurance company is not staying within the timeframes required by Florida law, or violating other terms and conditions of your policy, a formal complaint called a Civil Remedy Notice (CRN) can be filed. Insurance companies work hard to rectify CRN complaints quickly.
Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting works as your advocate. We work to get you the best payout possible and get your home back to normal after a hurricane hits. Our adjusters have decades of experience in insurance and construction and will use that experience to help you get back on your feet. If you need help with a hurricane claim in Florida, give us a call today at (954) 329-2456.