Homeowners whose estate has been impaired or demolished will eventually look to their insurance company for assistance – with obviously fluctuating degrees of success. Below are some tips to keep in mind as you communicate with your insurance company.
Almost all policies require homeowners to address their loss as soon as possible. You can do this by calling your insurance company and informing them about a potential claim or you can contact your agent via email/phone. Once in contact, you will be required to submit a “proof of loss claim,” in which you enumerate your losses and list the values. If you delay alerting your company, you may find yourself far down on the list when it comes time for the company to send a representative to process your claim. Make sure to take as many photos as possible of the damaged and affected areas. Act quickly to protect the property from further damage. Note: You may need to do this out of your own pocket. However, if there is damage that is caused to your property caused by your delay in protecting your property, that damage can possibly be denied.
By law, insurance companies are required to handle claims in a timely manner. Insurance companies are permitted to wait up to 45 days before responding to a demand letter. If you haven’t received a response within this time frame, it’s likely that the insurer has chosen not to accept your offer. In order to protect the rights of insurance companies, most states allow demand letters to “expire” after the specified time limit.
In Florida, upon an insurer’s receiving a communication with respect to a claim, the insurer shall, within 14 calendar days, review and acknowledge receipt of such communication.
Your Florida homeowner’s policy will enable you to reconstruct your home. Feel free to get estimates from several certified licensed contractors to get an idea what it will cost you to repair damaged to your home.
If your house caught fire or you were forced to evacuate your home, you might be unable to grab your basic necessities such as your toothbrush or your clothes. Your homeowners’ policy will be covering the expense to reinstate these items, but you do not have to wait to file a claim and have it approved rather, you can purchase out of your own pocket any necessities you need. Note: save the proof of purchase receipt for everything you purchase and do not go overboard as you will end up paying the difference.