Property damage can be a devastating experience, leaving you with unexpected costs and a damaged home or business. Property damage claims in Florida must be handled in accordance with Florida laws to ensure that all parties are treated fairly and that the process is completed as efficiently as possible.
In this blog post, we'll explore how property damage claims are handled in Florida and what you can expect if you need to file a claim.
1. Notifying your insurance company
The first step to a property damage claim in Florida is to notify your insurance company immediately. Most insurance policies require that you report the damage within a specific timeframe, so acting quickly is essential. Once you've reported the
damage, your insurance company will begin the claims process.
Another essential factor to consider regarding property damage claims in Florida is the statute of limitations. In Florida, you typically have up to four years to file a claim for property damage. However, it's important to check the specific terms of your insurance policy, as some policies may have shorter timeframes for reporting damage or filing a claim.
2. Inspection and evaluation of the damaged property
The claims process typically involves an inspection of the damage by an adjuster,
who will assess the extent of the damage and determine the amount of compensation you're entitled to. In some cases, the adjuster may need to work with contractors and other professionals to determine the cost of repairs or replacement.
As a policyholder, Florida has specific laws and regulations related to property damage claims that are designed to protect you against the insurance company. The "Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights" outlines the rights and duties of homeowners when it comes to the claims process. This includes the right to receive timely and accurate communication from their insurance company, the right to have their claim investigated, and the right to dispute an insurer's claim decision. This also includes responsibilities such as the homeowner’s duty to notify the insurer prior to making repairs, the duty to make emergency repairs to prevent further damage, and the duty to ensure contractors are licensed and have proof of insurance.
3. Receive a claim determination.
Once the insurance company has completed its investigation they will make a decision
regarding your claim. If your claim is approved, you will receive a payment from your insurance company to cover the cost of repairs or replacement minus your deductible. If your claim is denied, you can dispute the decision or take legal action if necessary.
You have the right to dispute decisions made by the insurer by appraisal or mediation, depending on what is stated on your policy.
Additionally, you may seek legal representation. However, disputing an insurer’s claim decision by filing suit was negatively impacted On January 1, 2023. Since then, It is no longer the responsibility of the insurance company to pay attorney fees.
If you need to file a property damage claim in Florida it's important to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations that apply to your situation. That can be a time-consuming process. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to hire an experienced public adjuster and work closely with them if you need assistance with the claims process. This change in the law makes it all the more important to have an experienced public adjuster on your side who is familiar with your rights and the laws that insurance companies must comply with.
In conclusion, property insurance claim in Florida are typically handled by notifying your insurance company, having an adjuster inspect the damage, and receiving compensation if your claim is approved. The state has specific laws and regulations related to property damage claims, including the statute of limitations and the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights. If you need to file a claim, you must act quickly and work closely with your public adjuster to ensure a smooth and efficient process.