Homeowner’s insurance may feel like a frustrating and unnecessary expense to someone who is buying their first property or reworking their budget after a sudden drop in income. However, in the rare circumstances where people need homeowner’s insurance, having a policy in place can mean the difference between moving on from an unexpected experience and having it affect their finances for the rest of their lives.
After criminal activity or a major storm, homeowner’s insurance can pay to repair damaged property and replace lost or stolen household goods, for example. Obviously, homeowners affected by such tragedies would prefer to receive financial support as quickly as possible. On the other hand, insurance companies often prefer to delay paying for as long as possible and to pay as little as they reasonably can without violating the terms of their policies. For those initiating a sizable homeowner’s insurance claim, there are two important deadlines that they need to be aware of as they seek compensation from potentially reluctant insurance companies.
The initial response deadline
When a homeowner submits initial claim paperwork to their insurance company, the business will need to review their policy and also the damage that the homeowner claims to have suffered. That process can take some time. Therefore, the state gives an insurance provider 14 days from the submission of initial claims paperwork to acknowledge the filing and provide the policyholder with instructions for the next steps in the process. Occasionally, homeowners insurance companies will quickly approve a claim. Other times, they may indicate that additional investigation is necessary. In both cases, prompt communication with the policyholders is crucial for legal compliance.
The final decision and payout deadline
Once the insurance provider has reached a conclusion about the validity of the claim and the amount that they will pay given the coverage someone purchased and the extent of the damage to their property, the clock starts a countdown. An insurance provider typically only has 90 days to make a decision on and pay a claim in full after a client submits the necessary paperwork. These deadlines are very important for homeowners, as they may be left in financial limbo, waiting for a check or wire to pay for repairs or make their house habitable again. When an insurance company’s practices pushed the claims processing outside of those timelines, the policyholder may potentially have reason to suspect that the insurance company has operated in bad faith and take legal action that reflects that belief.
Learning about the timelines imposed on homeowner’s insurance claims by Florida state law can benefit those who need to make use of their coverage because of damage to their homes. Similarly, understanding that bad faith action on the part of an insurer may be legally actionable scenarios can be helpful for those who are experiencing injustice.