Many Florida homeowners are currently experiencing delayed Hurricane Ian claims, as the insurance companies look to minimize their outgoing costs.
There have reportedly been over 670,000 Hurricane Ian claims, with 69.2% closed. With such a vast number, it’s not a surprise that many claims are getting lost, stuck in a queue, or ignored entirely.
Rightfully, if your home is damaged then you should want a quick response. Here’s what you can do next:
Steps to Take If Your Hurricane Ian Claim Has Been Unfairly Delayed
- Determine if the insurance company’s responses exceeded Florida state law’s limits. (Read the limits below)
- Try to determine why your hurricane insurance claim has been delayed.
- Document everything.
- If denied, contact a property damage claim lawyer.
1. Has The Delay Exceeded State Law?
Florida insurance laws require that your insurance company responds to your Hurricane Ian claim within the following deadlines:
Processing Your Claim
- Your insurance carrier should review and acknowledge receipt of your claim within 14 calendar days of receiving it (unless payment is made within that time). Fla. Stat. 627.70131(1)(a).
Responding to You
- Your insurance company must respond to communications regarding your claim within 14 days. Fla. Stat. 627.70131(1)(a).
Investigating Your Hurricane Ian Claim
- Within 14 days after proof of loss statements, your insurer should start investigating your claim.
Fla. Stat. 627.70131(3)(a).
- Your insurer must complete its claim investigation within 90 days of receiving the claim. Fla. Stat. 627.70131(7)(a).
Deciding Upon Your Claim
- Your insurance carrier must pay or deny your claim (or a portion of the claim) within 90 days of receiving the initial notice of the claim. Fla. Stat. 627.70131(7)(a).
Delays Beyond Their Control
- If factors beyond the insurers’ control delay these actions, then they are allowed more time but the claim must be paid or denied within 15 days after those factors end. Fla. Stat. 627.70131(7)(a).
2. Why Has Your Hurricane Ian Claim Been Delayed?
Despite often being the case, Hurricane Ian insurance claims are not always delayed for malicious reasons.
For example, your claim may have been sent back to you for additional information, or it could have gotten mixed up in an administrative error. However, you’ll need to determine what’s happened because they won’t do it for you.
You can give your insurance company a call and a customer service representative should explain what’s going on. If they are still difficult, or not responding, you should call a Florida property damage lawyer.
Common reasons for insurance companies delaying Hurricane Ian claims include:
They’re Waiting on Additional Documentation
It’s often possible that the insurance company needs more information to process the claim; such as evidence, proof of loss or other documents.
If this happens, you should have been notified. Annoyingly, they often forget to inform customers of their latest requests. By calling your insurance agent they should be able to explain what’s going on and tell you what to do next.
Your Claim Got Lost
They’re very frustrating, but admin errors happen. By calling your insurance company and explaining that you’ve been delayed, then it can push them to get organized and get the ball rolling again.
They’re Acting in Bad Faith
Bad faith insurance is when the insurance company fails to uphold its obligations to its customers, through behavior that either unfairly denies a claim directly, or uses other tactics. It is prohibited under Florida law. Genuine mistakes, such as admin errors, do not qualify as bad faith.
Common examples of bad faith include:
- Misrepresenting contract terms and language.
- Not disclosing policy provisions, exclusions and terms.
- Lying about policy details.
- Ignoring your calls, emails and letters.
- Purposely delaying their responses.
If you believe your calls are being ignored intentionally, or you’ve experienced any of the above bad faith tactics, please contact our Florida Hurricane insurance lawyers.
Read Related: What to Do if Your Hurricane Ian Claim Is Undervalued or Denied
3. Document Everything
Documentation is everything in all property damage claims. We advise that you keep records of every communication you have with your insurance agents and insurance adjusters, including:
- Your claim number and any other reference numbers you’re provided.
- Date and time of phone calls.
- Save all emails and letters.
- Make copies of the letters you’re planning on sending.
- Names of the employees you talk with.
- A description of what has been discussed, and any promises that are made.\
4. Contact a Property Damage Lawyer
If you’re still experiencing a delayed Hurricane Ian claim response, you contact a Florida hurricane damage claim attorney.
Once an attorney is involved, insurance companies always start taking things seriously. And if they don’t, your lawyer will take legal action against them to ensure you get the coverage you deserve.
Having a lawyer on your side will also ensure you get the maximum possible settlement for your Hurricane Ian claim due to their experience, negotiation skills and professional advice.
Read Related: Can You Negotiate a Hurricane Ian Insurance Claim?
Call Our Florida Hurricane Ian Insurance Claim Lawyers Today
Jonathon Douglas leads the property damage attorney team nationally ranked by US News and World Reports as a Tier 1 Law Firm, Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A.
Having previously represented some of the largest insurance companies in the State of Florida, Mr. Douglas uses his inside knowledge and experience to help navigate hurricane insurance disputes.
Regardless of your situation, you can receive a free consultation today.