Over a Year Later
It’s been over a year since hurricane Irma affected South Florida. According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, there were 997,273 insurance claims filed throughout the state after Irma. As of August 13, 2018, there still remained 82,449 claims that were still open. So now that we are over a full year after the hurricane, many homeowners want to know how long their insurance company can take to finalize their claim after a disaster.
Needless to say, the 2017 hurricane season was a difficult one. With Irma coming immediately after devastating Harvey, insurance companies were struggling to keep up with claims in the affected areas. Unfortunately, many companies were left to rely on untrained or improperly trained adjusters when it came to claim investigations.
We Rely On Our Insurance Carriers
Thousands of victims were relying on their insurance carriers to pay benefits after Irma as quickly as possible. But many claims still remain unpaid. That leaves many homeowners confused about their rights after an insurance claim, especially when their carriers continue to ask for more information from their policyholders in order to make their decisions..
Insurance carriers must perform within certain limitations in the dispensation of claims. Although the 2017 hurricane season was a particularly busy one, insurance companies must still work within certain timeframes.
Your insurance carrier must acknowledge receipt of any communication you have sent them within fourteen days. The only time this is not required is if the claim had been paid within that fourteen days or if they can prove that their failure to acknowledge was in some way beyond their control. The carrier is required to supply their customers will all the necessary forms and full instructions on how to file a claim
Decision Time Frame
Your carrier must pay or deny benefits within 90 days of an initial or supplemental claim or one that has been reopened unless there are factors beyond their control that prevented them from doing so. If not, interest accrues from the date of the notice of the claim. Failure constitutes a violation. Unfortunately, delays can enable a carrier to withhold benefits and cause a policyholder untold frustration.
There are times when a policyholder and a carrier agree to settle a payment for a claim. The carrier is then required to pay the policyholder in accordance with the agreement no later than 20 days after the settlement is reached or another date set out by the agreement. Sometimes the payment is subject to an executed release being signed and submitted to the carrier. Interest only begins upon the carrier’s receipt of the signed release.
Still, we find that policyholders are facing insurance challenges over a year after hurricane Irma. Policyholders who feel they have been unjustly denied coverage or have received a low offer on their claim have recourse by challenging the decision. If you feel you have been treated unjustly by your carrier, a qualified insurance lawyer can assist you in obtaining fair policy benefits. Contact our Miami property insurance lawyers at Korin Law, P.A. for a no-cost consultation.