Is your Insurance Claim Being Delayed?
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners or NAIC the #1 reason for consumer complaints against insurance carriers is “Claim Handling – Delays”.
They actually broke it down and show that year after year Insurance Claim Delays account for approximately 25% of all consumer complaints. This is not a surprise to us as Florida Public Adjusters. As Licensed Public Insurance Adjuster we exclusively represent policyholders through the claim process . As I am sure some insurance companies do the right thing, we receive many calls with stories that are shocking to me in regards to how long an insurance claim is being delayed.
As Insurance Claim Delay has been one of many claim problems in all states, the Florida Legislature incorporated a Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights to attempt to thwart these issues. Here is what the bill of rights states in regards to how long an insurance company in Florida has to settle your claim :
3. Within 90 days, subject to any dual interest noted in the policy, receive full settlement payment for your claim or payment of the undisputed portion of your claim, or your insurance company’s denial of your claim.
This was the first version of the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights and I think it is good for the policyholders in Florida but do feel that it could get even better. The problem is that 90 days can seem like an eternity when your house is in shambles and possibly not usable. Not everyone has money set aside to live off of in the event that their home becomes unusable and that is one of the reasons why we all purchase insurance. It is also unfortunate that we have noticed a trend with one of the large Florida Insurance Companies in where they now will not settle a claim until the 90 days is coming to an end.
There are valid reasons for some insurance claim delays. On complex issues there may be the need for experts to evaluate a loss or there may be an ongoing investigation by fire or police officials. The sad truth is that most of the delays we see are not justified. On a regular basis we receive calls from policyholders that have small water losses that are past 60 days old and still no answer from the insurance company, this is just not right.
If you have filed a claim and feel that it is being unjustly delayed I recommend that you contact a Reputable Public Adjuster to review your claim and advise you of your options moving forward.