Hurricane Irma damaged thousands of properties throughout Florida. What are your rights if your property was damaged?

Attorney Jason MacriAuthor: Attorney Jason Macri

Under Florida Law, homeowner’s insurance companies must adhere to a “Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights.” Under this law the insurance company must provide the bill of rights to a policyholder within 14 days after receiving the initial communication from the homeowner unless the claim follows an event that is declared a state of emergency. The purpose of the bill is to summarize Florida law regarding the rights of homeowners who are making a claim for property damage. The failure of an insurer to deliver the bill of rights is subject to administrative enforcement but does not create a lawsuit on its own.

Under Florida law, you have the right to receive acknowledgement of your claim within 14 days from the time when you initiated the claim. After you have submitted a complete proof-of-loss statement to your insurance company, you have the right to receive, within 30 days, confirmation that your claim is covered in full, partially covered, denied or being investigated. You have the right to receive full settlement payment for your claim or payment of the unused portion of your claim or your insurance company’s denial of the claim within 90 days. If you cannot resolve the dispute, you have the right to receive free mediation of the disputed claim.
Before getting any portion of your property repaired, make sure to speak with a Homeowner’s Insurance Claims Attorney or a representative of your Homeowner’s Insurance Company. You should make sure to document any emergency repairs that were necessary to prevent future damage and, if possible, you should try to keep the remnants of the damaged property or, at the very least, take photos of the damaged property before having it repaired. Also keep any and all receipts, repair bills, estimates and any other proof of loss you can think of. Also make sure that any contractor hired to repair your property is licensed to do business in the State of Florida.

If your property was damaged as a result of Hurricane Irma, call the attorneys at the Law Office of Dell & Schaefer. Our attorneys will ensure that your rights are preserved and that you don’t get the run-around from the insurance company. Dealing with property damage is a stressful situation. Let our attorneys deal with the stress while you focus on making sure your family is safe and comfortable in the aftermath.

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