Can You Sue An Insurance Company for Not Responding?
When your home is destroyed by a hurricane, fire, or another natural disaster, you have to find a new place to live, or you must pay for excessive home repairs. Every element of your life can be affected by losing a home, but you have insurance to protect you from catastrophic damages to your property.
If an insurance company does not respond to your insurance claim, you may find yourself stuck with multiple bills that you cannot pay. You may wonder if you can take legal action against them. Fortunately, there are laws in Florida that protect consumers against unscrupulous insurance companies.
Florida Time LimitsWhen a homeowner files an insurance claim, an insurance company has 30 days to let the homeowner know if the policy covers the damages they are reporting or if their claim is still under investigation. The homeowner must request this information in writing to enforce this law.
An insurance company has 90 days to accept your claim and pay you or deny your claim in writing. However, when there is a natural disaster such as a hurricane, insurance companies may be slow to pay.
If an insurance company simply ignores your claim, or if they do not respond to you in a timely fashion, you may be able to sue them for acting in bad faith.
What is acting in bad faith?A person or company may be “acting in bad faith” if they intentionally fail to act according to a contractual agreement or if they never intended to fulfill that agreement in the first place. If an insurance company does not respond to your claim, it can be considered bad faith, and you can sue them.
According to Florida Home Claim, P.A., if an insurance company denies your claim, you can sue them for acting in bad faith, provided you can prove that they should have paid you if they had been acting fairly and honestly.
Proving Bad FaithWhen your home is damaged, you should take pictures of anything that has been destroyed. This includes damage to the structure of your home and damage to the property inside of it.
Save the bills for any home repairs that you need. Save the receipts for any furniture or home decor you need to replace. You should list any possessions you lost due to the incident you are reporting.
When you file a claim, the insurance company will request that you send the documentation you have collected. The faster you send in your paperwork, the sooner the insurance company can process it.
It is important that you do everything your insurance policy requires you to do. If you fail to call your insurance company as soon as you can or do not send in your documentation, the insurance company may use it as an excuse to delay or deny your claim.
Hire an AttorneyInsurance policies are complex, but an experienced insurance lawyer can help you understand your policy's language. They can help you negotiate with the insurance company, and if you have to file a lawsuit, an attorney can represent you in court.
People buy insurance for peace of mind, which is why having an insurance company ignore you can be devastating. Filing a lawsuit can get you the money you need to move on with your life.
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