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Residential Claims

Florida law requires home insurance companies to issue a claims decision within 90 days. However, they can extend that period by requesting additional documents, sworn statements, and other information. While most claims settle in far less than 90 days, some can end up taking longer. This is often the case in fire claims because of extensive investigation.

Home insurance companies must acknowledge the receipt of your claim within 14 days and a preliminary finding within 30 days. Then they must issue a claims decision in under 90 days and make payment within 20-days of the approval. If you disagree with their decision, you can file an appeal. The law entitles you to free mediation through the Florida Department of Financial Services.

You can file a home insurance claim by calling your insurance agent or coverage provider. Many insurance companies also offer online claims forms. When filing, you should include a brief description of the loss. A claims adjuster will contact you and may need to set a time to see your property.

After a residential disaster, such as a house fire or pipe burst, you may find your home uninhabitable. Many policies offer coverage that pays for your stay at a hotel and other expenses, so you should call your insurance agent or company right away. Less urgent claims can be filed online.

Commercial Claims

Florida commercial insurance consists of a variety of policies that cover different situations. Most companies carry general liability, which protects a business from normal accidents that disrupt operations. Those with employees must also carry workers’ compensation coverage. In addition, business owner policies and professional liability insurance provide key protection for many types of businesses.

A commercial insurance claim can take from a few weeks to much longer for complex cases involving legal issues. For instance, a simple liability claim for property damage can be resolved within a few weeks. However, a claim for a lawsuit filed against the company could take years depending how long the legal process lasts.

The best bet for filing a commercial insurance claim in Florida is to contact your insurance agent. Many business claims are complex and require the business to furnish a large amount of documentation. Your insurance agent can guide you through this process. If your claim is denied, you may need to seek the help of a commercial insurance lawyer.

Fire Claims

While initiating a fire insurance claim in Florida works like other losses, the approval process has additional steps. Firstly, the claims adjuster needs to know the cause of the fire. Often, fires have no immediately apparent origin. The fire department and the insurance company must investigate, so delays of 90 days or more are expected.

You can file a fire insurance claim in Florida by calling your insurer or initiating the process online. Likely, the fire department will conduct a fire investigation at the same time your insurer processes the claim. You may be asked to assist in the inquiry, including making statements under oath.

Fire insurance claims routinely take 90 days or longer. The extended length is due to the nature of fire investigations. Often, the fire has no immediately recognizable cause. Fire investigators must comb through the wreckage and analyze physical evidence to determine its origin. The insurance adjuster needs an official investigation result for claims approval.

Homeowner’s insurance covers arson in Florida, provided the arsonist is not a beneficiary of the policy. Most arson cases result from criminal actions of mobs, pyromaniacs, or people out for revenge against the property owner. However, in some cases, a person burns down their home or hires someone to do so in an insurance fraud scheme.

Home insurance covers electrical fires in Florida. Electrical fires rank as one of the most common reasons for accidental conflagrations. Faulty wiring or shoddy electricaal work frequently cause these type of fires. Home insurance policies may have requirements for licensed electricians to complete electrical work..

If you are a smoker, you must disclose this to your homeowners’ insurance company. They may charge a higher premium, but at least you’ll be covered if a cigarette or cigar starts a home fire. Failure to disclose this could lead to the denial of a claim. Also, some policies have requirements that smokers maintain working smoke detectors.

You should file an insurance claim right away. Likely, your policy contains provisions for temporary shelter and other living expenses while your property remains uninhabitable. The claims process may take many months or longer, depending on the length of the fire investigation. The insurer will only pay the repair or replacement costs of your home once the cause is determined.

Florida homeowners insurance policies cover fire damage in Florida. However, there are exclusions. Firstly, the insurer must have the results of the fire department and its internal investigation. This ensures that the fire was not arson by the policy beneficiary. Also, the policy could have exclusions for smoking accidents if the policyholder declines to disclose their habit to the insurer.

Most fires are accidental. They occur because of a knocked-over candle, a cooking accident, or an unattended space heater. While all these causes could be considered negligence, homeowners’ insurance covers them. Insurers know these accidents occur routinely and are some of the perils these policies protect against.

Hurricane and Wind Claims

Florida homeowners insurance policies cover wind damage from unnamed storms like in other states. However, wind damage from named storms requires a higher deductible. For example, many policies have a deductible of 2% of the property value for named storm wind damage. Accordingly, if your home’s value is $250,000, your deductible is $5,000.

Yes, homeowners’ insurance in Florida covers wind damage to your roof. If your roof sustains wind damage from an unnamed storm, your standard deductible applies. However, if a named storm caused wind damage, you may have a higher deductible. For example, many policies have a 5% of property value deductible for named storm wind damage.

Florida law requires you to file a claim for wind damage within three years of the event. However, it is ill-advised to wait to file a claim. You should notify your insurance company as soon as possible. By waiting, you not only delay receiving benefits, but much of the evidence substantiating your claim may disappear. In all cases, you should file a claim right away.

You can file a claim by contacting your insurer via telephone. Also, many providers have online claim forms. Florida law allows you up to three years to file a claim. For instance, if a hurricane damages your roof, you have three years from the date of landfall to make a claim. However, waiting is ill-advised. Claims adjusters need to see the damage to assess the claim. If they cannot do so, you may face claims denial.

After a hurricane, you should file an insurance claim as soon as possible. What you can claim depends on the terms of your policy. For instance, some homeowners’ policies cover property damage to the structure and personal property, while others may exclude non-structural damage. You may also have a higher deductible for hurricane damage, which may impact what you can claim.

Insuring against a hurricane in Florida requires holding a homeowners’ and a flood insurance policy. If you have homeowners only, then you lack protection from flooding. However, by taking out a flood insurance policy, you gain coverage from hurricane-related floods and flood damage from other covered perils.

Florida law entitles policyholders to three years to file a claim for hurricane damage. This period gives homeowners time to pick up the pieces after a major storm before bringing a claim. At the same time, insurers need a deadline for filing claims because, after a certain period, it may become impossible to establish the damages.

Water and Mold Claims

Florida homeowners’ insurance pays for mold removal in Florida, provided a covered peril caused the mold. Covered perils that can cause mold include water leaks, storm damage, and sewage backups. However, standard homeowner’s insurance excludes mold removal caused by flood damage. A separate flood policy will pay for the removal of flood-related mold.

Yes, homeowners insurance pays for mold remediation in Florida but only if it results from a covered peril. Covered perils are events your insurance policy is designed to protect against, such as a water leak. But mold can occur because of non-covered perils, such as flooding. For this reason, carrying a separate flood insurance policy is always good financial planning.

How you claim mold damage in Florida depends on the event that caused it. Some mold damage has eligibility for coverage under your homeowner’s policy. For example, homeowners insurance covers damage from pipe leaks, including mold damage. On the other hand, homeowners exclude flood-related mold damage. But if you have flood insurance, you can claim mold damage under that policy.

Whether you can file an insurance claim for mold in Florida depends on its cause. Homeowners insurance pays for mold removal and remediation when it is part of a claim for a covered peril, such as a pipe burst. But flood-related mold is excluded from homeowner’s insurance. You must have a separate flood insurance policy to cover mold in that case.

Water damage can wreak havoc on a home in a flash or in dribs and drabs. Pipe bursts and sewage backups cause immediate catastrophes, while the slow leaks of pipes can cause mold buildup over months or years. You can file a claim for water damage by contacting your insurer on the phone or completing an online form.

Your Florida homeowners’ insurance policy covers any property damaged by a covered peril. These include structural damage and personal property. You should claim all damages to your home and belongings. Additionally, if your home becomes uninhabitable, you may have coverage for alternative accommodations and extra expenses.

Yes, homeowner’s policies cover water damage in Florida. For instance, your insurerer pays for damage from a burst- or leaky pipe up to the policy limits, minus your deductible. However, you need a separate flood policy to cover water damage from storms and hurricanes. You always need flood insurance in a coastal, hurricane-prone state like Florida.

Standard homeowners’ insurance policies consider water damage to be a leak, backup, or other water damage event occurring because of issues within the home. For example, a sewage line backup is considered water damage for insurance in Florida. Also, damage from an overrun bath or toilet is considered water damage. However, homeowners policies exclude flood damage, which requires separate coverage.

Yatch and Marine Claims

Most boat insurance policies cover property damage and liability. The property damage provision covers repairs or replacement after an applicable peril, such as fire, sinking, or collision. The liability portion pays for legal liability if you harm someone with your watercraft. Many companies offer add-on protections, such as towing.

As with auto insurance, a claim can send your premiums skyrocketing, especially if you have an extensive claims history. However, small claims may not impact your premiums if you opt for a provider that offers claims forgiveness. For example, some insurers won’t raise rates for claims under $500.

When filing a boat insurance claim, you should tell your insurer what happened in a succinct statement. For example, if you collided with another boat, simply state that fact. But avoid going into details and stating things that could be used against you, such as that you were drinking beer or were distracted.

After a loss involving your boat, you can file a claim by calling your insurer or accessing an online claims form. If the incident involved another boat or an injured party, filing the claim will start the settlement process. As with auto claims, it’s best to provide a succinct explanation of the incident but avoid details that could later prove problematic.