How Long Does It Take to Receive Compensation for a Fire Insurance Claim in Florida?

Even the smallest fires can cause catastrophic damage. Whether you’re dealing with a house fire that was a total loss or a small fire in your business, you need to know that the damage can be restored and you can get your home or business back in order in a timely fashion.

When you’re trying to rebuild your life (or your business), the last thing that you need is to be battling the insurance company to get your claim settled. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to fight alone. Whether it’s a straightforward fire insurance claim or a more complex case, you can work with public insurance adjusters to keep the insurance company on task and ensure that you get the outcome that you deserve. Of course, even with the best help on your side, it still benefits you to understand the claims process. 

In this guide, we’ll discuss how long the fire insurance claim process takes, including when you can expect to receive compensation for your losses and how they will be paid. Every insurance policy issued in the state of Florida is slightly different, of course, so the details of your policy may vary. However, the general guidelines and process apply to everyone. 

Filing Your Fire Insurance Claim in Florida: The Timeline 

When a fire occurs, the first thing that you need to do is contact the fire department and get the blaze put out. Only then, once everyone is safe and the fire has been extinguished, should you worry about filing an insurance claim. Florida insurance companies aren’t going to penalize you for calling the morning after a late-night fire, for example, but you should call and file the claim as soon as possible. 

Step One: Report the Claim 

Once everyone is safe and the fire is out, call your insurance company. Even if you don’t know the extent of the damage or the coverage on your policy in detail, you need to report the claim. This will allow them to start the claims process, send you the necessary paperwork, schedule an adjuster to come to review the damage, and so forth. 

Do not provide any subjective information when you call the insurance company. Simply report the facts. Tell them when the fire happened, what facts you know about it (if any), and other details. Don’t admit fault or assume anything, as this could be taken as a statement of fact and work against you later. 

Step Two: Document Damages and Losses 

Once you notify insurance, you should start documenting all of the losses and damage. Take inventory of your personal property. Note any serious property damage that needs to be addressed. Take photos and videos of the damage for your own records and share them with the insurance company. Don’t rely on their adjuster to do the work for you– you need your own records. 

Step Three: Get Estimates and Make Temporary Repairs 

While the insurance company is doing its work, you will want to do your own. Start contacting people for estimates on repairs or pricing items that need to be replaced. If there are temporary repairs that need to be made to prevent further damage, make them immediately and save all of your receipts. That way, you can be reimbursed for anything related to the claim, including preventive repairs you make. 

Make sure that you get estimates in writing so that you have proof of them and you can share them with the insurance company. This also ensures that a contractor doesn’t quote you a price and then change the rate once you agree to work with them. The more documentation you have in any insurance claim, the better. 

Step Four: Receive a Settlement Offer 

Once the insurance company has reviewed the damage and the claim details, they will be prepared to offer you a settlement. This is not the best offer that you can get, in most cases, because they’re hoping that you will take less than you might deserve. After all, you don’t know any better. Prove them wrong and make them give you what you’re owed. If you don’t want to negotiate right away, tell them you don’t accept their offer and that you will get back to them. 

Step Five: Negotiate Your Settlement 

You can negotiate the settlement on your own or enlist help. A public insurance adjuster could be the perfect solution here. They can work on your behalf and negotiate with the insurance company to get the compensation that you deserve. That way, you can focus on getting your life back on track and trust that you’re not getting taken advantage of by the insurance company. 

If the negotiation process can’t be worked out amicably, some cases may end up in litigation. This is rare, but if you find yourself here, it’s even more critical that you get help from someone like a public insurance adjuster. 

Step Six: Get Your Compensation and Get Your Home Back 

Once you’ve gotten to an offer that you can agree on, you can accept the settlement and get your check(s). Depending on the repairs that need to be done and the nature of the claim, the insurance company may send one big check or they may send payments in chunks so that you can pay for repairs as they go. Make sure that you’re aware of the disbursement process that you’re agreeing to when you settle your fire insurance claim. 

Once the money is there, you can start making repairs or rebuilding your home. Depending on the extent of damage, you may find yourself completely rebuilding, which can take time and a lot of work. Don’t worry, though, because your insurance company will also pay for your temporary housing in the meantime until you can get back into your home. 

What Causes Claim Delays in Florida?

One of the biggest reasons that claims aren’t paid in a timely fashion is because of all manner of delays in processing. This can be due to paperwork missing, information left out of claims forms, or even just the insurer trying to drag things out and wear people down. Several things can delay your fire insurance claim, including:

  • Incorrect or inaccurate information in the fire report or insurance adjuster’s report 
  • Missing or inaccurate policy information
  • Missing documentation or paperwork 
  • A default in communication on the part of the insurer 

By working with a public insurance adjuster, you can ensure that your claim is filed properly, documented fully, and that the insurance company isn’t dragging its feet to get your claim settled. Before we close, let’s look at a few more tips to help you succeed in settling your fire insurance claim quickly and without incident. 

Tips for Success with Your Fire Insurance Claim in Florida 

Fire insurance claims in Florida are different for every homeowner. The situation dictates the process, to an extent, but some general tips can help everyone. If you want to guarantee that your fire insurance claim is processed properly and that you get the compensation you’re owed, here are some tips:

  • Know your insurance policy. Understand what kind of coverage is offered for fires, including whether certain causes or types of fires aren’t covered. For example, if you tried to fix the wiring in your garage and it started a fire, your insurance company might not want to pay because a licensed contractor didn’t do the work. When you know your coverage and its limits, you’re less likely to be surprised, which is what leads to delays. 
  • Make sure that you have help if you need it. The insurance company is just waiting for you to feel overwhelmed, underprepared, or otherwise ineffective in your efforts to file a claim. They want to make sure that they don’t pay more than they have to and if they can convince you that it’s a lower amount, they will do their best. If you can’t fight them alone, ask for help from a public insurance adjuster or another expert. 
  • Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Just because you want to be done and move on with your life doesn’t mean you should cave at the first offer. Know the value of your claim and be willing to fight for it. You pay for insurance for a reason, after all. When you need it most, it should be there waiting. 
  • Document everything. Keep notes on the claims process, different submissions you make, the estimates that you get, and so forth. It helps if you have a dedicated folder or binder to house all the information pertaining to your insurance claim. Then, when you need to reference something or if the insurance company needs information, you have it readily available. 

Insurance companies have 90 days to notify you of whether they are accepting or denying your fire insurance claim. They must pay you within 20 days of that decision, as well. However, several circumstances can impact this, which is why it helps if you know your rights and what to expect. 

Contact On Target Claims for Support with Fire Insurance Claims 

If you want to guarantee that you receive maximum compensation for your fire insurance claim and aren’t dragged through a lengthy claims process, you need to enlist the help of the public insurance adjusters at On Target Claims. We have years of experience handling all types of Florida fire claims, big and small, and can help you get the compensation that you deserve. 

If your insurance company is dragging its feet or if you just want to have an expert on your side during this stressful and difficult time, we’re here to help with whatever you need. Reach out to On Target Claims today and ask how we can provide the support you need for your Florida fire insurance claim. 

Related Content: How To File a Fire Insurance Claim in Florida

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