As a South Florida home/business property loss or insurance claim attorney I receive countless calls asking me what to do after discovering damage to property. The answer to this question is to comply with your policy’s duties after loss or post loss requirements. The following is a generalized list of post loss requirements:
1. Give prompt notice to your insurance company.
2. Make reasonable and necessary repairs to protect the property.
3. Keep an accurate record of repair expenses.
4. Prepare an inventory of damaged personal property showing the quantity, description, actual cash value and amount of loss. Attach all bills, receipts and related documents that justify figures in inventory.
5. Show damaged property as often as reasonable required.
6. Provide records and documents.
7. Submit to an examination under oath.
8. Send a sworn proof of loss.
The above referenced requirements are meant to facilitate the insurance company’s ability to investigate the claim. Failure to comply with any of the above requirements may give an insurance company the ability to deny a claim. Insurance companies use this tactic all too often.
One of the most popular reasons for a denial of claim cited by insurance companies is failure to give prompt notice. Insurance companies tend to argue that the loss was continuous and repeated and that any damage is the result of wear and tear. Of course, the question then becomes what is prompt notice. This is an issue too complex to discuss here and would probably take up several blogs. Indeed, here is a situation where a Miami home insurance lawyer becomes helpful. An attorney can see through the insurance company’s tactics and respond accordingly.
Another popular reason for denying a claim is failure to make reasonable and necessary repairs. For example, if your roof is leaking it would be wise to put a tarp over it to avoid further rain water from seeping into your house. If necessary repairs are not made, then your insurance company can use this to deny your claim.
Adhering to a policy’s post lost requirements is not easy. If you have any doubts or require assistance please call our office. Florida homeowner’s insurance claims attorneys are here to assist you. Please call us at 1.888.413.8353 or 305.764.9907.