Property Damage 101: Common Causes of Delayed Claims Payments

Published March 3rd, 2023 by Claim Help Lawyers

Florida is home to some of the most extreme weather conditions in the United States, including hurricanes, floods, and tropical storms. Unfortunately, these natural disasters often result in property damage for property owners across the state.

While filing an insurance claim may seem straightforward, it's not uncommon to experience denied or delayed claims. 

Keep reading as we explore some of the most common causes of delayed property damage claims in Florida and how you can protect yourself from experiencing unnecessary delays or setbacks. 

How Long Do Insurance Companies Have to Respond to Your Claim in Florida?

In Florida, insurance companies generally  have 14 days to acknowledge your property damage claim. Once they've responded, they have up to 90 days (which has recently been changed by law to 60 days)  to review, assess and pay or deny your claim; unless there are unusual circumstances to extend this timeframe.

When an insurance company approves an amount that you agree with to pay your claim, they have 20 days to tender those amounts. 

What Delays This Process?

Many circumstances can delay the claims process. Many of these factors you can work to control; however, you can't control all of them. 

Not Submitting All Required Documentation

If you're filing a property damage claim in Florida, be sure to submit all required documentation pursuant to your insurance policy. Failure to do so could result in a delayed claim.  Photos of damages, and participating in any inspections wanted by your insurance company should be given and cooperated as quickly as possible.

The most common reason for a delayed claim is missing documentation. When you file a claim, your insurance company will request various supporting documents. These may include a photos of the actual damages, investigation of the property, invoices for the companies retained to assist in the cleaning up or fixing the cause of the damage, a police report if it is a theft, vandalism or burglary claim and a fire report if it is fire claim. 

Not Cooperating With an Adjuster or Investigator

If you have been involved in a property damage claim, it is vital to cooperate with your insurance company's adjuster or investigator. Failure to do so could result in a delayed claim.

Some common reasons why claimants fail to cooperate with their insurance company's adjuster or investigator include:

  1. Refusing to allow the adjuster or investigator into the property,
  2. Not providing access to all areas of the property that were damaged,
  3. Not providing requested documentation or information,
  4. Not providing clear facts and timing of the cause of the damages,
  5. Not showing the adjuster for the insurance company evidence that could be used to support the claim.
Leaving Information Out

Another common cause of delays is incorrect or incomplete information on the claim filed. Double-check your work before submitting the information in order for you to avoid any delays.

If you're unsure what documentation is needed or how to file  the claim correctly, contact your insurance agent or lawyer for assistance. By taking the time to do things right from the start, you can help ensure that your property damage claim is processed quickly and smoothly.

The Insurance Company Is Trying to Find a Loophole

Insurance companies are in the business of making money, not paying money out on claims. So it's not surprising that they try to find a basis to delay or deny a claim. Sometimes they'll try to lowball you on the pricing for repairs, saying the damage isn't as bad as you think.

Other times they'll drag their feet on approving repairs, hoping you'll give up and pay for the repairs yourself. Either way, it's essential to be aware of the theme of defense in insurance companies to delay or deny claims; so that you can protect your rights.

Help Avoid Delayed Claims With the Right Property Damage Attorneys 

Property damage can be stressful and daunting, and understanding the common causes of delayed claims in Florida is essential for ensuring that your claim gets processed quickly and efficiently. By being aware of potential delays, you can take proactive steps to prevent them from happening. 

Is your insurance company unreasonably delaying your claim? Or do you need help with the process? 

Schedule a consultation today to find out how we can help you with your claim. 

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