Not only has the state of Florida taken an incredible pounding from hurricanes in recent years, but so has the state’s insurance industry. Companies have buckled under the pressure of having to pay out claims, and many of them haven’t survived. But new legislation signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis aims to help not only homeowners but insurance providers as well.
Time will tell if this legislation actually works out the way it’s designed. In the meantime, the experienced attorneys with Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh will be here if you feel you’re being treated unfairly by an insurance carrier. We deliver results for the people we represent, and we’re ready to do the same for you. Please give us a call at (561) 295-5825, or you can contact us online for a free consultation.
Governor DeSantis Signed Senate Bill 2-D for Property Insurance Reform
On May 26, 2022, DeSantis signed a bill designed to help stabilize the property insurance market in Florida. Hailed as the most significant reform bill in recent years, it’s supposed to make Florida’s insurance market stronger in the following ways:
- Enhancing the ability of the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation to hold insurers accountable for their actions following a hurricane. The bill is also designed to keep insurers from abusing the property appraisal process.
- Forcing insurers to make payments to policyholders faster.
- Providing additional funding to stabilize the insurance market through temporary reinsurance support.
What Does the New Property Insurance Bill Mean for Florida Homeowners?
Whether you lost a part of your roof during Hurricane Ian or Hurricane Nicole, or you lost your entire home, you need your claim paid as quickly as possible. This bill, if it works the way it’s intended, should help speed claims significantly – reducing the number of days for a carrier to deny or approve a claim from 90 to 60 days.
It’s also designed to attract more insurance companies to the Florida market, theoretically helping reduce rates through competition as a result. If the bill is successful, that could be an incredibly welcome development for homeowners, some of whom have suffered terrible financial burdens due to skyrocketing rates. Many homeowners throughout the state found out overnight that their rates would increase by thousands of dollars – with little explanation.
Will My Ongoing Property Damage Claim be Affected by this Law?
The provisions in the bill became effective as soon as DeSantis signed it on May 26, 2022. But you should contact your insurance company for clarification as to how it affects any current claim you may have.
How to File a Property Damage Claim After Hurricanes Ian and Nicole
Parts of Florida suffered through not only Hurricane Ian but Hurricane Nicole as well, which made an already disastrous situation worse – if that was even possible. If you were affected by one or both storms, here’s some information on how to file your property damage claim.
- One of the most important steps to take will be to take photos and videos of whatever property damage you sustained. You’re going to need strong proof to back up your claim, and pictures can deliver that evidence. If you were injured, and you’re able to take photos of that injury, that would make your losses even more convincing.
- You might also want to ask neighbors if they would attest to the damage that occurred to your home and other property. Their statements could prove to be very helpful in having your claim approved.
- Keep a record of every conversation you’ve had with your insurance adjuster or agent. This not only means taking detailed notes but also keeping any texts or emails you’ve received as well. The purpose of keeping evidence of all communications between you and the insurance company is to be able to rebut any effort on the part of the adjuster to deny they said something. It will also help protect your rights and could possibly help speed up your claim as well.
- Stay persistent once you file the claim. If the insurer fails to take action within a reasonable amount of time, write them a letter. If they fail to answer, you can write them another letter stating you intend to hire an attorney.
Contact Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh ASAP to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation in Light of the New Property Damage Law
If your home suffered an extensive amount of damage, it’s understandable if you don’t know what to do. If you’ve already filed a claim, you might not know how the new property insurance legislation affects that claim. Or, you feel you need an attorney to fight for your rights. Whatever the case may be, you should get legal help as soon as possible. These are just a few of the ways a Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh property attorney may be of assistance.
- We’ll make sure you have a clear understanding of what is exactly in your policy. Homeowner policies are typically written in a very complex, long-winded way. One of our attorneys can show you what you’re entitled to receive by filing a claim.
- Your attorney will also take care of all communications involving your insurance company, as well as all negotiations. We’ll make sure your rights are protected. We won’t let an insurance adjuster use your words against you in an effort to deny or reduce your claim.
- We will also negotiate to make sure you get what you deserve – not some lowball offer. We’ll have a clear idea of whether or not the offer is fair and negotiate. You don’t have to settle for less. If need be, we’ll file a lawsuit and take them to court.