In part 1 of this series, I dealt with general requirements for the insurance company's adjustment of damages. Here I want to focus on communication between the policyholder and the insurance company.
Alabama Administrative Code 482-1-125-.06, specifies specific requirements for communication with the insurer about claims:
(1) Each insurer shall, after receiving notification of a first party claim from an insured, within fifteen ( 15) days to confirm receipt of such notice unless payment is made within that time period. If a confirmation is made in another way than in writing, an appropriate note of the confirmation must be made in the insurer's claim application and dated. Notification to a producer of an insurance company must be a notification to the insurer. Confirmation from a manufacturer of an insurance company required above shall meet the requirements of this paragraph.
(2) Each insurer shall, upon receipt of a request from the insurance department for a claim, within ten (10) working days of receipt. of such a request, give the department an adequate response to the request in duplicate. This answer should be addressed to the department employee or representative who makes the request. Furthermore, the insurer must submit a written notification to the departmental employee of the final result with regard to this requirement if it is not resolved at the time of the first response.
(3) Replies shall be given within fifteen (15) days after all other relevant written communications from an insured requesting a response.
(4) Each insurer shall, upon receipt of notification of a first party claim from an insured, email or otherwise provide the necessary claim forms, instructions or reasonable assistance within fifteen (15) days so that first parties can meet the insurance terms and the insurer's reasonable requirements. . Compliance with this paragraph shall be in accordance with paragraph 1 of this rule.
An important step away from the above: You should state in every written message to the carrier that you want a reply. In that way, there is no doubt that you have invoked subsection (3) of the above rule.
If your claim is not processed quickly, fairly and equitably, you can file a complaint with the Alabama Department of Insurance, or you can contact the Merlin Law Group to discuss your situation with an attorney.
In Part 3 of this series, I will address how Alabama determines the magnitude of the loss.