Some insurance companies are looking for ways to deny insurance claims. One method is to use the "quick notice" of loss claims found in property insurance. State laws vary, but in Florida it is generally a matter of fact for a jury to determine whether "prompt notice" has been given and whether prejudice has occurred due to late dismissal.
A case in Florida decided yesterday, 1 recited laws for this issue and gave some good lessons about "quick warning" cases in Florida. The water loss notice was given only five days after the loss occurred. The Florida-based insurance company denied the allegation of failure to provide "immediate notice." The court noted:
Determining whether an insured gives "quick" notification of a loss to an insurance company is an important issue, as it can affect the insurer's coverage decision … Note is said to be quick when provided & # 39; with reasonable delivery. and within a reasonable time taking into account all the facts and circumstances of the individual case.
Since the solution to cases of insurance claims involves different scenarios, whereby the time of the insured's termination is postponed in the light of other relevant facts, we do not want to create a rule for bright lines when the message to an insurance company is no longer is "fast". … the question of whether the insurance's notice to the insurer was premature and caused damage to the insurer is a matter for the jury to resolve in view of "all the facts and circumstances surrounding the loss.
The first question is whether the notice is premature. The second the question is whether the premature notice harmed the insurer.These questions are normal for a jury to decide.
Here are some lessons from this case that should be followed as much as possible after a loss:
- Give notice as soon as you can This can pre-empt all late notice arguments.
- Document the loss site and damage with video and photographs.
- Save actual evidence of damaged property.
- Make your repairmen and eyewitnesses to the repair. And loss available to explain what they saw and did.
Do not take a denial of your assertion or the assertion of delayed notice as gospel.It is astonishing how little insurance company experts and adjusters say they can decide when asked "has your investigation been affected too late?" They begin to look and act like the three monkeys who see, hear and speak nothing while conducting their investigation. They will claim all kinds of prejudices with lawyers and claims managers giving them seminars on how to do it.
Insurance adjusters can come to a loss site completely destroyed to ashes by fire or blown down to the plate by a hurricane and adjust the loss, make coverage determinations and have experts who will give scientific opinions. However, if a water pipe fails, the policyholder will often have a rescue contractor stop the water loss and prevent further damage. The loss is better reported in less than five days, or some insurance adjusters will resemble a monkey much more than an empathetic insurance adjuster who takes care of a customer who has just suffered a loss.
Safepoint Insurance Company in Florida promises the following on the front page. page on its website:
Safepoint is a recognized property and accident insurance company based in Tampa, FL that specializes in coastal regions of the United States. We are a leading provider of insurance coverage that focuses on providing superior customer service, prompt compensation services and giving policyholders the peace of mind they deserve.
The customer announced five days after the loss. How long did it take after notification for an insurance adjuster to get to the site of "fast compensation services?" Five days.
Thought of the day
The promise given was a necessity from the past: the word broken is a necessity for the present.