Is your hurricane requirement adjusted quickly, fairly and equitably? I've heard many stories of policyholders who still have not seen an adjuster after Hurricane Sally, and Hurricane Zeta only gave more wind and rain to already damaged properties. It is important to know the requirements that Alabama insurance companies have for customizing your hurricane claim.
Although Alabama has not enacted the Unfair Claims Act, the Alabama Insurance Department has outlined standards for a quick, fair and equitable settlement. of property claims.
Ala. Administration. Encode. R. 482-1-125-.07 prescribes:
- Within thirty (30) days, or the number of days specified in the insurance, upon receipt by the insurer of correctly performed proof of loss, the insured shall be informed of the status of approval or rejection of a claim by the carrier.
- No insurer may deny a first party claim due to a specific insurance provision, condition or exclusion unless a reference to such provision, condition or exclusion is included in the denial.
- The denial can be given to the insured in writing, orally or electronically (e-mail). If it is oral, the file should clearly state the denial and the reasons for the denial. If the denial is in writing or e-mail, the file should include a copy of the denial letter or e-mail. If the insured requests a written refusal after the claim is rejected, a written refusal must be sent within a reasonable time.
- If the insurer needs more time to decide whether a claim should be accepted or rejected, it shall notify the insured within thirty (30) days or the period of time specified in the insurance upon receipt of proof of loss, due to more time.
- If the investigation remains incomplete, the insurer shall, forty-five (45) days from the first notification and every 45 (45) days thereafter, notify the insured in writing, orally or electronically (by e-mail) of the reasons for the need for additional time for investigation.
- The insurer must offer payment within thirty (30) days or the period specified in the policy, after accepting liability, to reach an agreement on the amount of the damage and receipt of all documents necessary to complete the settlement.
If your claim is not processed quickly, fairly, is d fair you have options. 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 2 of this series, I will address the obligations of the insurance company with respect to prompt communication with the policyholder.