Your faced with unexpected property damage to your home. You immediately take steps to notify your homeowners insurance company. However, reporting the claim to your insurance company might not be enough. Insurance policies have “duties” that they require of a homeowner when a claim is presented. Thus, it is important to review your insurance policy and all correspondence with the insurance company carefully when presenting an insurance claim.
The result of not knowing your post loss duties could be devestating for what would otherwise be a valid insurance claim. For example, the Third District Court of Appeal in the case of Florida in Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company v. Monika Horne, (No. 3D19-1550, January 20, 2021) recently held that a homeowner’s failure to comply with the submission of a Sworn Proof of Loss was sufficient to overturn a jury verdict in favor of the homeowner. In that case, the insurance company requested that the homeowner submit to it a Sworn Proof of Loss, which is a notarized document that details the damages being claimed for the loss. The appellate court found that the homeowner’s failure to submit this document could result in forfeiture of coverage and sent the case back to the trial court for a new jury trial.
This doesn’t mean all is lost. It just means it is important to understand what is required of you based on the contract, i.e. the insurance policy.
If you have recevied correspondence from your homeowners insurance company indicating you have failed to comply with your post loss duties, you should contact an insurance lawyer immediately. Your insurance claim attorney should be familiar with post lost obligation and know how to respond to a claim from the insurance company to preserve your claim.
Our insurance claim attorneys have the experience necessary to assist you with your insurance claim and bring stability back to your life.