If you have to submit a claim to your homeowner's insurance company for injuries suffered by someone on your property, the first priority will be providing prompt notice to your insurance company. Typically, homeowners policies require that notice be provided as soon as reasonably possible. This means that any form of delay might be used by your insurance company to stall payment or to justify refusing to cover the claim.
While a delay in providing notice will not automatically justify denial of a claim, Florida law imposes a presumption of prejudice when the insured fails to comply with the policy terms in providing notice. Although the presumption of prejudice can be rebutted, policyholders can expect the insurance company to make things difficult if notice of the loss is not provided in a timely fashion. While the specific policy provisions may vary, some of the information the homeowner will typically be asked to provide when filing a third party injury or liability claim includes:
- The name of the insured and the policy number
- Harm resulting from the incident which includes property damage or personal injury
- Contact and identity information of the person claiming to have suffered harm
- Information about the nature, date, time and location of the accident
- Information regarding any witnesses to the accident
Because policy conditions and terms can vary, a homeowner needs to carefully review the entire policy to ensure that the insured complies with all deadlines and post-loss conditions. Policyholders should keep meticulous records regarding performance of any conditions under the policy and all communications with the insurance company. These notes might later be vital if the insurance company unjustifiably denies the claim or otherwise does not treat the insured fairly and fulfill the insurer’s obligations under the policy.
There are other duties that a homeowners policy often imposes on an insured when making a claim, such as:
- Appearing at depositions and court dates
- Completing paperwork related to the claim
- Cooperating with the insurance company investigation of the claim
- Avoiding the destruction of evidence and providing evidence reasonably obtainable
If someone files a lawsuit against you for injuries incurred on your property, you also might want to seek legal advice regarding whether the personal injury claim is covered. Homeowners coverage does not necessarily extend to every accident or injury on your property. Homeowners insurance does not cover injuries incurred while engaging in commercial activity or intentional acts like an assault or battery.
You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].