What can the insurance company ask of me?
Inspections and Re-inspections – Insurance companies can inspect your property as much as they “reasonably require”. It cannot become overly burdensome, but this usually means several inspections by adjusters, engineers or mitigation companies. It is best practice to allow these types of inspections to go forward in a timely manner.
Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss- A form may be sent to you asking you to itemize your claim and provide estimates. If one is not signed and returned with estimates within 60 days your claim may be denied.
Examination under oath – Similar to a deposition, an examination under oath in when the carrier hires an attorney to ask questions of the insureds while they are under oath to ensure that the insurance claim is valid and lacks fraudulent activity. The insurance company is hiring these attorneys in order to interrogate the insured to determine whether there is coverage for the claim and whether the claim needs to be paid or can be denied. The statement can be used against the insured in Court later on. For this reason, it is important that the insured speak to an attorney of their choice in advance of the examination under oath. If the insured fails to attend the examination, that may be grounds enough to deny the claim.
Recorded Statement – This is a shorter, and simpler form of an Examination Under Oath. Sometimes these are required by your policy and sometimes not. They are typically short and enable the carrier to determine how the loss occurred.
Contents Inventory Preparation – The policy will require detailed inventories of damaged contents before a carrier will pay for damaged items. It is important these lists are put together soon after the loss while memories are fresh, and before items are thrown away.
Additional Living Expense Receipts – A claim for increased cost of living is an “as incurred” coverage. This means that you will need to spend the money before it becomes due. Spending the money can be shown by receipts for purchases that are in addition to your normal cost of living, and caused by the loss to your property. You can also provide a lease agreement for a place to stay while the repairs take place. These documents are needed before the claim is owed.
DFS Mediation – The Department of Financial Services has established a pre-suit mediation program. If a carrier requests this, then the insured must attend. The carrier will pay the costs of this meeting, and the purpose is to try and resolve your claim. If this process is unsuccessful, you may still pursue a lawsuit to challenge their decision.
ROSS LEGAL GROUP
1800 Second Street Suite 765 – Sarasota, FL – 34236