Florida insurance companies review thousands of property damages claims a year. In an effort to expedite claims, companies require claimants to abide by various requirements. Many companies enforce a requirement to provide “sworn proof of loss.” Insurance companies claim that requirement allows them to assess claims quickly and fairly. Issues often arise when a claimant suffers a loss but fails to abide by the proof of loss requirement.
Several Florida cases address lawsuits involving a claimant’s failure to provide a sworn proof of loss. Together the cases hold that if a claimant files a lawsuit against an insurance company before submitting a required sworn proof of loss, the company is relieved of its duties under the policy, thus barring the lawsuit. However, if the claimant submits the proof of loss untimely, but before filing a lawsuit, courts will permit the lawsuits and determine whether the delay prejudiced the company.
Recently, a Florida appeals court issued an opinion addressing a case involving an untimely sworn proof of loss. The homeowner purchased an insurance policy from the company in 2017. A condition of the policy was that the insurance company had “no duty to provide coverage under this policy if the failure to comply with the following duties is prejudicial to us.” The homeowner appealed the lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of her home insurance company. At issue is a policy that requires the claimant to send a sworn proof of loss to the company within sixty days of the company’s request.
According to the record, the homeowner suffered water loss on July 21, 2017, and reported the loss on May 10, 2018. On May 11, the company wrote to the homeowner five times requesting the sworn proof of loss. The homeowner failed to execute the sworn proof of loss and filed a lawsuit against the insurance company. The court found that the policy required the homeowner to file a sworn proof of loss. However, the court found an issue remains regarding whether the homeowner’s failure was “prejudicial” to the insurance company. Thus, the court reversed the summary judgment ruling and remanded the case for further proceedings.
Has Your Florida Insurance Company Denied your Claim
If your Florida insurance company unlawfully denies your claim, the lawyers at Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada can help you understand your rights and effectuate your remedies. The lawyers at our office have extensive experience successfully representing clients in their claims against negligent parties, organizations, businesses and insurance companies. In addition to Florida bad faith insurance disputes, our firm handles car accidents claims, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, and wrongful death claims. We have secured significant amounts of compensation for our clients through settlements, arbitration, and litigation. Contact our office at 877-448-8585 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we can help connect you with compensation.