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Most insurance policies have a section that applies to the insured’s duties after a loss. These are the responsibility of the homeowner in accordance with policy language. Here is an example of policy language used most carriers in Florida. Some policies have different variations of the verbiage but ultimately they require the insured to meet the same responsibilities after a loss occurs.
It is the insurance company’s responsibility to adopt and implement standards for the proper investigation of claims.
Florida Statute 626.9541(1)(i)(3)(a) Failing to adopt and implement standards for the proper investigation of claims.
There is a required EUO or Examination Under Oath in most insurance policies listed under this section. This is in most cases just a scare tactic used in our opinion to attempt to try and get an insured to walk away from a claim or for them to try and settle the claim for less than the insured deserves. According to attorneys most of what they request and ask you to produce for this examination under oath is not allowed to be asked. This is why it would always be wise to consult or retain legal counsel if they request an examination under oath.
Insurance companies also tell you that is your responsibility to protect the property from further damage. However, this is something that has to be done at the time of the loss and in most cases, the insurance carrier has not granted coverage and may not do so until the 90 days they are allocated Florida Statute to pay or deny a claim. So if you are going to hire a mitigation or remediation contractor that will damage your home you should get the insurance company or desk adjuster to approve any work in writing before you move forward with any contractor to protect your home from future damages.
Policy Language Example of an Insured’s Duties After A Loss:
In case of a loss to covered property, please follow the duties below:
- Give prompt notice to us or our agent;
- Notify the police in case of loss theft;
- Notify the credit card or electronic fund transfer card or access device company in case of loss as provided for in E.6. Credit Card, Electronic Fund Transfer Card Or Access Device, Forgery And Counterfeit Money under Section I – Property Coverages;
- Protect the property from further damage. If repairs to the property are required, you must:
- Make reasonable and necessary repairs to protect the property; and
- Keep an accurate record of repair expenses;
- Cooperate with us in the investigation of a claim;
- Prepare an inventory of damaged personal property showing the quantity, description, actual cash value and amount of loss. Attach all bills, receipts and related documents that justify the figures in the inventory;
- As often as we reasonably require:
- Show the damaged property;
- Provide us with records and documents we request and permit us to make copies; and
- Submit to examination under oath, while not in the presence of another “insured”, and sign the same;
- Send to us, within 60 days after our request, your signed, sworn proof of loss which sets forth, to the best of your knowledge and belief:
- The time and cause of loss;
- The interests of all “insureds” and all others in the property involved and all liens on the property;
- Other insurance which may cover the loss;
- Changes in title or occupancy of the property during the term of the policy;
- Specifications of damaged buildings and detailed repair estimates;
- The inventory of damaged personal property described in 6. above;
- Receipts for additional living expenses incurred and records that support the fair rental value loss; and
- Evidence or affidavit that supports a claim under E.6. Credit Card, Electronic Fund Transfer Card Or Access Device, Forgery And Counterfeit Money under Section I – Property Coverages, stating the amount and cause of loss.