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Whether you were too busy handling the stress and trauma that may follow a loss, or simply did not understand what your insurance company was asking you to do, failing to comply with the insurance company’s requests does not justify a complete denial of your valid claim.

To be clear, an insurance company must be prejudiced by a policyholder’s non-compliance with a post-loss obligation for the policyholder to forfeit coverage. Whether you failed to comply with a recorded statement, examination under oath, production of requested documents, or a sign and notarized sworn proof of loss, Florida courts have found that policyholders can substantially comply with post-loss obligations by responding as best as possible. Failure to comply with said obligations is not necessarily fatal to the underlying claim.

If the insurance company can demonstrate that the policyholder failed to substantially comply with post-lost duties under the policy, a material breach is merely presumed. At that point, the policyholder must demonstrate that the insurance company was not prejudiced. The Property People can provide you guidance regarding whether we can legally prove that a claimed failure to comply with post-loss requests did not prejudice the insurance company’s investigation of the loss.

In any event, we urge policyholders to comply with the insurance company’s requests for information, to prevent the insurance company from arbitrarily claiming that a failure to comply prejudiced their investigation. Gather any documents or photographs you may have, respond to specific questions, and call The Property People if you feel vulnerable or unprotected at any point during the process. To the insurance company, your damage takes from a large pool of financial reserves. To you, the property owner, the loss is personal.

CategoryLegal Advice
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