What Are an Insured’s Duties After an Accident or Loss?
An insured’s duties after an accident or loss can make the difference between receiving a higher or lower settlement. Although every case is unique, the duties across water, hurricane, or mold damage claims are relatively similar.
In general, property owners hold duties to provide prompt insurer notice, allow the insurer to inspect the premises, and mitigate property damage. Speak to a Florida property damage lawyer if you have questions related to your specific situation.
Below, consider the following insured’s duties after an accident or loss:
Duty to Provide Prompt Notice
In relation to the property damage claim process, the insurance company will note any reason to deny your claim, including lack of prompt notice. There are no specific laws that apply to how “prompt notice” is defined. In general, you should speak with your insurance company to find out its definition.
You can also undertake the following duties after an accident or loss to prevent failure to deliver prompt notice:
· Provide notice to your insurance provider as soon as possible
· Document and photograph the damaged property
· Retain the physically damaged components
· Write down the name of any eyewitnesses
If you receive a denial for not providing prompt notice, do not panic yet. Speak with a property damage lawyer in Florida to help you determine what your legal options are.
Duty to Allow a Premises Inspection
After filing a property damage claim in Florida, your insurance company will generally send out an adjuster to meet you and investigate the damage. Upon arrival, ask the adjuster for his or her business card and license number. Please retain it in a safe location if you need to reference it in the future.
Next, you must allow them to enter your premises or property to conduct an inspection. Although you may have told the insurance company where the damage occurred, the adjuster may inspect other parts of the home if necessary.
If you disagree with the adjuster’s appraisal, you can dispute their evaluation by conducting an independent inspection with your property damage lawyer.
Duty to Mitigate Damage
To receive equitable compensation for your property damage claim, it is imperative that you mitigate further damage from occurring. Failing to meet this duty can result in reduced or denied coverage.
Examples of damage mitigation include:
· Shutting off water flowing from burst pipes
· Cover holes in windows and roofs after a storm
· Evaporating water to prevent mold
· Drying metal fixtures to prevent rust
· Removing fallen trees and branches
While damage mitigation is a critical aspect of a claim, ensure that you do not put yourself or others in harm’s way. You may have to reach out to a professional to help you handle some situations.
Get Help from a Florida Property Damage Lawyer
The Innocent Law Firm understands how much it means to restore your property. If you hire us, we will ensure that your case meets all duties after an accident or loss, including elements that go beyond the scope of this article.