Can an Insurance Company Cancel Your Policy Simply Because You Filed a Property Damage Claim?
The short and simple answer to this question is ‘no’. The state of Florida has strict rules that insurers must follow before they can cancel your coverage. A company may not cancel your policy simply because you filed a property damage claim. If you have had an insurance policy for more than 90 days, and you have made timely payments, your policy can only be cancelled for very specific reasons. However, it is possible that you will face a non-renewal after filing a claim. You may even face receive a non-renewal notice while you are still involved in a dispute with the insurance company.
Property Insurance Non-Renewal in Florida
Florida companies have considerably more latitude when it comes to the non-renewal of a policy. Property insurance policies have a specific term length. Once a policy term comes to an end, both you (the policyholder) and the insurer have the right to decide not to renew the coverage. For example, you may decide to change to a different insurer simply because you found a better rate with the other company, while the insurer may choose not to renew your policy because they feel that offering you coverage is no longer worth the risk. A non-renewal does not mean that you did something wrong; insurance companies move in and out of specific markets all of the time. They may simply no longer wish to offer the class of coverage that you previously had. However, it is important to note that Florida law does impose strict notice requirements on insurance companies. If an insurance company has decided not to renew a policy, then they have a legal duty to provide the policyholder with written notice, detailing the non-renewal, within 45 days of the coverage expiring.
Could You Have a Bad Faith Claim?
Policy cancellation, also known as a rescission, can sometimes be good cause to bring a bad faith claim. This is something that you should be on the lookout for if your policy was cancelled soon after you filed a property damage claim. Florida insurance companies must always play by the rules. If they violate the state’s Unfair Trade Practice Act in any way, including by unfairly rescinding coverage, they can be held liable. In Florida. victims of bad faith insurance practices may be entitled to recovery for:
- The full value of the initial property damage;
- Any consequential damages;
- Their legal costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees; and
- Punitive damages.
Ultimately, these type of cases are extremely complex. It is imperative that victims of bad faith policy rescissions seek professional assistance from an aggressive Fort Lauderdale bad faith insurance attorney.
Do You Need Legal Advice?
The experienced property insurance claims lawyers at Geyer Fuxa Tyler can help. Our team has handled many Florida property insurance disputes, including bad faith claims. If you are in a dispute with your insurance company, please contact our office today to set up a free review of your claim. Our firm represents property owners throughout Broward County, including in Coral Spring and Pembroke Pines.