Kramer v. State Farm
A recent court decision brings home the importance of our prior message. In Kramer v. State Farm Florida Insurance Company (37 FLW D1699, 4th DCA , July 18, 2012), a homeowner learned a painful lesson about reporting loss requirements under their insurance policy. This homeowner experienced significant property loss due to a storm. Though the claim was valid, the homeowner did not fully understand the policy and its reporting requirements. As a result, the insured homeowner was still left without reimbursement.
The insured homeowner’s policy in Kramer required the homeowner to give State Farm a sworn proof of loss within 60 days of the loss. In this particular case, the homeowner initially assumed that the roof tile damage was not a result of the storm. Later, experts determined that the roof tile damage was storm-related.
Filing a Homeowner's Insurance Claim
The homeowner had not provided a sworn proof of loss within 60 days after the loss. When the homeowner attempted to file a claim for roof damage, it was rejected by State Farm. Furthermore, the claim rejection was upheld by the Court, leaving the homeowner without financial assistance. Understanding homeowner’s insurance could have prevented a great deal of suffering for this homeowner. It also might have been achieved by asked a few extra questions.
The Kramer case reinforces the importance of fully understanding homeowner’s insurance policies – before a loss occurs. In the unfortunate event that a loss does occur, and you do not adequately understand all insurance policy provisions, contact your insurance agent immediately. Be sure to promptly provide all information that is required by your insurance company. Then, you must let the insurance company determine what caused your loss. Failing to follow an insurance company’s procedures could cause your valid claim to be denied.
Understanding Homeowner's Insurance Tips
When dealing with an insurance claim, always function by the motto, “It is better to be safe than sorry.” Be thorough with your explanation and questions while speaking with your insurance agent. It may be beneficial to write up a list of questions, concerns, and comments before the phone call. This will help you remain focused during the phone call, at a time when your mind is likely racing.
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