Homeowner's Bill of Rights

What is the purpose of the Bill of Rights?

To summarize, in nontechnical terms, existing Florida law regarding the rights of a residential homeowner who files a claim.

Does this include all of my rights as a policyholder under Florida law?

It does not include all policyholder’s rights under Florida law regarding an insurance policy; it is specific to the claims process.

What else do I need to know about the Homeowners Claims Bill of Rights?

Your Florida homeowners insurance company is required to provide you with the Claims Bill of Rights within 14 days after they have received communication of your claim, unless the claim follows a declared state of emergency. Please note that there are exceptions for circumstances beyond the insurer’s control for timelines concerning residential property claims.

The Claims Bill of Rights does not create civil cause of action by any individual policyholder or class of policyholders against an insurer or insurers, and it does not enlarge, modify, or infringe upon other statutory requirements and does not prohibit an insurer from exercising the right to repair damaged property in compliance with the terms of an applicable policy.

Please read and review the information below carefully.

You have the right to receive:

  1. Acknowledgment of your reported claim within 14 days after the time you communicated the claim.
  2. Information from your insurance company regarding the claim being covered in full, partially covered, denied, or investigated, within 30 days after your insurance company receives your completed proof of loss form.
  3. Full payment of your claim, or payment for the undisputed portion of your claim, or denial of your claim within 90 days, subject to any dual interest noted in the policy.
  4. Free mediation with the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Consumer Services regarding your disputed claim, under most circumstances and subject to certain restrictions.
  5. A neutral evaluation of your disputed claim for sinkhole damage covered under your policy.
  6. Assistance with your insurance claim or questions regarding the handling of your claim from the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Consumer Services’ toll-free helpline at 1-877-693-5236, or online at the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Consumer Services’ website at www.myfloridacfo.com.

As a residential homeowner with a claim, you are advised to:

  1. Prior to entering into any contract for repairs, contact your insurance provider to confirm any managed repair policy provisions or optional preferred vendors.
  2. If necessary, make and document emergency repairs to prevent further damage. Take photographs before and after repairs and keep all receipts.
  3. Read all contracts carefully that require you to pay out-of-pocket expenses or a fee based on a percentage of insurance proceeds you will receive to repair your property.
  4. Confirm your selected contractor is licensed to do business in Florida. Call the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to verify a contractor’s license and check to see if there are any complaints against him. Also ask the contractor for references from previous work.
  5. Before a contractor begins repairs, require them to provide proof of insurance.
  6. In the event that the damage to your property requires you to evacuate, secure your property and turn off the gas, water, and electricity, and contact your insurance company to provide the phone number where you can be reached.
Click here to read the full version of the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights