After a loss, an insurance company will often mandate that the policyholder complete and sign a form called a Proof of Loss regarding the damages claimed by the policyholder. In Florida, as in other states, Proof of Loss is a formal and necessary document when filing an insurance claim, particularly for property damage or loss. It is a written statement provided by the policyholder (the insured) to the insurance company, detailing the specific damages or losses incurred and the amount being claimed.
The Proof of Loss serves several crucial purposes in the insurance claims process:
Formal Claim Submission: By submitting a Proof of Loss, the policyholder officially notifies the insurance company about the claim and formally requests payment for the covered damages or losses.
Supporting Documentation: The Proof of Loss typically requires the policyholder to provide detailed information about the damaged or lost items, including descriptions, quantities, and values. Supporting documentation such as photographs, receipts, repair estimates, and any other relevant evidence may also be attached to the form.
Sworn Statement: When submitting a Proof of Loss, the policyholder is required to sign and swear to the accuracy and truthfulness of the information provided. This means the insured is legally attesting that the details in the document are correct to the best of their knowledge.
Timeframe Requirement: Insurance policies usually specify a time frame within which the Proof of Loss must be submitted. This timeframe may vary depending on the policy terms and the type of claim. It is essential to file the Proof of Loss within the specified time limit to avoid claim denial due to late submission.
Basis for Claim Evaluation: The information provided in the Proof of Loss is used by the insurance company to assess the validity of the claim and determine the appropriate settlement amount. The insurer may conduct an investigation or assign an insurance adjuster to review the claim and the supporting evidence.
Do I Have to Provide a Proof of Loss?
The most important issue relating to a Proof of Loss is that if the insurance company requests the provision of an executed Proof of Loss, the policyholder MUST comply with this request prior to filing suit against the insurance company or otherwise moving forward with the claim. If the policyholder fails or refuses to provide the signed Proof of Loss along with all the requested information, this failure may be deemed a “failure to cooperate” with the insurance company’s investigation of the loss and could become a complete bar to payment on the loss.
If your insurance company requests that you provide Proof of Loss in support of your claim, it is highly advised that you obtain the assistance of a qualified insurance claim lawyer that has experience dealing with the tactics used by insurance companies to deny damage claims.
Has Your Home Insurance Company Denied or Undervalued Your Property Damage Claim in Florida?
If your insurance company is dragging their feet regarding your property damage claim you should speak with an experienced insurance claim lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Florida law office directly at 800.451.6786 to schedule your free consultation. We help Florida residents just like you fight the big insurance companies who fail to abide by their own policies. Remember, we work on a contingent basis, meaning you don't pay us anything until we win your case.