Insurance companies in Florida have 64 days to settle a claim after it is filed. Florida insurance companies also have specific timeframes in which they must acknowledge the claim and then decide whether or not to accept it, before paying out the final settlement.
Insurance Claim Timeline in Florida
14 days to acknowledge the claim and send the policyholder instructions and paperwork. This includes proof-of-loss forms, which serve as a sworn statement from the policyholder about the scope of the damage or injuries.
30 days to make a decision on the claim after receiving completed proof-of-loss forms.
20 days to make the final payment if the claim is approved.
There are several factors that can affect exactly how long it takes for an insurance company to settle a claim. For example, claims involving serious or multiple injuries take longer to settle. Additionally, poor communication between the driver, insurance company, and insurance adjuster can slow down the process.
Still, you are entitled to an efficient settlement. If you think that your insurance company is violating the law or operating unethically, you can file a “bad faith” lawsuit, which may award you the original settlement amount with added interest and penalties.
No, uninsured motorist coverage is not required in Florida, as drivers can reject the coverage in writing. Still, insurance companies are required to offer at least $10,000 in uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person (up to $20,000 per accident).
For Florida drivers who do not opt out by rejecting the coverage in writing, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage helps pay for a car accident in which the other driver doesn’t have car insurance, or doesn’t have enough coverage for the damage they caused.… read full answer
Why You Should Get Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida
Normally, an at-fault driver’s insurance helps pay for any damage after an accident. However, if the other driver doesn’t have any – or enough – coverage, it can be time-consuming and difficult to sue them for funds to cover any medical or repair bills. That’s where this optional insurance coverage can help you save time and money.
Even though Florida does not require uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, you should still consider buying it. In Florida, an average of 27% of drivers on the road don’t have car insurance, which means there is a 1 in 4 chance that the other driver won’t have coverage if you get into an accident. Car accidents in Florida can be very expensive, too.
Key Facts About Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida:
Minimum Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: $10,000 per person and up to $20,000 per accident
You can tell who is at fault in a car accident by considering driver and witness statements, dash cam footage, the location of vehicle damage, the position of the vehicles, or any citations issued after the accident. Insurance companies will also use adjustors and accident reconstruction experts to determine fault in car accidents. These expects consider factors such as the point of impact, evidence of sudden acceleration, and the angle of the steering wheel.… read full answer
How to Determine Fault in a Car Accident
Take pictures of the vehicle damage and accident scene.
Find witnesses who saw what happened.
Give your statement to the police and file a report, to aid in their investigation.
Provide the insurance adjuster with all of your evidence and information.
Who Determines Fault After a Car Accident?
When you file a claim after a car accident, the insurance company will assign an adjuster to your case. Adjustors evaluate all of the evidence related to the accident and determine who is at fault.
Insurance adjusters make this decision using the legal definition of negligence, which is when a driver fails to exercise the same amount of caution that a “reasonable person” would under the same circumstances.
States have different ways of handling at-fault accidents based on the degree of negligence shown by each driver. Each system affects how damages can be awarded differently, too.
State Negligence Laws & Fault in Car Accidents
Expenses are covered based on the degree of responsibility that each driver has for the accident. Used in 12 states, including California and Florida.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Your expenses will only be covered by the other driver’s insurance if you are less than 51% at fault. Used in 33 states, including Texas and Illinois.
You cannot recoup expenses at all if you share any blame for the accident. Used in five states, including Maryland and Virginia, plus the District of Columbia.
How to Make the Fault Determination Process Easier
The more information and evidence that you gather after a car accident, the easier the insurance adjuster’s job will be. Since liability can sometimes come down to your word versus the other driver’s, get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Also, prior to leaving the scene, take plenty of pictures of the damage to both vehicles, the debris from the accident, and anything in your surroundings that could be relevant.
You might need to call the police and file a report, too, depending on the extent of any injuries and property damage. Officers might issue citations as they investigate the accident, and while a citation doesn’t legally prove who was at fault, it could be used as evidence of negligence in a lawsuit.
Yes, Florida is a no-fault state which means each driver's insurance pays for their own medical bills no matter who causes a collision. Florida drivers are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for that purpose.
Drivers in no-fault states such as Florida can't sue other motorists as easily as drivers in so-called tort states, where fault matters. Specifically, Florida has pure comparative negligence laws. You can collect damages proportionate to your fault. If you're 99% at fault, you can get 1% from the other driver.… read full answer
Why You Should Care That Florida Is A No-Fault State
No-fault means faster payouts. Police and your insurance company don’t need to investigate the cause of an accident before you can get paid for your medical bills. As a result, your bills get paid more quickly than they would in a tort state, where fault for the accident determines the payout.
You’re covered no matter who causes the accident. This alone can make driving in Florida a bit less nerve-wracking.
Premiums are higher. States with no-fault insurance struggle with high rates of fraudulent claims, which raise the costs of insurance for everyone.
No-fault rules don’t apply to property damage. One or both drivers will be at fault after a collision, no matter which state you live in. The police and your insurance company consider Florida’s laws, the circumstances of the collision, and drivers’ testimonies before deciding who is at fault.
Florida limits the timeframe when people can get medical treatment after a crash. The limit (two weeks) is meant to decrease insurance fraud. Unfortunately, fraud is still a huge issue in Florida.
Florida vs Other No-Fault States
Average Annual Premium
Rank Among All States (1=cheapest)
No-fault insurance can make the process of recovering from a collision easier for everyone involved, but it's generally more expensive. Buy as much coverage as you can afford to protect yourself in the event of a costly collision.
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