Hurricane claims can put strain on insurance companies, especially if the natural disaster was particularly damaging, but even if your insurance company files for bankruptcy after a hurricane hits, you should still have important protections under the law. The Florida Insurance Guaranty Association is an organization put in place to handle the “claims of insolvent property and casualty insurance companies.” Basically, if your insurance company goes underwater, it is the job of the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association to handle your claim. It is important to note that your policy won’t change, just the organization in charge of handling it and paying it out. If your insurance company goes bankrupt and you don’t have an open claim, you’ll need to get a new policy with a solvent insurance company. And while the thought of your insurance company going bankrupt might sound unheard of, the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association has handled situations where approximately 600 insurance companies were insolvent and the organization has paid out $24.2 billion in claims.
When it comes to making claims after an insurance company has gone bankrupt, you may find yourself dealing with a new set of adjusters because the organization responsible for paying your claims will have changed. One of the challenges some homeowners have faced in their homeowner’s insurance claims after recent hurricanes, particularly after hurricane Michael, is that when trying to make a claim on a policy, homeowners have found it difficult to continue an ongoing discussion with their adjusters because their case has changed hands so many times. In the aftermath of a hurricane, an insurance company might hire adjusters on contract, and then reduce the number of adjusters over time as claims get handled. For families, businesses, or organizations with complex claims, this can mean that they might find themselves dealing with multiple adjusters. Each time your case changes hands, it can create headaches, because homeowners need to make sure that the new insurance adjuster has all the information required to settle the claim. Missing information or inaccurate information can result in you being offered less money than you may deserve or can result in a delayed claim.
Has your homeowner’s insurance claim changed hands? Has your homeowner’s insurance claim been appointed to a new adjuster? Your claim should be handled with proper due diligence, regardless of who is handling your claim. And your insurance company has a responsibility to handle your claim in a timely manner, regardless of whether your claim has been assigned to a new adjuster. Finally, if your insurance company goes bankrupt, and you find you have to settle your claim with the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, you may need to make sure that these adjusters have the information they need to properly settle your claim. Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC is an insurance claims law firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that may be able to help you with settling your claim after an insurance company goes bankrupt, or if your claim has seen lengthy delays.
Is Your Insurance Company at Risk of Going Bankrupt?
Fortunately, bankruptcies among insurance companies are rare. However, when they happen, especially if you’re in the process of making a claim, they can lead to delays in the settlement of your claim and you might find yourself making your claim with the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association rather than your insurance company. If your insurance company has gone bankrupt and you are not in the process of making a claim, you’ll still need to find a new insurance company. Generally, a bankrupt insurance company will send a letter to policyholders to let them know what is going on.
When choosing an insurance company, how can you know you are choosing a company that is solvent? Insurance companies receive ratings, and before purchasing a policy, you can check the given rating of the insurance company you are thinking of doing business with. According to the Balance, three main organizations that perform ratings are A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s. When looking at the ratings, look for A+++, AAA, or Aaa. If you are seeing Ds and Cs, this might be a sign that the insurance company may not be entirely solvent.
Each homeowner should do his or her own research when looking into which insurance company might be best. However, if your insurance company has gone bankrupt and you have questions about how this might impact your claim, or if you are having difficulty settling a claim with your current insurance company, it can sometimes be helpful to hire a lawyer to assist you. Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC is an insurance claims law firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that may be able to assist you with settling your claim. Reach out to our attorneys today, or connect with USAttorneys.com to get matched with our insurance claim lawyers.