How long does an insurance company have to settle a claim in Florida?

In Florida, where the unexpected ranges from whimsical weather patterns to unforeseen car accidents, understanding the ins and outs of insurance claim settlements is not just beneficial; it’s essential. For many Floridians, navigating the aftermath of an incident and dealing with insurance companies can often feel like charting through murky waters. 

At Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A., we recognize the complexities and nuances of Florida’s insurance laws and the profound impact they have on the resolution of claims. With a commitment to serving our community and upholding the rights of our clients, we provide this guide to shed light on the timeline for insurance claim settlements in Florida. Understanding these timelines is crucial for policyholders to ensure that their claims are handled fairly and expediently. As legal advocates with years of experience in navigating the intricacies of insurance claims, we aim to empower you with knowledge and insight, helping to demystify the process and advocate for your rightful settlements.

How long does an insurance company have to settle a claim in Florida

Florida Insurance Claim Process

Navigating the insurance claim process in Florida can initially seem daunting. However, understanding the basic steps involved can significantly demystify the process, ensuring that claimants are better equipped to manage their expectations and actions effectively. Here’s a straightforward breakdown aimed at simplifying what can often feel like a complex journey.

Initial Steps in Filing an Insurance Claim in Florida

  1. Notification: The first step in initiating an insurance claim in Florida involves notifying your insurance company about the incident. This notification should be as prompt as possible, adhering to any specific timelines set out in your policy for reporting incidents.
  2. Documentation: Thorough documentation of the damage or loss is crucial. This includes taking photographs, securing witness statements if applicable, and compiling any other relevant evidence that can substantiate your claim.
  3. Claim Filing: Following notification and documentation, the next step is to officially file your claim. This often involves completing a claim form provided by your insurance company, detailing the extent of the damage or loss and the expected claim amount.
  4. Adjustment: Once your claim is filed, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case. The adjuster’s role is to assess the damage, review the terms of your policy, and determine the insurance company’s liability. This process may include inspections, reviewing documentation, and possibly negotiating with contractors or other third parties.
  5. Resolution: After the adjuster has reviewed your claim, the insurance company will make a decision regarding your claim. This could result in approval, partial approval, or denial based on the adjuster’s findings and the specifics of your policy.

Key Terminologies and Parties Involved

  • Policyholder: That’s you, the individual or entity owning the insurance policy.
  • Insurance Adjuster: A representative of the insurance company responsible for evaluating the claim and determining the payout.
  • Claimant: The person making the insurance claim, which can be the policyholder or someone else covered by the policy.

Understanding these initial steps and the roles of the involved parties can provide clarity and direction as you embark on the claims process. With this foundation, policyholders can approach their insurance claims with confidence, backed by the knowledge of what to expect at each stage.

Timeframes for Insurance Claim Settlement in Florida

Understanding the statutory timeframes within which insurance companies must operate can provide clarity and peace of mind for claimants. Florida law stipulates clear deadlines for each phase of the insurance claim process, designed to prevent undue delays and ensure that claimants receive timely resolutions to their claims.

Acknowledgment of Claim

Upon receiving a claim, Florida statutes require insurance companies to acknowledge receipt of the claim within 14 days. This acknowledgment is typically the first step in the process, confirming that the claimant’s notification has been received and is being processed.

Claim Investigation

Following acknowledgment, insurance companies are granted a period to conduct a thorough investigation of the claim. The law allows for up to 30 days from the date of acknowledgment to complete this investigation, although this period can be extended under certain circumstances, such as the need for additional information from the claimant.

Decision and Payment of Claims

The most critical timeframe concerns the decision and payment of claims. Once the investigation is complete, Florida law mandates that insurance companies notify claimants of the acceptance or denial of their claim within 30 days. Furthermore, in cases where a claim is approved, the insurance company must make payment within 20 days after agreeing on the amount of the claim with the claimant.

Consequences of Not Adhering to Deadlines

Failure to adhere to these deadlines can result in various penalties for insurance companies, including interest on the amount of the claim, and in some cases, additional damages if the delay is found to be without a reasonable basis.

Extension and Exceptions

It’s important to note that while these timeframes are standard, exceptions do exist. For instance, in the event of a natural disaster or other situations where a large number of claims are filed simultaneously, deadlines may be extended to accommodate the volume of work.

Understanding these legal timeframes can empower policyholders, ensuring they are informed and prepared to follow up on their claims effectively. It also underscores the importance of timely action and documentation on the part of the claimant to avoid unnecessary delays.

Tips for Ensuring a Smooth Claim Settlement Process

Successfully navigating the insurance claim process in Florida requires not just an understanding of the legal timeframes and potential consequences for missed deadlines but also proactive and strategic actions from the policyholder. Here are some tips to help ensure that your insurance claim settlement process is as smooth and efficient as possible:

  1. Prompt Notification and Documentation: As soon as possible after an incident, notify your insurance company and start gathering comprehensive documentation. This includes photos of the damage, police reports if applicable, and receipts for any immediate repairs or medical treatments. Prompt action can prevent delays in the initial stages of the claim process.
  2. Understand Your Policy: Familiarize yourself with the details of your insurance policy, including coverage limits, deductibles, and the process for filing a claim. Knowing what your policy covers can help set realistic expectations and streamline communications with your insurer.
  3. Keep Detailed Records: Maintain a detailed record of all communications with your insurance company, including emails, letters, and notes from phone calls. This documentation can be invaluable if there are disputes or delays in the settlement process.
  4. Respond Promptly to Requests for Information: Throughout the claim process, your insurance company may request additional information or documentation. Responding promptly to these requests can help avoid unnecessary delays.
  5. Consider Professional Assistance: Navigating complex claims or dealing with significant delays may require professional assistance. Legal experts, like the team at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A., can provide valuable guidance, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the settlement you deserve.


By following these tips, policyholders can play an active role in the claim settlement process, helping to ensure a fair and timely resolution.

Contact Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. Today

Understanding the intricacies of how long an insurance company has to settle a claim in Florida is more than just familiarizing oneself with a set of deadlines. Knowing the steps to take if an insurance company misses a deadline, and how to proactively ensure a smoother claim settlement process, can make all the difference. From prompt notification and thorough documentation to understanding your policy and keeping detailed records, each action you take can contribute to a more favorable outcome.

At Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A., we understand the emotional and financial toll that unresolved insurance claims can have on individuals and families. Our team is dedicated to guiding our clients through the complexities of the insurance claim process, advocating for their rights, and ensuring that they receive the compensation they deserve.

If you’re navigating the aftermath of an incident and facing challenges with your insurance claim in Florida, remember that you don’t have to go through it alone. Professional legal assistance can provide the support and expertise you need to ensure your claim is settled fairly and efficiently. Contact Gonzalez & Cartwright today at 561-556-3514 or schedule your free consultation online.

What People are Saying


West Palm Beach, Florida
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