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General Insurance Claims – Statute of Limitations

GENERAL
The Statute of Limitations outlines how long an insured or claimant has to bring legal action against an insurer.  Although we provide information concerning this statute on our website in an effort to serve consumers, claimants should always consult an attorney for legal advice.

The Statute of Limitations provide a period of 5 years for legal actions to be brought on a contract, obligation, or liability founded on a written instrument, such as an insurance policy (does not apply to a payment bond).  The 5 year period begins when a breach of contract actually occurs with the exceptions listed below.

Effective May 17, 2011: As a result of SB408, the 5 year statute of limitations for bringing action for the breach of a property insurance contract is revised so the 5 year period starts from the date of loss.

Florida Statute 627.706(5)was revised to limit the time period a policyholder can present an initial, supplemental, or reopened claim under an insurance policy that provides sinkhole coverage.  Under the revised law these claims are barred unless notice of the claim was given to the insurer in accordance with the terms of the contract within 2 years after the policyholder knew or reasonably should have known about the sinkhole loss.

Effective June 1, 2011: Florida Statute 627.70132 was created to limit the time period an initial, supplemental or reopened claim can be presented to an insurer under an insurance policy that provides property insurance for windstorm or hurricane coverage. Under the newly created law, these claims are barred unless notice was given to the insurer in accordance with the terms of the policy within 3 years after the hurricane first made landfall or the windstorm caused the covered damage.

A “supplemental or “reopened” claim is defined as any additional claim for recovery from the insurer for losses from the same hurricane or windstorm which the insurer has previously adjusted pursuant to the initial claim.

Prior to May 17, 2011: Due to Florida Court Decisions, the 5 year period started to run when the claim was denied or the insurer violated the contract.  If the insurer paid some benefits on the policy but then stopped, the 5 years began when the insurer stopped paying benefits.

The Statute of Limitations provides a period of 4 years for legal actions to be brought founded on negligence.

Reference: Florida Statute 95.11
Read more: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/consumers/insuranceLibrary/Insurance/General/Claims/General_Insurance_Claims_-_Statute_of_Limitations.htm