Insurance Claim Notice Deadlines in Florida: Which Deadlines Apply to Hurricane Ian Claims?

March 26, 2024

Understanding property insurance claims and the insurance claim process in general is no fun task. Before even getting into the claim submission process, it is imperative for all policyholders to understand the notice deadlines that apply to a potential property insurance claim.

Those who may have suffered a loss to their insured property on September 28, 2022, as a result of Hurricane Ian, more than likely have filed their property damage insurance claims by now. The deadlines promulgated by the Florida Statutes for giving Notice of your claim to your insurer is one of the most crucial aspects of the insurance claim that a policyholder should know.

Included within the various legislative changes to Florida’s property insurance laws that have occurred following Hurricane Ian’s destruction in September of 2022, were changes to the deadlines that policyholders must report any insurance claim by. But do these legislative changes enacted after Hurricane Ian apply to Hurricane Ian claims?

Prior to December 16, 2022, policyholders were given a two-year window to give their insurer notice of (aka report) a “new” or “reopened” hurricane damage claim, which would begin from the Date of Loss. For “supplemental” hurricane claims, policyholders were given three years from the Date of Loss. For example, the “Date of Loss” for Hurricane Ian is September 28, 2022, which would mean that a policyholder would have to report a new Hurricane Ian claim to their insurer by September 28, 2024. If a policyholder was reporting a supplemental Hurricane Ian claim to their insurer, they would have to do so by September 28, 2025.

In December 2022, the legislature introduced SB 2-A, which amended 627.70132(2) of the Florida Statutes, affecting claim filing deadlines for policyholders. Effective upon becoming law on December 16, 2022, the bill:

  1. Reduced the deadline for policyholders to report a new or reopened claim from two years to one year after the date of loss; and
  2. Reduced the deadline for policyholders to report a supplemental claim from three years to 18 months after the date of loss.

The amended statute delineates the difference between what is considered a “reopened” claim and what is a “supplemental” claim:

(a) “Reopened claim” means a claim that an insurer has previously closed, but that has been reopened upon an insured’s request for additional costs for loss or damage previously disclosed to the insurer.

(b) Supplemental claim” means a claim for additional loss or damage from the same peril which the insurer has previously adjusted or for which costs have been incurred while completing repairs or replacement pursuant to an open claim for which timely notice was previously provided to the insurer.

By now you may be thinking “so do the 2/3-year deadlines for reporting a claim apply to Hurricane Ian claims, or do the 1-year/18-month deadlines for reporting apply?

Fortunately, after this exact question was debated in the months following the enactment of SB 2-A, the legislature has since included a note which clarifies the application of the new claim reporting deadlines:

Note.—Section 23, ch. 2023-172, provides that “[c]hapter 2022-271, Laws of Florida, shall not be construed to impair any right under an insurance contract in effect on or before the effective date of that chapter law. To the extent that chapter 2022-271, Laws of Florida, affects a right under an insurance contract, that chapter law applies to an insurance contract issued or renewed after the applicable effective date provided by the chapter law. This section is intended to clarify existing law and is remedial in nature.”

To summarize what this means: the legislature’s note clarifies that the previous 2/3-year rule applies on claims under policies that were issued or renewed before December 16, 2022. Therefore, for Hurricane Ian damage claims, policyholders will have two-years from the date of loss to report a new or reopened Hurricane Ian claim (aka deadline of September 28, 2024), and three years from the date of loss to report a supplemental Hurricane Ian claim (aka deadline of September 28, 2025).

Should a policyholder have to report an insurance claim arising out of a loss in which their policy period begins after December 16, 2022, the new claim reporting deadlines apply and they will have one-year from the date of loss to report a new or reopened claim, and 18-months from the date of loss to report a supplemental claim.

For those who may have not yet reported their Hurricane Ian claim, it is best that you report your claim as soon as possible.

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