Boy do we hear this question a lot. Let me stick up for Citizens for just a brief second first off. Citizens is by far the largest insurer in the state and often times forced into insuring risky homes in risky areas. By default then Citizens assumes more bad policies than any other insurance company. Citizens also by default receives a lot more claims than any other insurance company. Thus frankly results in overworked adjusters who just don’t have the time to provide the attention each case needs. What happens is cases get lost, seemingly forever. Unless someone reminds Citizens of their ongoing issues, the case may never be found again. Citizens as a state entity and as immune from bad faith damages, does not hold a lot of incentive to provide great customer service or to keep its insureds happy. In fact, Citizens would probably prefer that most of its insureds go find insurance somewhere else. With that in mind, we do feel for Citizens and how overworked it is but, our priority is to our clients and making sure they are treated properly. It is true that sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

What we try to focus on many times is Florida Statute 627.70131 which essentially states an insurance company must either pay a claim or deny that claim within ninety days of receiving all the information it needs to make a decision. Now many insurance companies will continue to ask you for documents or to appear at an examination under oath or fill out a proof of loss. Many times this is just to buy time. As long as these requests are pending the insurance company may claim that the 90 days has not started to run yet because they still have not received all the information they need to make a decision and of course by doing so, they put the ball back in your court on why it is taking so long. Stay on top of such requests and make sure you comply and comply quickly and once everything is handed in, confirm in writing that there is nothing more they need from you. Then you can start your 90 day clock and if they don’t make a decision by then, a nasty letter and/or a lawsuit will usually suffice.

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