There are serious consequences when a homeowner or insured fails to provide prompt notice which prejudices an insurance company. An insurer may deny your claim for failure to give prompt notice of a loss which hinders their ability to determine the extent of the damage. In De La Rosa v. Florida Peninsula Ins. Co., 246 So. 3d 438, 43 Fla. L. Weekly 1116 (Dist. App. 2018), homeowners noticed in April 2014 that there was water backing up in the master bedroom’s shower which was seeping onto the floor. The homeowners called a plumbing company who fixed the underlying issue, but didn’t file their claim with their insurer until July 2015 after completing major renovations to the master bedroom. The insurer denied the claim based on the policy’s late notice provision which required the homeowner to “give prompt notice” following the loss.
The court noted that the homeowners’ “engineer’s report itself showed that the damage would likely have increased over time” and that “the insurer was prejudiced by a delay in investigating the claim as it would not be able to determine the damage at the time of the incident.” To avoid denial of coverage it is important for homeowners to read their policies carefully and inform the insurer as soon as reasonably possible of any potential damage that may require coverage now or in the future.