There are two answers to this question. Both answers are yes. But digging deeper there a different reasons for this answer and it is open to interpretation. If it has been awhile since your loss, all hope is not lost! You’ll still have a chance to file and we’ll cover that ahead here.
Yes, file immediately
The first answer: After the damage, you are expected to filing the claim immediately. Within your policy, it will say that you have to follow several duties after a loss. This includes giving notice of claim immediately after the loss. While there is ambiguity here and open to interpretation, you should file within (1) business day.
Now you can do this by contacting your insurance agent or your insurer directly. They will give you the needed forms. This is easy and you shouldn’t receive any criticism from your insurer for doing this.
Once you’ve notified your carrier, they will want you to write up a proof of loss which is basically more documentation. This is required by the insurer and you must complete this within a reasonable amount of time. Which again is very ambiguous but should be done within 60 days.
You also have other expectations:
- try to stop any additional loss
- separate damaged property
- create an inventory of the damaged property
Yes, your state’s statute of limitations is between 1-3 years
Now, if you’ve put off filing your case you still can file. Maybe you were worried about your rates going up. Or push back from your agent. But now you see how much that new roof is going to cost and you can’t afford it. Or you now see your neighbors got a new roof and they said their insurance paid for it. Now you’re second guessing yourself. All normal.
Insurance is regulated at a state level. And if you’re claim ends up being denied after you filed a claim, each state had it’s own statute of limitations for suing your insurance company. So maybe your insurance company acted in bad faith in order for them to avoid paying you a claim. You can sue them within this time frame.
(Full Disclosure: We are not a law firm and can’t give legal advice. This is just to give you an idea of the time frame you have to deal with. We are licensed Public Adjusters and are experts on your insurance policy and storm damage and can talk to you about those things.)
Because of this statute of limitations, you should file your claim before the time is up so that you can then bring a case against them legally. It will take time to build that case so, if you’re reading this and you haven’t filed a claim yet, file one immediately. Call your insurance company or your agent if you have one, and ask to file.
The more time goes on, the more the burden of proof falls on you to prove damages. This is where we can come in and build a case for you to prove there is storm damage and then negotiate with your carrier about what your insurance policy covers.
So here is a list of the statute of limitations in the states we have a Public Adjusters license:
- New York: Reasonable time frame (1 year) / 6 years for bad faith
- Iowa: Reasonable time frame (1 year) / 5 years for bad faith
- Oklahoma: 2 years / 2 years for bad faith
- Colorado: Reasonable time frame (1 year) / 2 years for bad faith
- North Carolina: Reasonable time frame (1 year) / 3 years for bad faith
- South Carolina: Not stated / 3 years for bad faith
If you have further questions and would like a Free Consultation on your case, please create an account and we will help you figure out the best path forward. We can review your insurance policy for free and help you figure out your next steps.