If you have an open Hurricane Ian or other property damage claim and your insurance company goes bankrupt (insolvent), Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) will likely be responsible to pay your claim, but you need to know your rights and the full amount you are entitled to recover. Simply because FIGA took over your claim does not mean you have to accept less than the full amount FIGA is required to pay you subject to its statutory caps ($500,000 for a property damage claim). Having helped homeowners with their hurricane and other property damage claims for decades, our experienced insurance attorneys have dealt with many clients whose insurance company went bankrupt (insolvent) during the claims process and we have helped them recover the full amount they are entitled to within FIGA's statutory limitations.
Know How FIGA Works
FIGA is a state-run organization that provides financial protection, a guaranty, to Florida policyholders in the event that your insurance company fails, i.e., goes bankrupt. This is sometimes also referred to as going “insolvent” or “into receivership.” You can learn more about FIGA and how it works here. If FIGA takes over a covered claim, FIGA becomes obligated by statute to pay you the amount your now bankrupt insurance company was required to pay you, up to FIGA's statutory cap: $500,000 on homeowners' property damage claims.
Know You Are Not Required to Accept Less than the Full Amount FIGA Owes You
Know that FIGA can apply the same policy limitations and/or deductibles that your insurance company would have been able to invoke under the policy. However, within FIGA's $500,000 statutory cap on residential property damage claims, FIGA has the same contractual obligation to pay your insurance claim as your insurance company did before it went bankrupt (insolvent). At TWWH, we have had many clients come to us with an offer they received from FIGA that is less than the amount they would have been entitled to recover from their insurance company before it collapsed and they do not feel they can negotiate with FIGA or push back to recover the full amount they are owed. This is simply not true.
Know That FIGA Often Makes Lowball Offers in Hopes of Avoiding Its Obligation to Pay in Full
The mere fact that your insurance claim has been transferred to FIGA does not reduce the amount you are entitled to recover on your insurance claim, within FIGA's $500,000 limit for homeowners' claims. For example, if the covered damage your home sustained as the result of a hurricane or other covered loss obligated your insurance company to pay you $250,000 to repair that damage but your insurer went bankrupt (insolvent), once the claim is transferred to FIGA, FIGA is now obligated to pay you $250,000. FIGA does not have the right to offer you $150,000, or $200,000, or any amount less than $250,000 and make you feel like you have no choice but to take it, although we have seen FIGA take actions like this many times.
Know That You Can Get Help With Your FIGA Claim
Our experienced insurance attorneys have been helping policyholders—homeowners just like you—with their hurricane and other property damage claims for decades. We have dealt with FIGA after an insurer goes bankrupt many times, and we know how to communicate and negotiate with FIGA to ensure you receive the full amount FIGA is obligated to pay you. Do not feel obligated to accept a lowball offer simply because it came from FIGA and do not agree to accept any offer from FIGA until you have consulted with an experienced insurance attorney first. At Taylor, Warren, Weidner & Hancock, we never require any fee, cost, or obligation to simply review your insurance claim, including those that have been taken over by FIGA, and make sure you know your rights. Contact us.