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2nd state considering Homeowner's Bill of Rights

It has been a few months since the "Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights" became part of Florida law. As we have discussed before on this blog, the bill of rights requires insurance companies to provide customers with a homeowners' insurance policy with a document explaining the claims process.

Filing a claim after your home has been damaged can be confusing without guidance. And the stress of trying to get your house fixed does not make it any easier. Hopefully, the new document will give Florida homeowners peace of mind if they ever have to file a claim. This could make it easier to discover when the insurance company denies a claim for a bad-faith reason.

The idea of a homeowners' bill of rights appears to be spreading. In New York, the State Assembly recently passed its own version. If it becomes law, that state's bill of rights would require insurers to provide customers with information on what they are covered for and the process of filing and investigation. Property owners would be able to read about their legal rights and other information required by the state agency in charge of financial services.

Dealing with insurers has become a big issue in New York City, a year after Superstorm Sandy wrecked havoc there. One news report found that 404,000 homeowners' insurance claims were filed because of the storm. Insurance companies denied nearly 20 percent of them, or close to 80,800 claims.

It is possible that many of those people were not covered for some catastrophic losses, but did not know it because the insurance company never fully explained that fact. The bill of rights would help customers be fully informed of what they are buying and their rights in the event of a disaster.

Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, "Lentol advocates Homeowners Bill of Rights," Paula Katinas, July 15, 2014

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