In an article on the Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog by Merlin Law Group, Paul LaSalle documents the case of a homeowner in Rhode island who lost the chance to get a new appraisal by waiting too long.
When the insured suffered water damage from heavy snow on their roof, they made a timely claim to their insurance company. The insurance company performed an inspection and issued a payment of about $15,000. Twenty months later the insured wanted an appraisal, which was allowed by their policy. But they had waited too long.
The insurer rejected their appraisal demand, saying they had delayed too long in making their request. The case went to the Supreme Court of Rhode Island. The insurance company won, with the court saying that waiting almost two years could not be described as “proceeding reasonably in good faith.”
While it may vary from state to state, what the insurance company and the court decide is a “reasonable time” may close all your options for dispute in a claim if you don’t act as quickly as you can. If you dispute the amount that your insurance company is offering to pay for a covered loss, make sure you do so promptly.