Case Law Wednesdays – Complying with Post Loss Obligations
Insurance policies typically contain post loss obligations that the insured must abide by before filing a lawsuit. Post loss obligations are conditions that the insured must perform after they have experienced a damage. These obligations can include providing prompt notice of the loss, making reasonable repairs to protect the property, and/or providing a sworn proof of loss. A lawsuit might be dismissed if an insured’s failure to complete the policy obligation prejudice the Insurance Company.
In Starling v. Allstate , the insured filed a claim when her property suffered severe fire damage in 2001. The insured provided a recorded statement and sat for an examination under oath due to her post loss obligations. Additionally, on August 31, 2001, the insurance company informed the insured that she had 60 days to provide a signed, notarize proof of loss, another post loss obligation. A sworn proof of loss is a document that typically must be signed and notarized by the insured. This document contains information regarding the cause of loss, the tile of the property, and the amount needed to repair the damages.
In this case, the insured provided the signed proof of loss 10 months after the request and three months after filing suit against the insurance company. The Court stated that a material breach of an insured’s duty to comply with a policy condition relieves the insurance company from any obligation under the policy. The Court concluded that filing a proof of loss three months after filing suit was a material breach of the duties that the insured had after sustaining a loss and thus the insured was barred from recovery.
It is crucial that after you report a loss you are aware of your obligations. As an insured you do not want to be faced with a situation where you are barred from recovery because you did not follow post loss obligations. Your post loss obligations may be found in your policy or by going on your insurance company’s website. If you are unaware of your post loss obligations, you can always contact your insurance company to gain more information or seek the assistance of an attorney.
If you would like to discuss your post loss obligations or proof of loss, schedule a consultation with the experienced attorneys at Alvarez Law Group today. Call us at (786) 620-2820 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.
*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. *
 Ginger Starling v. Allstate Floridian Insurance Company., No. 5D05-2829 (Fla. 5th DCA April 27,2007)