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  • Writer's pictureKyle Staggs

I Need More Money for Repairs. What is a Supplemental Claim?

Need additional funds to fully cover your home repair costs? A supplemental claim may be the right approach. Kyle Staggs, Esq. provides a general overview to better your understanding of the process in Florida.  

A supplemental claim in the context of property insurance in Florida refers to an additional claim you can file if you discover more damage after the initial claim has been settled.  

This is particularly useful in situations where the extent of the damage was not fully apparent or was underestimated at the time of the initial claim. In Florida, policyholders have the right to file a supplemental claim if they believe the insurance payout was insufficient to cover the actual cost of repairs. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as hidden damage that was not visible during the initial inspection, or an increase in repair costs due to market fluctuations. 

In Florida, a supplemental claim is legally defined under the Florida Statutes, specifically in Section 627.70132. This section of the law refers to a 'reopened' or 'supplemental' claim as any additional claim for recovery from the insurer for losses from the same hurricane or other catastrophe event which the insurer has previously adjusted pursuant to the initial claim. 

The process of filing a supplemental claim involves documenting the additional damage or increased costs and submitting this evidence to your insurance company.  

This can include:  

  • Photographs of the damage 

  • Receipts for repair work 

  • Estimates from contractors 

It's important to keep detailed records to support your claim.  Once the supplemental claim is filed, the insurance company will review the new evidence. They may send an adjuster to re-inspect the property or ask for additional documentation. If the claim is approved, the insurance company will issue an additional payment to cover the extra costs. 

Common Justifications for Filing a Supplemental Claim 

Dealing with property damage can be challenging, and filing for an insurance claim may seem like a complicated process. In Florida, it's not unheard of for homeowners to discover additional damages following the approval of their initial claim. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as hidden structural damages, overlooked repairs, or increased costs of materials.  

A supplemental claim is a request for additional coverage for losses or damages coming from the same issue(s) that your insurer has initially adjusted. For instance, after a hurricane, you've filed an insurance claim coverage was extended and payment made by your insurer. But during the repair process, your contractors uncover further damage missed during the initial assessment.  Another reason you may need a supplemental claim is due to unexpected rises in repair costs. Say, your insurance paid out a claim for damages your house endured from a storm, but during repairs, the costs of construction materials soared due to market demand, leaving you unable to afford the needed repairs.  

These are common scenarios to warrant a supplemental claim. We're here to help you restore your property fully. Keep in mind that Florida Statute 627.70132(2) requires notice of supplemental claims to be given within 18 months from the date of loss. Previously, this limit had been set at 3 years, marking a substantial shortening.  Contact our attorneys today to discuss your case.  

Can I File a Supplemental Claim if My Initial Claim was Denied? 

Yes, you can. In Florida, even if your initial claim has been denied, you still have the opportunity to appeal the decision and possibly file a supplemental claim.  

Again, this serves as a subsequent claim for additional loss or damage from the same peril that your insurer has previously adjusted. In essence, this means that if new, unexpected expenses arise during repairs or replacement that were not included in your original claim, you may re-approach your insurance provider with a supplemental claim. 

Florida Statute 627.70131(7)(a) squarely mandates insurers to either pay or deny a property insurance claim within 60 days of receiving notice, unless there are factors causing delay that are beyond their control. Meanwhile, according to Florida Statute 627.70131(1)(a), insurance companies have been directed to acknowledge the receipt of your claim within a span of 7 calendar days - a significant drop from the previous limit of 14 days.  

If your insurance claim was previously denied, it's a good idea to consult with a qualified professional. An attorney can help guide your next steps. You can count on our legal team to provide valuable advice on how to make the most of your insurance policy and unique property claim.  

What Types of Home Repair Costs can a Supplemental Claim Cover in Florida? 

A supplemental claim in Florida can cover a variety of home repair costs that were not initially included or were underestimated in the original insurance claim. This can include costs related to structural repairs. For instance, if the damage to the roof, walls, or foundation of your home was more extensive than initially assessed, the additional repair costs may be covered by a supplemental claim. 

Another type of cost that can be covered is related to plumbing and electrical systems (granted the policy provides coverage for the system). If the initial claim did not fully account for the damage to these systems, or if further damage is discovered during repairs, a Supplemental Claim can cover the added costs. These claims can also cover costs that arise from code upgrades. If local building codes have changed since your home was built or last renovated, you may be required to make certain upgrades during the repair process. Often these changes are overlooked by insurance companies in the initial settlement.   

Supplemental claims can also cover costs associated with interior repairs and renovations. This can include costs for repairing or replacing flooring, drywall, cabinetry, and other interior fixtures that were damaged.  Additionally, supplemental claims can be filed to cover costs related to landscaping and exterior property damage, including expenses to repair or replace fences, decks, and other outdoor structures. 

Professional Help: When You Might Need a Lawyer for Your Supplemental Claim

Filing a supplemental claim can sometimes lead to disputes with the insurance company, especially if there's a significant difference between the initial payout and the additional amount claimed. In such cases, it may be beneficial to seek legal advice to negotiate on your behalf. Negotiating with insurance companies is challenging by design. (And one our attorneys readily accept.) Insurers may try to minimize their payout by disputing the extent of the damage or the necessity of certain repairs. Homeowners who are not experienced in negotiation may find themselves accepting a settlement that is less than they need to cover their repair costs. 

Some homeowners can also find it challenging to understand the complex language and terms used in insurance policies. It only adds to the frustration of the claims process, and potentially results in a denied or underpaid supplemental claim. If you feel any confusion about what is covered and what is not, you should call for a consultation.  

Remember: Time is of the essence when filing a supplemental claim; in Florida, the deadline is usually 18 months from the date of loss. However, this can vary depending on the specific terms of your insurance policy, so it's crucial to check this information. A professional can help review any potential limitations or timeframes outlined in your unique insurance policy.  

Choose us to help you navigate property damage with confidence — (813) 610-9989. 

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