The answer is, probably not many. Most people rely on their insurance agent to get them the best policy with the highest coverage for their budget. However, most people are generally unaware of all of their responsibilities under the insurance policy that could impact them if and when they have a claim and usually don’t find out until it’s too late.
One such duty is the duty to give prompt notice after a loss which is included in every policy. Some policies even place a separate timeline on specific kinds of losses such as a 14 day period within which you are required to report a water loss. Report late and the insurer may not have a duty to compensate you for your loss.
One example of this was recently decided in the De la Rosa v. Florida Peninsula Insurance Company, 4th DCA (May 16, 2018) case. Here, the insureds had plumbing issues with their master bathroom in April 2014. The insureds made significant plumbing repairs hoping that it would resolve the problem. The insureds then renovated their master bathroom in February 2015 and decided to file a claim with their insurer in July 2015.
The insureds stated that they took a long time to report the claim to their insurer because they were unaware of their rights. Their claim was denied because the insurer asserted that the late reporting of the claim had prejudiced their ability to properly inspect the loss. Ultimately, despite the insureds documenting the damage and maintaining portions of drywall, piping, and other building materials related to the leak as well as having the opinion of an expert in support of their position, the court ruled in favor of the carrier due to the late notice.