If you've been a Victim of Fire or Water Damage
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From mansions to terraced row houses, the fact remains that most individuals spend the bulk of their financial budget on housing. This makes a home your single most valuable asset in most cases. As such, you naturally want to protect it and your budget from devastation should an incident, such as a natural disaster, happen that diminishes the value of your home through damages.
This is where a homeowner’s insurance policy comes into play. Insurers offer these policies as a means to assure homeowners that damages will be repaired and the home and contents will be restored to its original value. You pay the policy premiums and they pay if a covered event damages your home. Sounds like a great deal, but the question is how well do insurers honor their end of the homeowner’s insurance policy deal?
Many homeowners who’ve never had a house-harming incident happen unassumingly trust that insurers must be honorable to still be in business. After all, a look at any niche of any business will show a plethora of both happy and unhappy customer reports.
While some insurers may be more honorable than others, a simple fact remains for all insurers; they only exist to make a profit and they can only make a profit if the claim amounts paid are less than premium amounts paid. Their overall objective is to collect as many premiums as possible, at the highest rate possible, and then to pay out as little as possible in claims on those policies. In fact, insurers employ teams of in-house legal and real estate experts to safeguard their objective. The translation is that policy holders are allies and policy claimants are their adversaries. The insurer doesn’t have your best interest and security at the forefront – you, as a claimant, are a direct adversary to their profit margin.
You’ve Filed A Homeowner’s Insurance Claim But Haven’t Been Paid
Your home has suffered a damage and the damaging event is covered by your homeowners insurance policy. No exclusions apply. You file a claim in good faith with the insurer so that the covered damage can be repaired and life as you know it can be restored. The ball is now in the insurer’s hands to pay. Yet, many will find themselves facing insurers ignoring them or delaying, diminishing, or outright denying good faith claims because paying the appropriate amount simply isn’t in the insurer’s best interest. Thankfully, laws are in place to protect you from homeowner’s insurance bad faith.
What Constitutes Homeowner’s Insurance Bad Faith?
All insurers are bound by legal obligations to deal with policy holders in a timely and fair manner and in accordance with the terms of the policy they’ve issued. Insurers will skirt or cross the lines of these legal obligations by using a variety of unscrupulous tactics, including:
•Ignoring written and verbal communication from you.
•Denial of claims without citing reasonable grounds.
•Adjusters under estimating the costs and extent of damages.
•Making innumerable requests for more information, interviews, and inspections.
•Using innumerable and/or extensive delays in making decisions and/or issuing payment.
•Pressured calls and written correspondence for you to accept a settlement far less than the costs you’ve incurred.
•Threats of non-payment unless you do x,y, or z.
These are just some of the tactics insurers use to wear the homeowner’s patience down. Many are homeless, living in unhealthy environments, and possibly in drowning in dire financial situations following disasters that damage or destroy their homes. Insurers recognize this and know that drowning men often grasp at straws. Some of these tactics may be considered acting in bad faith. If so, this gives you, the policy holder, a path to legal compensation.
How To Collect Damages From Homeowner’s Insurance Bad Faith
A professional and experienced attorney may be able to help you file a bad faith claim against an insurer who’s failed to pay your claim in accordance with the policy’s terms. Should your attorney prove that the insurer intentionally failed to honor the policy they’ve issued, you may be entitled to monies beyond what’s originally owed by the policy. These damages include attorney fees, court costs, and economic damages you’ve incurred. You may be entitled to compensation for any undue stress, inconvenience, or negative impacts you’ve suffered as the result of your insurer’s negligence. Punitive damages are designed as a deterring force, punishing the insurer in the hope that they’ll avoid repeating the offense.
Contact An Experienced Attorney Today
If you feel that you’ve been the victim of bad faith by a homeowner’s insurance policy insurance company, it’s important to act immediately and schedule a consultation with an experienced, skilled attorney. There are time limits for filing claims. Every moment you delay is an advantage to the insurer in avoiding paying your rightful policy claim. Our legal team has a long history of dealing with insurers and a successful record of recovery for our clients. Schedule a risk-free, no-cost consultation for us to discuss the best course of action in your case.