People who have experienced a hurricane know just how much devastation this type of natural disaster can cause. As protection against the financial impact of such an event, they often buy insurance . Sadly, even if they pay their premiums religiously, they can still end up in the lurch when their insurance company refuses to pay their claim due to a minor technicality or plain and simple bad faith. This is why those who have hurricane-related insurance claims should use the services of a lawyer who can ensure that they will get what is due them.
Insurance Coverage Related to Hurricanes
While wind is often covered by homeowner’s insurance, flooding is not. That means roof or siding replacement will be shouldered by the policy, but not water damage in the interior of the home. There is also a specific deductible for hurricane-caused damages, and this is set at a predetermined percentage of the policy’s total amount. Before the insurer pays for any damage, this deductible should be met first. Since homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding, claims adjusters usually argue that damage from the hurricane was due to flooding and not the wind. This is one of the most crucial situations where a legal expert can intervene and guard the rights of the insured.
Common Insurer Tactics
Another difficulty hurricane victims deal with when making a claim is the big number of other victims who are also filing claims simultaneously. This causes processing delays, unless the insured has a lawyer fighting for their claim. On top of that, insurers are also quite known for making false statements or even declining legitimate claims outright.
Here are other bad faith actions common with insurers that homeowners should keep an eye out for:
> Making undervalued estimates
> Pressuring the insured to settle a claim under another policy
> Telling the homeowner not to use a lawyer when resolving their claim
> Making the homeowner provide a written release of supplemental claims in exchange for payment or settlement
It can be extremely frustrating to face any of these issues when making a hurricane-related insurance claim. Home repairs have to begin as soon as possible, but insurers can make it very hard for homeowners to do so. Working with a lawyer can be the most important move a homeowner can make to solve this problem.
If you and your insurer are in a dispute over hurricane-related damages to your house, do not hesitate to bring a lawyer into the picture. In fact, this is the best thing you can do ensure that you can maximize the protection provided by your policy.