Your homeowners’ insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurer. You pay your monthly premiums and in return, you expect to be compensated for damages covered under your plan. However, insurance companies sometimes put their bottom line ahead of their duty to customers and unfairly deny claims. Other times, simple mistakes or miscommunications are to blame. If your claim has been denied, the five tips listed below can help to see that your claim is treated fairly and that you get the money that you deserve.
- Know the signs of bad faith: An insurer who unfairly denies or undervalues a legitimate claim is said to be acting in bad faith. Insurance companies and their employees must comply with the terms of a policy. They cannot misrepresent your coverage, needlessly delay a claim, use unlawful investigative techniques, or withhold their reasoning for a denial of your claim. If at any point you believe that your claim is being treated unfairly, it may be time to take legal action.
- Get a hold of your policy: Insurance policies and contracts typically contained detailed and precise language outlining exactly what damages are and are not covered. While it is a good idea to know the details of any insurance policies that you have, detailed knowledge of your policy becomes vital following an accident. If you don’t already have a copy of your policy, you can request one. Reviewing this document point-by-point with a knowledgeable attorney is highly recommended.
- Gather evidence: In the wake of an accident, gather as much evidence as you can. Pictures and videos of the damage that occurred can help to substantiate your claims. Additionally, find any “before” pictures to demonstrate the extent of damages. Take down any witness accounts of the accident or disaster that occurred, such as from neighbors. If discrepancies exist in your claim file, any evidence you gather may help to support your case and get the settlement that you deserve.
- Review your claim: Another critical document to request is the claim file itself. There are numerous reasons why a claim might be denied and not all denials will constitute the basis for a bad faith insurance case. One of the first steps in resolving unfair treatment is to understand why your claim was denied, information which will be contained in your file.
- Call a lawyer: The average person may not have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies or adjusters. Furthermore, claims are often complex and it can be difficult to evaluate what a fair settlement will look like. For the homeowner, the assistance of an experienced attorney can be invaluable. From negotiations with insurance adjusters to answering any questions which come up, an attorney can help you to navigate through every step of the claims process.
At The Morgan law group P.A., we are a boutique law firm dedicated to helping victims in Florida stand up to insurance companies. Our Miami bad faith insurance attorneys are backed by more than two decades of legal experience and focus exclusively on civil litigation. If your home has been damaged during a storm, disaster, or accident, our attorneys are here to help you through this difficult time.