Insurance policies are like a safety net. If a hurricane, fire, or other disaster damages your home or business, it’s safe to say you would expect your insurance company to quickly pay your claim, right? Unfortunately, the insurance claim and recovery process isn’t always as straightforward as it should be.
Hurricane Michael is a good example of how murky the insurance claim process is. In less than 30 days after the storm, more than 100 complaints had been filed against insurance companies. Many of those were related to denials.
If your insurance company denies, delays or undervalues your claim they could be acting in bad faith.
What Is Bad Faith?
Your insurance policy is more than just an agreement for coverage. It’s a contractual obligation between you and your insurance company. Just like you must pay your monthly premiums to keep coverage, your insurance companies must fulfill a number of requirements if a claim is filed. Failure to meet those requirements is often a sign of bad faith.
Bad Faith Warning Signs
Some bad faith warning signs are clear as day, others are not. If any of the examples below are similar to what you are experience now with your claim, you may want to consider speaking with a skilled Property Damage Insurance Claim Attorney.
- The insurer delays, undervalues, or denies payment without a valid reason
- The insurer fails to acknowledge and reply promptly upon notification of a claim.
- he insurer fails to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time upon receipt of claim and/or proofs of loss.
- The insurer trys to settle a claim for less than what is fairly owed or attempts to substantially diminish a claim requiring an insured to initiate litigation.
- The insurer requests a release.
- The insurer fails to provide reasonable explanation for denying a claim
** An experienced professional is required to determine if an insurance company is acting in bad faith. Contact us online or by calling 813-940-1500 for a free case review.
Dealing With Bad Faith Tactics
If you’ve filed a claim and it has been denied request that the claims adjuster provide written documentation stating the reasons for his or her actions. If the claims adjuster refuses to comply with your request for documentation, you should send the insurance company a letter via certified mail requesting it.
Carefully document all of your discussions with the claims adjuster to make a timeline of events. You should keep a journal of any correspondence you have with the insurance company including the date/time of communication and who you spoke with. ALWAYS document the adjuster’s actions (or failure to act/follow up) and the date on which they occurred.
The next step is to contact an experienced property damage attorney who can review your claim and policy.
Need Help With Your Hurricane Insurance Claim?
If you have already reported your claim, contacting Danahy & Murray could help you avoid forfeiting insurance coverage rightfully yours, or accepting less than what you are owed for all your insured losses. Contact us online or by calling 813-940-1500 for a free case review.