People who have experienced a hurricane can attest to the severe devastation this type of natural disaster can bring. To protect themselves against the financial impact of such an event, they usually 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 want to file a hurricane-related claim should hire a lawyer to ensure that they receive what is only right for them.
Insurance Coverage Related to Hurricanes
Homeowner’s insurance usually covers wind but not flooding. That means the cost of roof or siding replacement may be covered by the insurer, but not water damage inside 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. This deductible must be met first before the insurer starts paying for any damage. With homeowner’s insurance policies not covering flooding, claims adjusters normally assert that the hurricane damage was because of flooding instead of the wind. This is one of the crucial scenarios where a lawyer’s expertise can save the insured from being taking advantage of.
Insurer Tactics to Evade Coverage
Another problem hurricane victims face when making a claim is that there are so many other victims who are making their claims, all at the same time. This creates delays in processing, unless the insured has a lawyer relentlessly pursuing their claim. Aside from that, insurers are also known for making misleading statements regarding coverage, or even flatly declining to settle a totally valid claim.
Below are other bad faith actions common among insurers, that homeowners should be aware of:
> Undervaluing estimates
> Pressuring the insured to settle a claim under another policy
> Telling the homeowner not to use legal representation to resolve their claim
> Demanding a written release of supplemental claims as a condition for settlement or payment
Nothing can be more frustrating than having to deal with these issues while 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. Using legal representation can be a homeowner’s most important step in soling the problem.
If you are in the middle of a dispute with your insurer over damages to your home as a result of a hurricane, consider seeking a lawyer’s assistance. In fact, this may well be the best thing you can do to guarantee protection as promised by your policy.