Reasons to Hire a Lawyer When Making a Hurricane Insurance Claim
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 . Unfortunately, even after paying their premiums month after month, they can still be left in the lurch when their insurer rejects their claim either because of a minor technicality or sheer bad faith. This is why hiring a lawyer is always best for those who intend to file a hurricane-related claim, if only to ensure that they will receive what is due them.
Insurance Coverage Related to Hurricanes
Homeowner’s insurance typically includes wind but not flooding. That means the insurer may pay for roof or siding replacement, but not for water damage restoration 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 most critical situations where a lawyer can step in and protect the interest of the insured.
Evasive Tactics Used by Insurers
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 leads to processing delays, unless the claimant has a lawyer fighting for the insurer’s attention. Aside from that, insurers are also known for making misleading statements regarding coverage, or even flatly declining to settle a totally valid claim.
Other common bad faith actions by insurers that homeowners should watch out for include:
> Providing undervalued estimates
> Attempting to pressure the homeowner into settling a claim under another policy
> Telling the homeowner not to use a lawyer when resolving their claim
> Demanding a written release of supplemental claims as a condition for settlement or payment
It can be extremely frustrating to face any of these issues when making a hurricane-related insurance claim. While home repairs should begin as soon as possible, insurers can make it very hard to do. 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 could be the best way to make sure that your policy will provide its promised protection.
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