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 losses arising from such an event, they usually purchase 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 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.
Hurricane-Related Insurance Cover
While wind is often covered by homeowner’s insurance, flooding is not. That means the insurer may pay for roof or siding replacement, but not for water damage restoration inside the home. As well, there is a particular deductible for damages due to hurricanes, and this is a preset percentage of the total amount of the policy. This deductible must be met first before the insurer starts paying for any damage. 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.
Evasive Tactics Used by Insurers
Another difficulty hurricane victims deal with when making a claim is the big number of other victims who are also filing claims simultaneously. 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.
Here are other bad faith actions common with insurers that homeowners should keep an eye out for:
> Undervaluing estimates
> Attempting to pressure the homeowner into settling a claim under another policy
> Telling the homeowner not to use legal representation to resolve their claim
> Making the homeowner provide a written release of supplemental claims in exchange for payment or settlement
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 could be the best way to make sure that your policy will provide its promised protection.