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 . 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.
Hurricane-Related Insurance Cover
While wind is often covered by homeowner’s insurance, flooding is not. That means the cost of roof or siding replacement may be covered by the insurer, but not water damage inside the home. There is as well a certain deductible for damages caused by hurricanes, a predetermined percentage off of the policy’s amount as a whole. This deductible must be met first before the insurer starts paying for any damage. As homeowner’s insurance policies exclude flooding in their coverage, claims adjusters typically insist that damage due to the hurricane was because of flooding rather than 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 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. Besides that, insurers making misleading statements or even flatly rejecting valid claims is not exactly unheard of.
Here are other bad faith actions common with insurers that homeowners should keep an eye out for:
> Making 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
> Making the homeowner provide a written release of supplemental claims in exchange for payment or settlement
It can be extremely frustrating to face any of these issues when 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. Hiring a lawyer can be the most important step homeowners can take to eliminate this 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.