November 28, 2012 — Most homeowners pay insurance companies thousands of dollars expecting help after a disaster. Unfortunately, in some cases, the insurance company wrongfully delays, denies, or fails to compensate a legitimate claim.
If you decide to seek legal representation to protect your claim, your insurance company may reconsider their offer. In some cases, an attorney can point out mistakes that have been made, send a strongly worded letter, and help rectify the situation without resorting to litigation.
In other cases, it is necessary to file a “bad faith” lawsuit to protect your claim. Don’t let your insurance company wrongfully deny you the compensation you deserve for your property damage. Your insurance company may owe you tens of thousands of dollars more than they have offered to pay.
Unfortunately, some insurance companies do not help their clients after a natural disaster. After Hurricane Sandy, insurance companies are expected to be responsible for $22 billion in insured losses, and more than 200,000 claims will be filed. In the past, insurance companies resisted paying for expensive natural disasters. After Hurricane Katrina, more than 18,500 homeowners in Louisiana filed lawsuits against an insurance company that waited more than 30 days to help after the disaster. The company was later forced to pay more than $100 million in damages.
What could go wrong?
One unique aspect of Hurricane Sandy was that it was not technically a hurricane when it made landfall. It was downgraded to a Post-Tropical Cyclone. This means that hurricane insurance policies might not apply to flood damage caused by the storm. Unfortunately, many standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not offer flood insurance. This could lead to disputes about the type of policy that covers property damage.
Disputes could also potentially arise when evaluating the value of damaged property. In these cases, documentation is essential to protect your Hurricane Sandy insurance claim. Most experts recommend that property owners thoroughly survey the damage, take pictures, contact your insurance company as soon as possible, and keep a diary of every conversation you have with your adjustor.