For insurance and legal purposes, hurricanes are not accidents. They are dangerous wind and water events that can cause massive damages. On Thursday, August 27, 2020, Hurricane Laura made landfall and caused $14 billion in damages near southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas near the Gulf of Mexico.
If the hurricane damaged your property, your insurance company must address your claim fairly and in a reasonable time. But if an insurance company unfairly denies all or part of your claim, you may have recourse. Take legal action today if you find your homeowner insurance claim denied or you anticipate being in an insurance dispute.
What Are the Responsibilities of the Insurance Companies?
After you file your insurance claim and work with the company’s adjuster to file the information necessary to support the claim, the ball is in their court. The law requires that the insurance company:
- Repair the damage to a pre-loss condition (or provide total loss payments); and
- Pay your claim within 30 days of receipt of proof of loss.
Regardless of the degree of damage or number of other claims they are dealing with, it is the insurance company’s job to address your claim. In doing so, they must act in good faith. Finding your homeowner insurance claim denied without cause should lead you to seek legal help.
Why Might the Insurance Company Deny My Claim?
Unfortunately, during the challenging period of rebuilding after a hurricane, sometimes insurance companies deny claims wholly or partially. Some reasons insurance companies initially deny claims are because of:
- A mistake made by the claims processing agent;
- A mistake made by the cat adjuster;
- Missing information to support the claim;
- The insurance company questions the cause of the damage;
- The insurance company misinterprets the policy;
- The damage is not covered by your policy;
- Policy issues exists (lapsed coverage or deductible issues); or
- The insurance company is acting in bad faith.
When the insurance company does not handle your claim to your satisfaction, it adds immense stress during an already trying time. However, there are ways to fight an unjust decision with the help of an attorney.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me With an Insurance Claim?
Reputable insurance litigation attorneys have the training needed to help claim holders in insurance disputes. Because of their skills and training, your insurance attorney can:
- Work toward getting you the amount you are entitled to receive for your claim(s) under the terms of your policy;
- Ensure your property damage is evaluated by qualified experts;
- Seek additional damages if the insurance company failed to pay timely or acted in bad faith; and
- Use their skills to negotiate with your insurance company or take them to court.
Contact an insurance litigation lawyer for help immediately if:
- You believe your policy provides more coverage than you received payment for;
- You believe the insurance company did not pay your claim within 30 days of receipt of evidence of your damages; or
- You discover your homeowner insurance claim denied.
Your best chance of fighting a claim issue is with the help of a lawyer. They should always be open and honest with you and never promise a specific recovery amount. Be sure to work with an attorney specializing in insurance claims.
We are all grateful to have survived hurricane Laura, tied as the fifth-strongest hurricane on record to make a continental U.S. landfall. Nevertheless, you have a right to advocate for the recovery you deserve from your insurance company. You paid for your policy. Seek legal help, and be sure the insurance company addresses your claim fairly and thoroughly.
The Johns Law Firm, Ready to Fight for You
Our firm has offices in New Orleans, Houston, and Lake Charles. Our practice focuses on insurance cases (life/health insurance, hail/fire damage, hurricane damage), and we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients in insurance disputes. At The Johns Law Firm, we pride ourselves on being highly skilled attorneys with exceptional insurance litigation knowledge who are friendly and approachable with our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation.