According to a 2018 J.D. Power survey, more homeowners than ever —
a total of 86% — are satisfied with how their insurance providers
have handled their property claims. This is great news for you as a homeowner,
but it does not guarantee you are going to be in the majority. There are
still plenty of things that can go wrong in a homeowners’ insurance
claim, and even more tactics used by dishonest insurers to try to sway
a filing out of the homeowners’ favor.
To keep your property claim under control and on-track, you may want to
work with an insurance claim attorney from the get-go. The Insurance Information
Institute (III) found the average claim deals with property damage priced
between $11,000 and $12,000. This is a hefty sum on the line. Putting
an insurance lawyer in your corner increases the odds you will get the
coverage you deserve.
Your insurance attorney can help you with:
Expediting processes: Insurance companies may knowingly delay the processing of your claim to
get you impatient and more likely to take a lowball-settlement amount,
or drop the claim altogether.
Attorney Thomas Simeone of Simeone & Miller, LLP in Washington DC recently warned of this
strategy in an interview with
QuoteWizard® — you can view the article featuring Mr. Simeone by
clicking here — and explained how a lawyer can use countermeasures to get the
insurer acting. Most notably, threatening litigation often puts the wheels
back in motion.
Appealing denials: Your homeowners’ insurance claim might get denied wrongfully if your
insurer thinks they can get away with it. An attorney can step in and
challenge the denial with a well-crafted appeal, or potentially a lawsuit
if insurance bad faith was used against you.
Negotiating settlements: Watch out for lowball settlements pushed by insurers upfront. Insurance
companies often pitch lowballs in hoping you take it out of fear of never
getting the amount you really deserve. Your insurance lawyer is there
to act on your behalf to make certain you do not get fooled by this incredibly
Preparation is Your First Tool for Success
Home insurance companies do not expect you to know much about insurance
claim processes. Catch them by surprise in your insurance claim by being
prepared for the road ahead, should a dispute arise.
First, figure out what is the main cause of the dispute by double-checking
your initial claim and your insurer’s responses. Make copies of
all relevant paperwork, statements, and email communications. Sort those
chronologically for easy reference later.
Also, consult with an attorney early in the process. An attorney will tell
you if you do not need legal assistance, but, if you do, you will be glad
you retained one immediately. As Attorney Simeone also mentioned in his
QuoteWizard® interview, you will want a lawyer leading the way, particularly
if your insurer is offering a value much lower than your own calculations.
However, if the amount is relatively close and your finances can take
the difference, then you might be better off saving your time and energy
by accepting the offer.
Not sure if your insurance company is giving you the run-around for your
homeowner’s insurance claim or not? Come to Simeone & Miller,
LLP and talk to our Washington DC insurance law attorneys during a free consultation. We can help you determine if you are being shorted by your insurer, and
if legal action is the right choice if you are. Begin now by calling