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 common tactic.
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.
About Simeone & Miller, LLP
Our Washington DC personal injury attorneys have been serving the Tri-State area since 2002. We truly embody our motto “When you’ve been wronged, we make it right” in everything we do, fighting aggressively on behalf of our clients to ensure they recover the maximum settlement or verdict they deserve. If you or a loved one has been severely injured in a car accident, truck accident, slip & fall, or act of medical malpractice, contact us today. We handle cases on a contingency fee, which means you pay no upfront costs and no attorney fees unless we win your case.