When a hurricane strikes, it creates a lot of destruction. Anything and everything that comes in its path is damaged. It is not easy recovering from such a disaster. Many people pin their hopes on insurance claims to start rebuilding their lives again. But what do you do if your insurance company denies or delays your claims? What happens if all that money you thought you were going to get from your insurance company does not come? A knowledgeable Baton Rouge property damage lawyer can help.
Under What Circumstances Can I Sue an Insurance Company
Insurance companies can sometimes make life very difficult for you. Especially when you need to claim damages; they can make you run around unnecessarily.
But can sue the company if they deny your claim, or give you a lesser compensation than you expected? There are many circumstances under which you can sue your insurance company.
- Ignoring your claims or avoiding communication
- Denying a claim without a thorough investigation
- Misrepresenting the coverage provided by the policy
- Not giving any solid reason for denying the claim
- Not informing you that additional information is needed
- Not adjusting a claim without a reasonable cause
If filing against your insurer is the only way to get compensation for your property damage claim, an attorney in Baton Rouge can provide assistance.
Why was my property claim insurance denied?
It is important to know why your insurance claim was denied in the first place. Insurance companies may cite many reasons for denying your claim.
- They may claim that the damage caused to your property is beyond the scope of the policy
- Blaming factors that are not covered in the property for the damage
- Not investigating the damages properly
- Delaying the handling of your claim without any solid reason
- Offering a settlement to repair anything that requires a replacement
Contact a Baton Rouge property damage lawyer to understand your legal rights!
What Do I Do Before Filing a Claim
One of the first things you must do if you have been a victim of a natural disaster is to contact your insurance company. Share your policy number and give the company correct details about where and how they can reach you. By the time the insurance adjuster visits your place, make sure you have all the information about your property.
Proof of Loss
Document every damaged object and corner of your house. If possible, take pictures of everything that is damaged. Keep receipts of purchases made towards the home in the past or current storm damage repairs. Most companies will ask you to submit an inventory of damaged goods, and having all this information can be very helpful at that time.
Don’t throw away anything before speaking to your insurer
When an insurance adjuster visits your property, he/she will ask to see everything that was damaged. So don’t throw away anything, unless you need to because of safety reasons. In such situations, speak to the insurance adjuster, and take photographs of the damaged items
Sign up for SMS/Text alerts
Insurance companies have to deal with a lot of clients after a disaster. They will send regular updates and alerts through SMS, informing you about the status of your case. Sign up for these alerts and messages so that you are up to date with your case.
Maintain a claims log
Running behind insurance companies can become a time-consuming effort. It can become difficult to keep track of everything that was discussed. Make sure you document every conversation, every message that you received from the insurance company. If required, maintain a claims diary. Keep a record of all names, everyone who visits the property, every status update with dates and times. This information can come handy if you have to appeal against a claim or sue your insurance company.
Property Damage Claim Negotiations
Once you have made the claim, your insurance company will want you to take different measures like reducing damage to your home. You will also need to negotiate at this stage. While some adjusters may cooperate with you, some others may not be as kind. The sole purpose of an insurance company is to ensure its investors make a profit. And they make profits when you pay your insurance premiums. Not when they pay your claims. Hence, the companies will either try to avoid paying you completely or will try and minimize the amount that you should be paid. In such situations, you need to be strong and negotiate with the company. When you have been a victim of a natural disaster like a hurricane, fighting an insurance company will be the last thing on your mind.
This is where a Baton Rouge property damage lawyer will step in. We know your legal rights and have years of experience dealing with insurance companies and adjusters. We can help you understand what you should do and what you should avoid. First, we will investigate the home inspections, audits, and any other evidence collected by the insurance company thoroughly. We will sit with the insurance agency and explain, with documentation and proof, why you need a higher compensation.
In the case of a denial, insurance companies give you a written explanation stating why they denied your insurance claim. In some cases, something as simple as a clerical error could have led to the denial. You should know that though you have gone through the claims process and your insurance claim has been denied, you still have legal rights.
We will draft an appeal to prove why the claim is valid. If the insurance company still does not agree, we will sue the company and represent you in the court of law. We will do everything in our power to make sure you get the compensation that you deserve.
Want to understand your legal rights in an insurance case? Contact us for a free consultation!
Schedule a Consultation with a Baton Rouge Property Damage Attorney Now
We at Stephen Babcock Lawyers have years of experience in dealing with insurance companies and negotiating with them. Having solved hundreds of Baton Rouge insurance claims successfully, we are in the right position to handle your insurance claim case.
Contact a Baton Rouge property damage lawyer for a free consultation!