There may come a time when a property you own or rent suffers a loss that requires you to make a claim to your property insurance company. Typically, insureds reach out first to their insurance company and expect help from the company. This is unfortunately not always the best case scenario and there are times an insured must rely on a professional outside of their insurance company for assistance.
Small claims for simple issues and less expensive damages can sometimes settle without trouble. However, in cases where the loss is greater, the damages are higher or coverage is disputed, you should contact an attorney who specializes in representing policyholders against insurance companies.
A few examples of times when a policyholder should consulting with legal counsel are:
- Claims where there is a lack of response from the insurance company, especially early on in the claim
- Issues of policy language interpretation or disagreement
- Losses where the insurance company appears to be misunderstanding key facts or issues
- High value damage claims
- Total loss claims, such as a house fire
- Claims where coverage is disputed or only a part of the claim is purportedly covered
- Claims where requests are made for an examination under oath or a recorded statement
If you have one of these claims, you should consider seeking legal help. Speaking with an experienced lawyer before you contact your insurance company to make a claim can help avoid hurting a case and prevent pitfalls in resolving your insurance claim.
Your claim will be handled by insurance professionals who have much more experience in claims than the general public. It is best to be prepared and understand all of the rights you have when making a claim, which can be best explained to you by a legal professional who also works in the insurance area.
Seeking out legal help early on in your claim process can also ensure that you provide the proper documentation to your insurance company, alert you to any important timeframes or deadlines for making your claim, and make sure you are fully aware of the steps in the process.
Another helpful strategy for a complicated claim is hiring a public insurance adjuster. Public adjusters can be hired to assist policyholders with their insurance claim by working with the insurance company, assisting in evaluating damages, and advocating for the insured.
If your claim meets any of the above criteria, or you believe you need some legal guidance, please contact our office for a consultation.