What to Expect When You File a Lawsuit Against an Insurance Company
Even though the great state of Texas has recently had its fair share of flooding, water damages, and heavy rains, there are some insurance companies that will try to deny insurance claims, even for individuals with pre-existing flood insurance.
Unfortunately, these insurance companies will gladly take your pre-storm money to give you peace of mind. However, after a life-altering situation occurs, many individuals find that the same insurance company is not willing to hold up their end of the deal.
Acting in bad faith is a common practice for some insurance companies, which often leads to the insurer resorting to unethical practices with the hope that the individual will just opt out of their claim.
Because natural disasters affect businesses, as well as homes, this will lead to the business not operating at its proper capacity, in terms of productivity and profit. Any type of damage, including floods, hail storms, hurricanes, fire, and/or tornadoes can severely and adversely affect people’s homes and businesses. When an insurance company refuses or delays payment to a customer, either for their home or business, the losses can be staggering. Business and domestic property owners are likely to face pushback from their insurance companies when filing a claim. If this happens, consider the following advice:
- If the insurance company is sending you to their attorney, then it’s probably time for you to contact your own attorney because the insurance company’s lawyer is not on your side.
- If you’re experiencing an excessive delay in receiving your payment claim, then there is probably something wrong with the situation. It is vital that you contact a lawyer before a claim is denied because, once your claim is denied, the door is shut. It is possible to still receive your claim after the claim is denied, but it is much easier if your lawyer can act before your claim is denied.
- If your claim was denied, and you believe that it should not have been, get your own lawyer, as long as you had coverage before the natural disaster took place.
- Even before filing your claim with the insurance company, eliminate any confusion and/or ambiguity that may arise by documenting the damage that the disaster inflicted on your property. Because of the uncertainty of when any kind of disaster will strike, some lawyers recommend taking an extremely detailed video of your house and/or business every New Year’s Day, in order to establish a record of the normal state of your property.
- Keeping this evidence and updating it regularly is critical.
- If your claim is denied, you are allowed to politely convey your dissatisfaction to the insurance company that, after years of paying on time and in full for insurance, you and your family and/or business do not deserve to be treated like this.
- Be sure to be respectful and polite when writing any letter and/or email to the insurance company. Do not write anything that you would not want to have read to a jury or to your mother. Also, when talking to an insurance agent on the phone, it is important to remain calm because these companies do record customer calls.
- Keep a detailed record of when you called the insurance company, the individual you spoke with, and what was discussed, in order for there not to be a “he said, she said” scenario. Writing this down, and not relying simply on your own memory, is crucial because the insurance company is surely keeping detailed, if not more detailed, notes than you.
- Be sure to hire an attorney who has the necessary experience and money to thoroughly advocate for you and your claim because insurance law is complex and not for the faint of heart. At Williams Hart, we have the knowledge and resources to provide the best representation. Contact us today for any questions regarding your rights when it comes to receiving insurance coverage.
- Make sure that, in order to save you money and time, your lawyer is willing to try to negotiate, through mediation, with the insurance company, before even thinking about a trial.
- Research whether or not you live in a state where you might qualify for punitive and emotional damages, against the insurance company.
- Because most insurance claims that amount to more than $100,000 are likely to take years, it is important to see this lawsuit through to the end.
- If your case should go to trial, be honest with your story, especially to the jury. Juries love to reward individuals with money from what may seem like a large and uncaring corporation, so be honest and forthright with them. Tell them the whole story in its entirety because they will feel empathy for someone in your position.