Connecting With Your Insurance Company
The first step after an accident is getting in contact with your or the responsible partys insurer. If you choose to work with a personal injury lawyer from our firm, they can communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf. We will handle all interactions with the liable partys insurance company in your case, including negotiations.
Failing To Pay Premiums
Non-payment of your home insurance premiums or missing payments can lead to a lapse in your policy. Missing payments on these types of policies can lead to a claim denial, so double-check with your provider to see what impact non-payment will have on your coverage. Make sure to keep up with home insurance payments to avoid losing coverage when you need it.
Determine If The Insurance Company Is Actually Stalling
After an accident, its natural to want your settlement from the insurance company right away. Due to this, you may think the insurance company is stalling simply because you havent heard back from them for a couple of days. However, that may not be true.
Insurance companies are given a certain amount of time to respond to claims:
- Acknowledging a claim. Insurance companies have 15 business days to acknowledge your claim and send you instructions and paperwork. The paperwork they send will include a proof-of-loss form. This is a sworn statement from you about the extent of the damage and injuries you sustained.
- Insurance companies have only 15 business days to make a final decision on your claim. Its important to note that these 15 days start after the insurer has received your completed proof-of-loss forms.
- Final payment. After the insurance company has made a decision on your claim, they have only five business days to make the final payment if theyve approved it.
Many factors can affect the amount of time it takes for an insurance company to settle your claim. Still, youre entitled to a fair settlement that you should receive fairly quickly after the accident.
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Do Insurance Companies Prefer To Settle Out Of Court
People often ask us, as attorneys, if insurance companies want to settle cases out of court and the answer is always yes. Much like plaintiffs, insurance companies don’t want to spend the time and money involved in going through a trial if there is a chance they can come to a settlement agreement with the plaintiff.
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What else? Is it possible for an insurer to stop paying my claim if Ive already provided all the paperwork? Some insurers are known for delaying or denying payments to save money at their members expenseits not fair, but it does happen, so make sure that everything has been submitted before giving up hope! We have experience helping people fight against unfair denials from health plans, so dont hesitate to get in touch today.
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How Long Does A Home Insurance Claim Take In Florida
How long does a home insurance claim take in Florida? When you file a homeowners insurance claim in the Sunshine State, you might expect immediate relief. Heres why thats a mistake.
While it is practically impossible to pinpoint how long an insurance claim will take to pay out, there are a few milestones you can rely on to get an idea about what to expect. It can take days, weeks, or even monthssometimes even yearsbefore you see a single cent from your insurance provider. It all depends on the circumstances surrounding your claim.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you wait for the insurance company to cut you a check.
How To Tell If Your Insurance Company Is Stalling
Although it seems like it would be easy to tell when your claim is being stalled, it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between a legitimate delay and bad faith. If your insurance company does any of the following, they may be trying to stall your claim:
- Constantly asking for irrelevant documents or files
- Asking for evidence one piece at a time
- Multiple instances of a lack of decision on your claim
- Claiming your claim is fraudulent, even with supporting evidence
- Changing your insurance claims adjuster
- Immediately denying a legitimate claim
- Lying about the laws and rules that apply to your claim
Insurance companies should not get away with these tricks, but often do because claimants cant tell the difference or arent informed about their rights. Be sure to keep an eye out for any of these tactics and protect yourself with evidence and an experienced bad faith attorney.
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Homeowners Insurance Tips To Claim Or Not To Claim That Is The Question
Homeowners insurance and car insurance have one thing in common: the importance of weighing and carefully considering how doing so might affect your premium and pocketbook in the long run. In this blog, we will be discussing homeowners insurance claims. Every time there is damage to your property or an accident on it, you need to weigh whether it makes financial sense to file a claim or absorb the losses yourself.
Get An Adjuster’s Name
If you don’t already have a point of contact at the insurance company, get one. Having an individual adjuster to speak to will make it harder for the insurer to stall because the adjuster becomes personally responsible when things aren’t done. Make sure to get the adjuster’s full name, direct office number, mailing address and email address. If he has a secretary, get her contact details, too.
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What Happens If My Homeowners Insurance Denies A Claim
If you arent getting any satisfaction from explaining your position to your insurance companys claims adjuster, you will need to file a formal appeal. The appeals process that you must follow is outlined in your homeowners insurance policy. Filing a formal appeal triggers a review of your denied claim. Your insurer may be misreading or improperly stretching the policy language. If your homeowners insurance company is stalling or using delay tactics to avoid paying out a claim, that you feel from reading your policy is a justified claim, contact a skilled attorney to defend your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Rollins Insurance represents multiple A-rated insurance companies to make sure we deliver the most competitive rate packages to our clients in Kentucky and Ohio.
Operation Of A Condition Or Exclusion Clause
Insurance contracts often contain conditions and exclusion clauses. Examples of conditions include:
- You must maintain your house to ensure that it is in good condition
- You must have keyed locks on all windows and deadlocks on all external doors.
- You need to check your policy to find out what the applicable conditions are.
The insurer may refuse your claim if you have failed to comply with a condition. However, Section 54 of the Insurance Contracts Act states that the insurer cannot refuse to pay a claim because of some act or omission by you unless the insurers interests have been prejudiced by that act. For example, if you have failed to have keyed locks on all windows and a thief enters your premises by smashing a window, or knocking down the front door, you may be able to argue that your failure to install or maintain the window locks has not prejudiced the insurer because it did not contribute to the loss or damage suffered as a result of the break in.
Most insurance policies also contain exclusions. An exclusion is a situation or event that is NOT covered by the policy. Some examples of events that may be excluded are:
- Damage arising from faulty construction/design
- Subsidence, erosion and seepage
Some of the more common exclusions are discussed below.
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Document Everything In Writing
Its important to document every step of your claim and keep thorough records of all communications with your insurance company.
Keep copies of every letter, email, and phone call you make to or receive from your insurance company. You can take notes during your conversations with adjusters and keep a log of dates, times, names, addresses, and any other relevant information.
What to do if the Insurance Company is stalling? If you have an iPhone or Android smartphone or tablet, use apps like Evernote as a digital record-keeping system.
They are especially useful when you need to provide proof that there was a verbal contract between you and an insurance agent regarding your claim.
Signs That Your Insurer Is Stalling Your Claim
- The insurer is asking for documents one at a time instead of all of them at once.
- They immediately deny a completely valid claim.
- Continuously asking for more paperwork and documentation that is unnecessary.
- Multiple statements that the company just hasnt reached a decision on your case yet.
- Asking for unrelated or intrusive medical records.
- Continuously asking for additional statements from service providers related to your medical treatment or property damage from the claim.
- Telling you about the laws surrounding your case and how its handled in a false manner or lying about these laws altogether.
- Insurance adjuster dodging your phone calls or not responding to your attempts to contact them.
- Switching insurance adjusters on your claim multiple times in hopes that the adjusters will miss something and have to pay a lower amount on your settlement.
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Why Your Insurer May Be Stalling Your Claim
Youre probably confused as to why your insurance company might be delaying your claim, but there are actually many reasons that companies do this, and its usually so they can pay less money to their policyholders. Some of the most common reasons for insurance companies stalling claims are as follows:
Get Your Coverage Details
When you contact your agent or insurance company, find out whats covered in your policy. You can also probably find it on your account page on the insurers website.
A standard homeowners insurance policy covers damage to the homes structure as well as personal property, minus a deductible. The amount youre paid will depend on the kind of coverage you have. Replacement cost coverage should pay for the cost of repairing or replacing your home and any lost or damaged items at todays priceswithout accounting for the original items depreciation. Actual cash value coverage will pay you the value of your home and the damaged items inside, after depreciation has been taken into account.
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Replacement Cost Versus Actual Cash Value
Replacement cost is the dollar amount needed to replace a damaged item with one of similar kind and quality without deducting for depreciation the decrease in value due to age, wear and tear, and other factors. An actual cash value policy pays the amount needed to replace the item at the current market value. For example, a tree falls through the roof onto your eight-year old washing machine. If you have a replacement cost policy for the contents of your home, the insurance company would pay to replace the old machine with a new one. If you have an actual cash value policy, the company would likely pay only a percentage of the cost of a new washing machine because a machine that has been in use for eight years would almost certainly be worth less than its original cost according to the current market value.
What To Do If An Insurance Company Is Stalling On Your Payment
If you have covered all your bases and havent heard back from an insurance company, it can feel like the insurer is taking too long to pay your claim on purpose. There are widely documented strategies some insurance companies will use to delay a claimants payment. They include:
- Taking unusually long to respond to a claim
- Asking for more information over weeks or months at a time
- Losing your paperwork or sending you more forms to fill out
- Changing insurance adjusters on you unexpectedly
- Requesting an extension without providing a sensible reason
- Avoiding your calls, emails, or other communications
These are just a few stall tactics you may notice in your situation. Remember, you have rights under the law if you find that an insurer refuses to pay your claim. If the process delays have reached past the point of being reasonable, you can file a complaint with the New York State Department of Financial Services . This department is responsible for investigating complaints about insurance matters in the state.
Once this happens, the insurance company will have a certain amount of time to submit a written response to the department. This creates a record of your complaint, which you could use later should the matter require legal action.
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Types Of Insurance Claims We Handle
- Hurricane Insurance Claims
- Wind and Hail Damage Insurance Claims
- Low Insurance Settlement Offers
- Business Interruption Insurance Claims
Our insurance lawyers are here to help you recover the money that you paid for when you need it the most.
We can help with homeowner’s insurance claims against
The insurance claim process can be confusing and frustrating, but you are not alone.
Let us help you get the money you rightfully deserve.
You have so many battles to fight right now.
- Where are you going to live for the next few months to a year while your house is being repaired?
- Finding a contractor AND getting them to show up regularly
- Picking fixtures, paint colors, flooring, and everything else
- Trying to order furniture without knowing how long shipping delays will be or when your house will be done. How do you even coordinate that?
- How will you pay for all of this as you go when the mortgage company is only releasing funds when you can prove the work is complete?
And on top of that, youre worried that insurance wont even cover it all. They keep switching adjusters on you and then the new one wants you to resubmit all of the information you already sent in. This fight feels like this is turning out to be a full-time job in itself.
No one should have to go through the insurance dispute process alone.
The insurance company has its adjusters, investigators, and lawyers. You should too.
Stalling Via Lack Of Contact
If the insurance company is not communicating with you timely, and responding to your contacts after days or weeks, it is likely stalling for a strategic edge.
This could be a busy adjuster, but a pattern of this over an extended period of time is commonly evidence of something more problematic than under-staffing.
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Take Advantage Of The State Regulator
Taking an insurance company to court should be used as a last resort as it can tie up a claim in court for many years and seriously delay receiving needed funds to replace a home or pay medical bills. The first steps are to attempt to work directly with your insurance agent or insurance firm provider in a calm, patient mannerdocumenting the entire process all the while. If they end up proving difficult to work with, utilizing the services of a state insurance regulator can help move the process forward.
File A Complaint And Hire An Attorney
Claim disputes rarely make it to this stage. If you are unable to reach an agreement on a claim with your home insurance company and youve exhausted all of the previous options, there are only two other things you can do: file a complaint with the state and seek legal remedy through an attorney.
Policyholders can report what they believe is mistreatment or bad business practices to their state insurance department. The department should investigate your claim and provide you with advice on what step to take next. They typically evaluate whether your complaint is justified and, if so, will reach out to your insurance provider through its own channels to encourage a fairer resolution.
The state insurance department might suggest that you hire an attorney, but it will not help pay for that expense. This makes it important to weigh the costs and potential benefits of legal action. You will need to find an attorney, pay a consultation fee and whatever additional rate they charge. Should you choose to hire an attorney, make sure a fee structure is in place.
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Misrepresenting Or Failing To Disclose Information
Its essential to be honest about the damage at your home and report accurate information on insurance claims forms. There are a number of reasons why an insurance company might deny your claim, including lying about the nature and scope of the damage. Make sure you follow this important step before filing a claim.
Claims Insurers Stall On Most Frequently
Insurance companies have a reputation for delaying claims no matter what type of issue they are dealing with. This strategy is used by insurance companies to protect their bottom lines, and it is a common practice among accident victims and homeowners alike. Here are a few types of claims that insurance companies are notorious for delays.
- Under-Insured Motorist claims UIM claims that involve primarily general damages damages beyond medical bills and lost wages.
- Insurance claims for homeowners
- Insurance claims for commercial property owners
- Accident claims involving automobiles, trucks, and motorcycles
- Damages caused by hail and storms
- Claims for personal injury
- Claims for Medical Payments Coverage
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