According to the Insurance Information Institute, around 1 in 20 homeowners file property damage claims yearly. This could result from a hurricane, mold, water, fire, wind, or a significant storm. The process homeowners expect when filing a claim is for the insurance provider to investigate it and payout the claim amount since you have been paying premiums every month for financial protection while owning the property. Unfortunately, insurance companies are known to undervalue the claim or take their time in making the assessment, thus making you pay for out-of-pocket expenses to fix the damage, especially when it’s urgent.
This situation can be incredibly distressing and frustrating. Still, there is a solution: call an attorney who can ensure insurance agencies are following the law and maximize your claim to cover the costs. Keep reading to learn more about who can help legally with property damage and what is the law on property damage!
What is Considered Property Damage?
Property damage is a large spectrum ranging from commercial to residential damage caused by severe weather, water damage, collapse, vandalism, flooding, mold, or fire. Your insurance policy lists precisely what is considered property damage. For those living in hurricane-prone areas, locations of high earthquake activity, or flood zones, insurance policies are specific to those areas while listing what is covered. Residents of those areas typically have a higher premium because they are more at risk for a storm, weather, or natural disasters.
Why Should You Hire an Attorney?
Property damage or insurance attorneys get involved when insurance companies aren’t managing the claim fairly. This could be one or all of the following:
Delayed payment – if your insurance company takes longer than 90 days from the date of filing to deny the claim or make a payment.
Denial of legitimate claims – when claims that should be covered in the terms and conditions of the policy are denied.
Underpaying – insurance companies that don’t offer reasonable settlements based on the amount of money requested in the claim.
Many claims are settled within a reasonable amount of time and fairly. However, larger and more complicated situations mean more is at stake for you and the insurance company, so having legal support to assist with the terminology and nuances can go a long way. In summary, the scenarios where it’s beneficial to hire legal assistance include the following:
Disputing a claim amount where the insurance company adjuster who performs an inspection on the property doesn’t offer a full estimate of damages.
Situations, where it’s difficult to determine fault and damages must be aligned with the policy conditions at the time of loss.
What are the Benefits of Hiring an Attorney?
To better understand what is the law on property damage, hiring a lawyer can help you navigate the pages of insurance contracts and what legal rights you have in the matter. Regarding insurance disputes, the playing field is usually not evenly matched because insurance companies have endless resources and professionals hired for these situations. Also, insurance companies have large teams of attorneys who know the loopholes and rules for all claims.
These professionals were hired to understand and speak to the exclusions and conditions found in the 100s of policy pages, so they can delay, underpay, or absolve the company entirely of responsibility, thus leaving you hanging with the bill.
Hiring an experienced lawyer to be on your side helps balance the scales. This includes telling you when to refuse settlement offers while explaining the various conditions and nuisances and the insurance carrier requirements under the poly terms. Attorneys can also assist with counterarguments when the carrier provides unfair responses. Unfortunately, legal professionals often don’t get paid until you are, which minimizes your financial investment.
Also, an experienced attorney can review and prepare the property damage claim, including damages to personal property or your vehicle. Filing a claim for the vehicle without assistance will likely be rejected, so it’s best to have an attorney who knows the correct jargon and process.
If you’re in an uncertain battle with the insurance company and what to know, what is the law on property damage, you must hire an attorney to have your back. Smith Woolf Anderson & Wilkinson is here to fight in your corner against any big insurance company. Located in I
daho Falls, the team at Smith Woolf Anderson & Wilkinson can help anyone throughout the state navigate complicated insurance claims and ensure a fair assessment is provided. Contact the team today to understand if you have a case that needs legal support!