Insurance bad faith, homeowners insurance, insurance claim, property insurance claim, business insurance coverage, commercial property policy, business policy, denial of insurance claim, car insurance claim, boat insurance claim, fire damage claim, water damage claim, vandalism, theft, plane insurance, RV insurance, wind damage, building insurance, renters insurance, Allstate, Farmers, State Farm, GEICO, Progressive, PEMCO, Safeco, Liberty Mutual, American Family, Nationwide, USAA.
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The same issues exist in insurance policies covering cars, boats, motorcycles, RV's, planes etc. Insurance is supposed to put you back in the same position you were in before the damage happened. Insurance companies are always looking to save money so substandard repairs or wrongful denials of coverage happen. What about the damage to the vehicle that you don't see, like weakened metal or damaged parts that have been repaired? Washington is one of the few states where you are entitled to compensation for the diminished value of your car after an accident. The Washington courts have recognized that you are entitled to the full compensation that your insurance policy is supposed to provide according to the policy's terms.
Do insurance companies wrongfully deny or underpay claims on cars, boats, motorcycles, or RV's? Of course they do. If you believe that your claim on personal property, including a car, boat, or RV, has been wrongfully denied or underpaid, you need to take action by seeking legal advice. The statute of limitations and deadlines in the policy can hurt or destroy your rights to receive the proper compensation in these cases too.
In my most recent auto insurance case, the insurance company refused to pay for repairs that were caused by an accident. It claimed that the repairs were due to the age of the part. The expert from the car manufacturer disagreed, and they paid my client.
For most people, their biggest asset is their home and their personal property. The same is true for many businesses who own buildings or equipment. Damage to your home or business can be financially and emotionally devastating. For an insurance company though, it's just routine business and something they see everyday.
Depending on the terms of your policy, the insurance company is obligated to pay for the restoration or replacement of your building and personal or business property if it is damaged by a covered loss. Issues arise when the insurance company decides that it is not a covered loss. That is when you will receive a denial letter informing you that the insurance company has determined that the damage, or a portion of it, is not covered and they are not going to pay for the damages. Do insurance companies wrongfully deny claims? Of course they do. That's one of the reasons why insurance companies are regulated by the Insurance Commissioner, and why they have so many lawyers working for them. If you believe that your claim has been wrongfully denied, you need to take action by seeking legal advice. The statute of limitations and deadlines in the policy can hurt or destroy your rights to receive the proper compensation.
Other issues arise when the insurance company says that the damages are covered but the amount they are paying does not cover the repair or replacement of the property. Disagreements over the type of repair, appearance, or quality of materials are quite typical. Do insurance companies underpay claims? Of course they do. Insurance companies try to do everything as cheaply as possible because it affects their bottom line. If they are replacing an item with one that is inferior to what was damaged, that is savings for the insurance company. The same is true if they can get away with a cheaper or inferior repair to your home or building. It may only be a few hundred dollars on your claim, but they have thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of claims every year. You are entitled to receive all of the benefits that your insurance policy is supposed to provide. If you believe that your claim has been underpaid, you need to take action by seeking legal advice. The statute of limitations and deadlines in the policy can hurt or destroy your rights to receive the proper compensation.
You may also have additional coverage under your policy that you don't realize. Many homeowners policies include coverage for additional living expenses caused by the damage to your home. Likewise, a business or commercial policy may include business interruption coverage that will pay for the lost income caused by the damage to your business. Another coverage you may not be aware of is commonly referred to as code upgrade coverage. This provides coverage to bring your home or building into compliance with the laws or ordinances when the repairs are made. Typical examples of that will be upgrades to the electrical system in older homes or earthquake related requirements.
Another example of coverage that you may not be aware of is liability coverage. If you are sued by someone there may be coverage under the liability portion of your policy. Even if the claims in the lawsuit are not covered in the policy, the insurance company may still have to provide a defense (lawyers) to defend you. That can be a significant savings to you just in legal fees.