Insurance is, by definition, the act of covering a person or piece of property against loss or harm, with terms leading to a payout if either of those do occur. That means you should be getting paid by the insurance if anything goes wrong. Of course, there are a few terms to fulfill, and we’re all aware of that, but sometimes the insurance companies just don’t want to play ball.
We’ve all heard the horror stories – people being left homeless and penniless due to a lack of payout, or having to swallow a huge bill to survive. The companies who find loopholes, coming up with constant questions and checks to find a little grey area and a way out of paying.
If the worst does happen and you find yourself stuck with a claim that your company is refusing to pay, here are the 3 steps you should take.
File an Appeal Through the Insurer
The first thing to do is get it in writing from the insurer that your claim is being denied and why. This prevents the insurance company from using delay tactics and forces their hand on giving you a reason which they can’t deny later. Remember this is why it has to be in writing. Once you have the reason you can cross-check with your policy and file an appeal through the company if you still believe it’s valid.
The appeal might not succeed, because it is being dealt with by the same company of course, but if you can present a good solid case on why it should be paid and why the denial isn’t valid this could sway the person/people who are dealing with the appeal.
Consult an Attorney
So let’s assume the appeal didn’t work. Now’s the time to consult a lawyer, specifically a professional in dealing with property insurance cases. Once you’ve vetted and selected a lawyer, get them to look over your contract and the paperwork regarding the claim so far to be sure that you have a solid case. Once you’re sure, you can get the lawyer to contact the insurance company.
Sometimes the company will offer a settlement at this point, to avoid any legal battle. Other times you’ll have to go ahead and take the next step too.
Begin Legal Action
At this point, you’re going to have to go the full legal route and take the insurer to court. With the help of your lawyer, document any evidence and prepare yourself for trial. At this time you may have to accept doing repairs out of your own pocket and keeping receipts and paperwork to claim the money back later.
If you can get by without the repairs, for now, the best way to come up with a repair amount is to use an independent adjuster. These adjusters work to evaluate the damage to your property and decide on a cash figure that would be appropriate. Even in successful claims, it pays to use an independent adjuster. Their focus is usually ensuring that you get a fair payout since they don’t work for the insurer and so have no incentive to give a lower payout. You can check out www.globemidwestaipublicadjusters.com for more information.