What Kind of Legal Help Can You Get for a Home Insurance Claim?
Making a home insurance claim isn't easy. It can be a long, involved, and stressful process for anyone. It can be even more of a struggle for people who have lost a loved one in the fire or if there is a language barrier.
Depending on the size and scope of your claim, you may not have to do it alone. In order to make home insurance claims easier, you may want to seek out the help of a lawyer who's familiar with the ins and outs of fire and flood insurance claims.
They can help you understand your insurance policy coverage, complete and file the paperwork the insurance company needs, and most importantly, push back against unreasonable demands by the insurance company and negotiate if you feel they haven't offered an adequate settlement.
When Should You Hire an Insurance Lawyer?
The insurance company is motivated to pay out as little as possible. An insurance lawyer can leverage their knowledge of insurance policies to hold the insurance company accountable and ensure that you receive a payout commensurate with the coverage they have agreed to.
Not all claims are worth getting legal help. These are some of the reasons to get a lawyer's help with your claim:
Your entire claim has been denied.
You're having communication problems with the insurer, such as a delayed response to your claim.
The claim is for a significant or total loss worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
You believe the insurer's offer is too low and you should receive more.
How Can an Insurance Lawyer Help?
An insurance lawyer can help you navigate a number of common problems with insurance claims.
1. Contents Insurance
Disputes over contents coverage are frequent, especially in total losses. An insurance lawyer will help you with your Schedule of Loss, a document that details all your lost belongings. They can also help you review the insurance adjuster's evaluation of those lost belongings.
If you believe your belongings have been undervalued, an insurance lawyer will build an argument that the insurance company should pay more.
2. Disputes Over Structural Repairs
Structural repairs are usually the most expensive part of an insurance claim, and a disagreement can lead to a significant disparity between the real costs of the repair and what the insurance company is willing to provide.
An insurance lawyer can help you compile the necessary evidence to back up your claim that certain structural repairs need to be made.
3. Dealing with Unreasonable Demands
There may be cases where the insurance adjuster makes unreasonable demands. Insurance companies are facing higher costs in the wake of more frequent natural disasters and extreme weather, and they may be interested in cutting costs or expediting the process of your claim.
An insurance lawyer can help identify pressure tactics from the insurance adjuster and push back against them. They know the difference between a reasonable and unreasonable demand, and they can bring the adjuster back in line if they push too hard.