If you have an insurance policy, you have a contract with your insurance company that requires them to provide certain coverage and the performance of certain duties. When insurance companies fail to honor their contractual responsibilities, you can be left with large bills and expenses that you didn't anticipate.
At the Hannon Legal Group, we can help you navigate the insurance claims process whether you experience difficulties with your insurance company or not and help you hold the insurance company accountable so that they fairly evaluate and pay your claim. Our team of property damage lawyers, paralegals and expert witnesses can help insured individuals, businesses as well as service providers working under an assignment of benefits in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, The Florida Keys, West Palm Beach, Naples, Orlando, Tampa and other cities throughout Florida to recover the insurance payments they are entitled to receive under their insurance policies. The process of asserting your rights against an insurance company can be complicated, and we are here to help you through that process and to protect your interests along the way.
Homeowner's Insurance Claims
When your home is damaged by a hurricane, windstorm, fire, plumbing leak or roof leak, your homeowner's insurance company may be responsible for paying for some or all of the repairs. These repairs can be very expensive - sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some insurance companies and their claims adjusters take these claims seriously and work to properly evaluate and pay them.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies and individual adjusters are more concerned with saving the insurance company money and either under-pay claims, delay paying claims or deny claims that should be paid. Unethical insurance adjusters may try to take advantage of your difficult circumstances to gain an unfair advantage and so minimize the amount of money they pay out for a homeowner's insurance claim. This can leave you, the homeowner, with enormous expenses.
When you are unrepresented and deal directly with your homeowner's insurance company, you are usually at a disadvantage. Their adjuster will prepare an estimate of the damages and the cost to repair them. Most homeowners have no way to be sure those estimates are accurate or complete. They will often send an engineer or contractor to inspect your property, but they are usually only looking out for the interests of the insurance company - not yours. Let Hannon Legal Group level the playing field.
The lawyers at our firm are experienced in handling all types of homeowners insurance claims and are available to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our firm uses expert witnesses and/or consultants to prepare an estimate of your damages and the cost to repair them that will be accurate and complete so that your interests are protected.
Also, most insurance policies require the homeowner to take steps to "mitigate" or minimize the damage to their house. When a home suffers water damage, the affected area must be dried out quickly in order to prevent mold. If mold is permitted to grow, it can compound the damage to the house.
There are water mitigation or restoration companies that will respond to your home very quickly and take the steps necessary to prevent further damage to your house. Often times they will make arrangements with the homeowner to bill the insurance company directly. Our lawyers are experienced in assisting the homeowner and the water restoration contractors in securing the insurance payments they are entitled to.
Our insurance claim lawyers and paralegals are here to help you through every phase of the insurance claims process.
Automobile Windshield Claims
Most automobile insurance policies provide for the replacement of a broken windshield with a zero deductible meaning the auto owner should not have to pay any money for the repair. The body shop or auto glass provider usually bills the insurance company directly for the cost of the repair.
Some insurance companies refuse to pay the going rate for a windshield repair and try to low ball the repair facility. This can result in additional expenses for the auto owner. Our lawyers can help auto glass businesses and body shops recover the insurance payment they are entitled to at the prevailing market rate. If insurance companies are not handling your auto glass claim properly, our lawyers can help.
When an insured individual files a claim with her insurance company, the insurer has a duty to respond to the claim and take the necessary actions to resolve it. The required response from the insurer may vary depending on the type of incident for which the policyholder is filing a claim. Insurance claims often arise when the insured’s property was damaged in some way, such as in the case of a home sustaining damage after a pipe burst or damage caused by a hurricane, or when a windshield on an automobile has been broken.
When a loss like this occurs, the policyholder can file a claim with her insurance company to cover the cost of repair or replacement of the property. In a contrasting example, if a third party is claiming that he or she was harmed due to the negligence of the insured party, the insurance company may have to defend a claim or lawsuit brought by the third party against the insured individual.
In either situation, your insurance company has a duty to respond appropriately to the claim on your behalf. After a claim has been filed, the insurer must adjust the claim promptly and perform a valuation of any damaged property. The insurance company also has a duty to deal truthfully with their insured in all matters related to processing the claim.Bringing a Bad Faith Claim
If your insurance company treats you unfairly or fails to perform the duties owed to an insured, it may considered to have acted in "bad faith". The policyholder may be able to bring a bad faith claim against the insurance company. Bad faith claims usually involve allegations that the insurer acted in a way that was dishonest, unethical or fraudulent in some way. Sometimes it can be based on the insurer's failure to respond to a claim filed or undervaluing the property at issue.
If a judge or jury determines that the insurer acted in bad faith, the insurer will be found liable and may be required to pay damages to the insured that exceed the amount of money lost by the insured. They may be required to pay the insured's attorney's fees as well.
Bad faith claims are complex and require the assistance of an experienced insurance claim lawyer.
Filing a claim with an insurance company is complicated enough even when the insurance company behaves appropriately. When an insurer is handling your claim improperly or attempting to under-pay your claim, you need an experienced legal professional to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. Most insurance claims are handled on a contingency fee basis so you don't pay any legal fees unless you make a recovery. The experienced property damage lawyers at Hannon Legal Group represent clients in state and federal court in cases involving all types of insurance claims, serious personal injury and wrongful death claims in Miami and all over the state of Florida including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando. Contact us online or call us at 305-358-3109 to schedule a free consultation.