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 address your needs as a policyholder when you experience difficulties with your insurance company and help you hold the insurance company accountable so that they fairly evaluate and pay your claim. Our team of lawyers, paralegals and expert witnesses can help insured individuals as well as service providers working under an assignment of benefits in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, 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 storm, hurricane, a fire, roof leak or a plumbing 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. Most insurance companies and their claims adjusters treat take these claims seriously and work to properly evaluate and pay them.
Unfortunately, not all insurance companies or individual adjusters behave the way they should. Unscrupulous 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. 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.
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 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 water restoration contractors in securing the insurance payment 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 would 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 action or inaction by 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 behalf of its insured. 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, you need an experienced legal professional to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. The experienced trial 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 and bad faith 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.