Navigating an insurance policy can be challenging, especially if you incur a significant loss. It is no secret that policies can be confusing. Apart from that, insurance providers often exercise their right to deny claims. But what makes things worse is that some providers do that to maximize their profits.
The outcome of such cases depends on the nature of the conflict or dispute. But once you realize that an insurance company’s financial interests go against yours, you need to get legal advice right away.
Let’s take a closer look at the most common reasons behind retaining an insurance dispute attorney and how it can enhance the likelihood of getting the desired settlement.
Let’s face it — every claim is essentially a business negotiation.
When taking out a policy, it is only natural to count on decent service and extensive coverage, especially if you fulfill all the obligations. That is why most policyholders do not expect carriers to act in bad faith. However, disputes may arise for various reasons.
Here are the examples of the most common cases dictating the need to retain an insurance claim attorney:
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for policyholders to deal with adjusters. More often than not, they utilize stalling tactics to delay and minimize payments. That is why you need to be battle-ready and understand how to handle insurance adjusters and minimize claims.
The typical examples are environmental, industrial, or product liability claims. It is not that common for individuals to handle such claims. However, if your company is dealing with pollution incidents, settling and litigation can be problematic.
Americans are no strangers to wildfires, tornadoes, and other hazards. Since such risks can result in massive claims, policyholders need to be organized when filing them. It is crucial to store invoices, damage estimates, and other pieces of evidence.
Auto insurance holders face this issue more than others. It may be the case that the fault is impossible to establish right away or at all. Therefore, such accidents typically require maximum clarity on your side. Bear in mind that a 50/50 settlement is the only option if no clear evidence is found.
It is generally associated with stalling and other unfair tactics. Some agencies and providers use this approach to minimize payments and maximize their profits. So while providers often utilize the benefits of joining a professional insurance association, the insured party needs to evaluate the risks and get proper support from an insurance attorney.
Naturally, every policyholder wishes to receive a settlement and feel satisfied even after a significant loss. The insured needs to understand how the claim process works to ensure the desired result when dealing with claims.
Being lowballed or denied a settlement is not something a person wants to experience. But the issues typically arise the moment you start documenting everything. It often results in unpreserved scenes and biased expert opinions on the loss.
So what do you need to do to ensure an impartial assessment of your property loss? Well, what you need is a reputable team of specialists, including general contractors, engineers, architects, fire investigators, and any other experts suitable for a specific case.
When contacting a homeowners insurance lawyer, people tend to think of it as a last resort. When, in fact, it is something they should do the moment they file a claim. Of course, in an ideal world, a person should involve an insurance attorney while working on home insurance or any other claim. This way, it will be adequately prepared and adjusted.
The thing is: if you accurately report everything, you may avoid a legal dispute altogether. Naturally, it does not mean that you get a 100% guarantee that the provider will not wrongfully deny your claim. But it certainly increases your chances of success.
Getting legal advice can be expensive. But there are ways to reduce the costs. For instance, you can find a lawyer willing to work for a contingency fee, which implies paying a specific percentage of the claim once it is recovered. In other words, an attorney has to win the case to get paid.
If working on a contingency fee basis is an acceptable arrangement for an insurance attorney, you will likely have a solid case. But what if your claim is small? First, let’s put your mind at ease. The fee is typically a third of the payout, but this number can significantly increase if you go to court. Deciding to sue your provider or letting the company know you are planning to take legal action can make them settle a claim. It means that you do not have to face financial risks even if the claim is small.
Let’s take a look at the process if you decide to take your insurance provider to trial. Here is how it looks:
Retaining an attorney certainly enhances the likelihood of success. However, you need to find a seasoned attorney.
A competent lawyer will evaluate the claim and determine whether you have a case. If you do, chances are you will win it. Besides, skilled lawyers know every tactic insurance companies use when their clients decide to get legal help.
Let’s imagine that your claim is valid, but the provider does not want to make a full payment. It means that you will receive a fast but very low offer. In some cases, policyholders choose to take the money and be done with it. So a quick offer is a way to check how serious you are about the claim.
The thing is: if the provider knows that you will have to work hard to prove the claim, it will be denied. That is why retaining an attorney before you file a claim can significantly improve your odds. Ultimately, it will help you overcome the stalling tactics many insurance companies use these days.
Victoria is a Content Writer at American REIA, covering the latest industry news and various insurance topics, including auto, home, health, and life insurance.