Florida homeowners rely on homeowner and wind insurance to protect them and cover losses caused by hurricanes or tropical storms. Losses due to hurricanes can range from thousands of dollars to destruction of one’s home.
It seems logical that if you have the proper homeowners insurance and hurricane coverage, and your home suffered damage, you would be able to quickly and easily have your claim processed. But this is not always the case leading to the need for a West Palm Beach hurricane insurance lawyer.
Bad Faith Homeowners Insurance
Since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, there has been increased publicity on insurance bad faith in respect to hurricane damage. (‘Insurance bad faith’ exists when an insurance company fails to honor the fair claim of the insured party). Thousands of lawsuits have been filed by policyholders who have had their claims low-balled or denied outright.
Sometimes with the damage that has been caused by storms, insurance companies try to offer a low payment or completely deny a claim, citing that the damage was not caused entirely by the storm, or that some element of the damage is not covered by a policy. For example, storms may cause water damage, which is covered by homeowner policies. The insurance company may try to claim that this damage was not due to water damage, but due to flood damage, which is not covered in a general homeowners policy (it would have to be covered by a separate flood policy).
As a West Palm Beach hurricane insurance attorney can explain, the insurance company may also delay payments, which could severely impact a property and increase the repair expenses. They know that if they hold out and wait, the policy holder is more likely to accept a lower offer due to the desperation of needing the money for repairs.
Determining Bad Faith
Not all claim denials or delays are the result of bad faith, and it is important to note that in times of natural catastrophes, insurance companies can get bogged down with a high volume of claims coming at once. Claim adjusters are often quickly mobilized to help process claims and provide economic relief to those in need.
With this said, insurance companies are interested in making a profit, and occurrences of insurance bad faith happen on a regular basis. If you believe that you are a victim of insurance bad faith on your homeowner policy, there are steps that you can take with the assistance of a West Palm Beach hurricane insurance lawyer. Make sure that you take photos, keep records and notes of the damage, and record or note conversations that you have with the insurance adjuster. Get an estimate for repairs from a licensed contractor.
Bringing a Hurricane Insurance Claim to Court
If you must take your claim to court, the Florida law firm of Domnick Cunningham & Whalen is known as a preeminent insurance bad faith law firm, fighting for those victims of the insurance companies.
Attorney Fred Cunningham is acknowledged as a pioneer in the field and is often the go-to West Palm Beach hurricane insurance attorney when other law firms have bad faith cases.
If you believe that you have been the victim of bad faith, contact us. If you were a victim of an insurance company, our hurricane insurance attorneys in Palm Beach Gardens will protect your rights and stand up to the insurance company on your behalf. You have the right to make sure that the contractual agreements of your policy are upheld in full.