When should you get a lawyer for claim?

Whether or not you should hire an attorney to get involved in your property damage claim has a lot to do with the type of property damage you suffered. Most property damage lawyers will not get involved in a car accident claim, for example, unless there were injuries involved, because the value of the vehicles will rarely get a large enough settlement to make it worth their time.

However, if a vehicle collided with your home or business and caused a significant amount of damage and your insurance company did not treat your claim fairly, a property damage lawyer may be more inclined to step in.

Types of property damage that may warrant contacting a property damage lawyer

Property damage lawyers tend to have the greatest impact on settlements when the case involves damaged homes or businesses. Home and business owners frequently seek the services of an attorney for claims involving:

Hurricane damage

Wind damage

Fire and smoke damage

Water leaks and burst pipes

Foundation problems

Loss of home (subsidence)

Construction defects

Homeowners and business insurance policies are very complicated documents, and it is understandable that many policyholders do not fully understand what types of damage are covered by their policy. A property damage attorney can provide guidance on what your policy covers and can give you an honest assessment of the settlement offer from the insurance company.

If you do not believe your insurance company is properly valuing your claim or treating you fairly, a property damage attorney can offer solutions to help you get the compensation you deserve for your property damage claim.

What is insurance bad faith?

Bad faith insurance cases allow the policyholder to recover the money he or she deserves or, in the most serious cases, even more money than your claim would have paid if the insurance company had acted in good faith.

In the United States, insurance companies are legally obligated to act in good faith and to treat their policyholders fairly. Major insurance companies go to great lengths to protect themselves by crafting complex policies that contain dozens or even hundreds of exclusions and limitations, which means that your policy does not cover you for a long list of potential damages.

This does not mean that insurance companies never act in bad faith or that they always provide the fair service and claims assessments that their policyholders deserve.

Claims assessment is further complicated by the human element. Claims specialists and other decision makers in the process are beholden to the interests of the insurance company, which means they may make decisions that are good for the insurance company, but not for you, the policyholder.

Why is bad faith insurance a problem?

Insurance companies are businesses, not charities. They fundamentally make decisions with the intention of maximising their profits, which usually means keeping revenues (the premiums you pay) high while minimising their costs (the claims they pay you for damages).

Their best interest is to find ways to minimise your claim or deny it altogether.

Whether or not you call a property damage lawyer for your claim should depend on the situation and how your insurance company is treating you.

If they are willing to pay you the money you need to restore your home to the way it was before the damage, you probably don't need a lawyer. If the insurance company's claims specialist says "I'm sorry, your policy doesn't cover that," it may be in your best interest to contact an independent claims specialist or attorney to assist you.

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