If you purchased flood insurance and have suffered property damage due to water intrusion, the insurance company is supposed to pay for the damage. But what can you do if the insurance company refuses to pay or offers something lower than what the claim is worth?
First, it is important to make sure that the damage you suffered is covered by your flood insurance policy. Flood insurance policies have insuring clauses followed by many exclusions. Therefore, your damage may appear to be insured but may also fall under an exception to the policy.
Additionally, insurance policies have terms and conditions which must be followed. One of the most important is you may have a duty to notify the insurance company immediately after discovering the property damage.
If an insurance company refuses to pay or offers a lesser amount to settle the claim, you should first try to negotiate with them. If that does not work, you should hire an attorney to help you recover the fair value of your claim. Additionally, wrongfully denying your claim or offering to settle for less than they know the claim is worth can be examples of bad faith.
If you have a dispute with your insurance company about how some clause in your policy is read, you may ultimately have to go to court to get it resolved. Courts generally interpret ambiguities in insurance policies in favor of the "insured" (you) and against the insurance company.
Dealing with insurance companies can be difficult and intimidating. An attorney experienced in insurance law can help determine if your losses are covered by your policy and help you get a fair settlement. They can also help determine if your insurance company acted in bad faith in dealing with your claim.
Last Modified: 06-15-2018 12:06 AM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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