Month after month, year after year, you pay your insurance premiums on time.
You do this because one day something bad might happen. You might suffer an injury because of an auto accident.
There might be a hurricane or other storm that damages your home where you and your family live. There could be a tornado, fire or other natural disasters that might damage your property or home.
You pay these insurance premiums because if one of these events happened, you want to have coverage. You want your insurance company to take care of you.
After all, isn’t that what all the commercials say? That like a good neighbor your insurance company will be there for you and your time and need?
Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always do the right thing.
Your insurance company is in the business of making money. While they don’t have any problem taking your premiums, they are in the business of reducing the amount of money that they pay out in claims.
And unfortunately, that means for you that you may be in the situation where they are drastically undervaluing your claim and trying to get you to take much less than what your claim is worth.
Think about it from this perspective: insurance companies make money by minimizing claims. Their employees get bonuses by minimizing claims. Insurance companies float money and other investments and lend it so that at the end of the day they make money by taking as long as possible to pay claims.
They are not incentivized in any way to pay your claim.
Do I Need an Insurance Claims Attorney?
If you try to handle your insurance claim and the insurance company is either denying your claim or they’re not giving you a fair value, then it makes sense to have an attorney look at the claim with you.
Our job is to make sure that you get a fair value for your claim. We do this by making demands of the insurance company and filing lawsuits when needed against your insurance company.
Florida has a very good insurance claims attorney laws. Florida doesn’t want insurance companies who are very powerful to run all over their insureds. Florida has a prevailing party provision rule that says if you beat your insurance company in court then your insurance company must pay for your attorney’s fees. We use this ammo to get much better results for clients than they would’ve gotten if the insurance company just played fair and settled the case in the first place.
Your insurance claim attorney will handle everything from start to finish, including all the paperwork that needs to be done, all negotiations that need be done with the insurance company and their attorneys, settling the claim, filing a lawsuit, doing discovery that’s needed in the lawsuit, mediating the case, and if needed taking the case to trial.
We take insurance claims on a contingency fee basis meaning if there isn’t any required recovery then you don’t have to pay a single dime!
Why Did the Insurance Company Deny My Claim?
While insurance companies are always creative in how they deny or undervalue claims the following are some of the most common ways that they try to rebuff their customers:
- Having “independent experts” evaluate the claim to determine that your claim is not covered. This is one of the more frustrating tricks that insurance companies do. They hire an expert and pay them money and then claim that their independent experts.
The reality is that these experts are hired guns and will say whatever the insurance company wants him to say.
In insurance claims, it could be a doctor who is evaluating an injured car accident victim and determines that the car accident victim has no injuries and so PIP insurance should not apply. Or it could be a roofing expert who reviews a damaged roof and determines that there really wasn’t any damage to the roof or the roof damage was by an act of God and isn’t covered under an insurance policy.
- Policy Exclusions: Most homeowners’ policies are large, often more than 50 pages long. While the policy will mention that certain things are covered, there are tons of exclusions that are listed in the policy. For example, many policies have certain dog bite exclusions. Insurance companies will look for exclusions to argue that whatever loss you suffered isn’t covered under the policy at all and therefore deny the claim.
- Undervaluing a claim: while you may think that your insurance damages that are covered are worth a certain value, an insurance company may look at the damages that you suffered and determine that the value is much less.
Many cases if you have a deductible the insurance company will say that the amount of damage that you suffered doesn’t rise to the level of deductible and therefore there isn’t any coverage.
Types of Insurance Disputes We Handle
At Denmon Pearlman, we are committed to helping our clients who are trying to settle their insurance disputes with their insurance carriers. We help in a wide range of insurance dispute areas. We help with:
- PIP claims or personal injury protection claims.
- Homeowners insurance claims.
- Fire and wind damage claims.
- Hurricane damages in tropical storm damages.
- Motor vehicle claims including first-party uninsured motorist claims.
- Bad faith claims.