HOMEOWNER INSURANCE DISPUTES
Damage to your home and personal property can be caused by many things: fire, theft, hurricane, tornado, or flood. Dealing with the aftermath can be expensive, disruptive, and time-consuming. Therefore, if at any time during the insurance claim process you do not believe your insurance company is treating you fairly, consider getting help.
What to do after a loss
As soon as possible you should notify your insurance company. While you can initially contact your insurance company by phone, most insurers require a written notification as well.
Immediately take steps to prevent any further damage and to secure your property to the extent possible. You have a duty under your insurance policy to take reasonable steps to minimize additional damage and loss. The failure to do this may allow the insurance company to avoid paying all or part of your claim.
Read Your Policy
Read your policy and make sure you understand the different types of coverage it provides. It is obviously important to figure out as quickly as possible what your policy covers.
Replacement cost coverage pays you what it will take to actually rebuild, repair or replace your damaged property. Actual cash value coverage pays you only the depreciated value of the property. Even if you have replacement cost coverage, most insurance companies will pay for a loss on an actual cash value basis first. The insurance company will only pay any additional costs after the property is actually repaired or replaced.
Restoring Your Home and Property
Your home is your most important investment. The ability to “restore” your home to its original condition is why most people buy insurance. However, because your insurance policies is written in legalese, it can be difficult to understand exactly how it is supposed to work. Most homeowners also are not familiar with current construction methods and costs. Therefore, many people simply rely on their insurance company to do the right thing. However, that is often the wrong decision.
Resolving Your Insurance Claim
When it comes to settling any part of your insurance claim, be wary of “cash out” settlement offers. A “cash out” settlement should not be accepted unless you are absolutely sure that you can get the necessary repairs done for that amount.
Unless you are qualified to evaluate the insurance company’s offer, you should rely on estimates from independent professionals who are acting in your interest as opposed to the interest of the insurance company. The biggest mistake many people make after a significant loss is to accept payment of an amount that is insufficient to properly restore your home and property.
Do I need a lawyer?
It is not unusual to have disagreements with your insurance company over whether covered items should be repaired or replaced or how much repairs will cost. If your insurance company is not willing to work with you and pay the right amount, or if you have any doubt that the insurance company is being fair, you should consider seeking help.
At Danks, Miller & Cory, we have the knowledge to help you properly document and present your claim to the insurance company so that you can get things back to normal as soon as possible. We will negotiate with the insurance company to make sure that they pay the full amount owed. In the event that the insurance company still refused to pay what is owe, our lawyers have the experience to pursue your insurance claim in court.
Call us at 601-957-3101 or contact us online to set up a meeting with one of our experienced Mississippi insurance attorneys.