Bad Faith Insurance Tactics to Watch for When Making a Fire Insurance Claim
During the holiday season, accidental fires tend to occur more frequently because of various reasons: Christmas trees catching ablaze, bad wiring on Christmas lights igniting, electric blankets malfunctioning, or electrical space heaters being placed too close to fire hazards.
When a family faces a catastrophic event like a house fire, the stress added on by insurance companies acting in bad faith can be downright deplorable. In the aftermath of such a misfortune, your family will expect to file an insurance claim and quickly receive compensation for the damage done to their home – this isn’t always the case.
The attorney’s of Millin & Millin are here to help you fight against insurers who are acting in bad faith and making it hard to receive payout for your legitimate home fire claim. It’s important to realize that it is not uncommon that insurers practice in bad faith, but also that you can oppose their illegitimate denials.
If you should find yourself filing a fire insurance claim, then pay attention to some of the common warning signs that your insurer is seeking to act in bad faith. By being familiar with these tactics used by insurance companies, you can know when it’s time to challenge them.Fire insurance claim? Bad faith insurer? Millin & Millin will fight for you. #bad #faith #tactics #MillinMillin… Click To Tweet
Tactic #1 – Your insurer will claim that you do not have an active policy.
One of the first bad faith tactics that insurers will resort to, this sort of behavior generally means they are looking to deny your claim. This type of practice is known as post-claim underwriting and includes insurers alleging that you missed a payment or did not renew your policy when it expired.
As a policyholder, you need to remember that:
- As long as insurers have been receiving timely payments, and have not informed you that you no longer have a policy, then you can fairly assume that you have active coverage.
In these sorts of scenarios, you’ll have to prove that you do indeed have an active policy. Bank statements showing timely monthly payments can be a crucial piece of evidence.
Tactic #2 – Your insurer says you policy doesn’t cover fire damage.
Insurers may claim that while you do have an active policy with them, it does not specifically cover damage associated with a fire claim. That’s why it is essential that at the time of purchase, you have a clear understanding that coverage does indeed extend to fire claims. You’ll also want to read through the insurance policy to make sure that fire damage protection is mentioned.
If your policy does cover the damage mentioned in the claim, then you’ll likely need the support of an experienced legal team to help you fight the insurer’s bad faith tactics. Millin & Millin can help you get the full compensation that you legally deserve.Bad Faith Tactic #2 - Your insurer says you policy doesn’t cover fire damage. #fight Click To Tweet
Tactic #3 – The insurance adjuster is dragging out the investigation.
After any insurance claim, an insurance company will utilize their own adjusters to investigate. In the case of a fire, adjusters will usually determine:
- The cause of the fire
- Assess fault
- Calculate the cost of the damages
While these investigations can generally take some time to complete (especially when other parties are involved), the decision on your claim should occur within a reasonable timeframe. In the state of Texas, the acknowledgment must come within 15 days, and approval or denial of the claim within 15 days after receipt of all requested information. The insurance company has the option of extending the time for up to 45 days if it offers an explanation for the extension.
If you have not received any information, or a claim approval or denial in a timely manner, then this can be a red flag that the insurer is purposely prolonging the investigation to frustrate you into accepting a settlement that is far less than the claim is actually worth.
Tactic #4 – Placing blame on you.
During the investigation, the insurance adjuster should be able to find a reasonable cause for the fire. However, your insurance company may attempt to claim your negligence caused the accident or damage.
If your fire insurance claim is denied on this basis, it is vital that you hire a lawyer that can defend your rights and challenge the insurer. In the case of a fire, there are often a number of parties (including fire departments, police departments, and public adjusters) that can provide evidence on your behalf. An effective law team can ensure that you receive this assistance and will guide you through the process to help you obtain the full amount you are entitled to.Bad Faith Tactic #4 - Placing blame on you. #not #your #fault Click To Tweet
Tactic #5 – Your insurer claims damage mentioned in the claim predated the fire.
An insurer may use this bad faith practice to allege that some (or even all) of the damage existed prior to the fire. By using this tactic, your insurer is attempting to avoid paying your claim in its entirety.
In order to effectively oppose this, it is vital to keep insurance logs and home maintenance records. It’s always a good idea to take pictures of your home’s structure, so as to have evidence of how the house looked prior to sustaining any natural or accidental damages.
Don’t let the bad faith tactics of your insurer scare you from obtaining your just due.
Even the most vigilant, safest family has accidents. If you are having to file an insurance claim, it’s likely due to the fact that you have just suffered through a terrible event. Having to deal with the unscrupulous tactics of an insurance company is the last thing you need on your plate during this time.