Insurance Coverage Disputes

If you have suffered damage to your property due to causes such as fire, wind, building collapse or other calamity, you will need a lawyer with experience in representing loss claimants. The emotional shock of losing property can be overwhelming. Insurance policies are universally a maze of definitions and confusing provisions written in legaleze that is almost as difficult to understand as a foreign language about which you have only a little knowledge. In addition to the complex and confusing language of an insurance policy with which the insured is unfamiliar, is a complex set of statutes and regulations defining and interpreting the policy provisions. On top of that still, is a body of state and/or federal law comprised of complex cases interpreting the statutes, regulations, and policy provisions. Like undertaking a complicated task in a field with which you have no familiarity, it is easy to become quickly confused and worn down. Lack of knowledge leads many insureds to simply give up and accept whatever is offered to them, even if the policy and the law provide for a far more advantageous payment.

Initially, claims agents come across as "helpful" by providing you "standard" forms for you to sign to establish your claim. It is doubtful that they will mention that the forms they are providing have been carefully drafted by the insurance company’s lawyers and have key provisions to benefit the insurance company in the event questions arise later about whether the loss is covered or about the correct amount due to the insured for damages. Additionally, the insurance company may begin to treat your property as if it belongs to the company and claims agents may come on the loss scene without notice to you and take away key evidence related to the cause or extent of money to which you are entitled and for which you have paid, often for years. You should seek legal advice at the outset, and especially before you sign anything. It is important to avoid "independent claims adjusters" who may contact you within hours after a loss and ask you to sign a contract for them to represent you. Independent claims adjusters are not lawyers, and often do more harm than good. Aside from having preprinted forms for you to sign, they are not trained and cannot by law give you legal advice.

If you have an insurance loss, put an experienced lawyer on your side. Call us--we can help.  804-934-0550.

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