The main purpose of insurance is to make financial losses manageable. Even though you pay your premiums on time, your provider will not immediately pay out benefits without investigating the claim. Oftentimes, adjusters will delay payouts, make lowball offers, or deny your needed benefits. These decisions are not always appropriate, so what can you do to challenge them?
What Happens When My Insurance Company Disputes My Claim?
The first option here is carefully read over your business, homeowner’s, automobile, or other applicable insurance policy. If you do not understand the fine print or feel that there was an error, reach out to the insurer to see why the claim was disputed. Remain calm, take notes, and do not immediately agree to a settlement. Once you formally accept one, you will not be entitled to additional damages later on. That could be detrimental if you find out that your losses are more extensive than you originally thought.
Even though insurance providers must conform to state laws and the specifications of the policies they sell, complications can arise. They are also bound to a duty of good faith, but this kind of trust can be broken. Insurance policies and laws can also be quite complicated, leaving you at a loss to know why your claim has hit a brick wall.
What are the Signs of Bad Faith by Insurance Companies?
Insurance adjusters are usually professional and polite, so you might not even realize that you are being treated with bad faith. Here are examples of this:
- A denial without an explanation
- Agents and adjusters who evade your specific questions
- Misrepresentation of policy terms
- Repeatedly being put on hold for long periods of time
- Unreturned phone calls and emails
Simple mistakes and disagreements do not necessarily constitute bad faith but can still impact your claim.
Should I Hire a Lawyer to Help With my Claim?
You may not need a lawyer if you can resolve the dispute informally to your satisfaction. Otherwise, it might pay to interview a few insurance lawyers to see if any are well-suited to help you with the dispute. An experienced attorney can advise you on your rights and you can then communicate this information to the adjuster.
When the situation escalates in the wrong direction, your lawyer may advise you to stop communicating with your insurer. An experienced attorney can then negotiate on your behalf, working to estimate the damages more accurately. You will not need to write a demand letter or deal with any counter offers personally.
During the negotiation phase, your lawyer might be able to get the insurer to offer a higher settlement. In general, insurance companies prefer to avoid going to court, because that will cost them money. Should the case end up as a civil suit, your insurance lawyer will represent your best interests by arguing your case. This could also result in a better insurance claim award.
Contact a Plainfield Insurance Lawyer at Herold Law, P.A. for Legal Guidance with Insurance Claim Problems
Haggling with an insurance adjuster can be frustrating, especially if you are recovering from an accident, need the funds to pay your claim-related expenses, and do not understand the intricacies of your policy. A skilled Plainfield insurance lawyer at Herold Law, P.A. can represent your interests and work to get the claim you are entitled to. For more information, contact our Warren, New Jersey offices by calling Warren, New Jersey office at 908-647-1022 or completing our online form. We serve clients in Warren, and Plainfield, New Jersey.