Connecticut policyholders pay significant premiums for coverage in the event of a commercial or residential loss. Unfortunately, the claim process can often be complex and contentious, filled with unnecessary delays and headaches.
The purpose of insurance is to be made whole following a loss. The insurance company is paid to cover the risk. When a claim occurrs, it is reasonable to expect to be paid the cost to make suitable repairs and to handle other expenses including lost profits, code upgrades, additional living expenses, and lost or damaged personal property.
In many claims, the process of determining the correct amount to pay is severely gamed by insurance companies. While all policies contain exclusions, insurance companies often interpret policies in strained manners to limit payments on legitimate claims. Other common problems include severely delayed and underpaid claims in a manner that frustrates policyholders to the point of giving up.
These problems stem from the insurance companies’ conflict of interest with their customers. The more claims are delayed, denied, or underpaid, the more profitable the insurance company will be.
If you need to submit a property damage claim, or if your claim has been delayed, denied, or undervalued, a Connecticut property damage lawyer from Johns Law Group can help. We have assisted numerous clients in fire, water, flood, vandalism, and wind claims, helping people and businesses recover the money they need to rebuild.
Common Types of Property Damage in Connecticut
Residential and commercial property owners across the country face similar threats to their properties, including damage caused by:
· Fire, smoke, and water;
· Broken water lines and pipes;
· Broken or clogged sewer lines;
· Break-ins and vandalism;
· Accidental damage; and
· Falling trees and debris.
Since 2006, Connecticut has experienced several significant weather events that have caused extensive damage throughout the state. These weather events underscore the bona fide risks inherent to our northeastern state.
64% of the insured properties here in Connecticut are located along the coastline. Only Florida and New York rank higher than Connecticut in this regard. The value of these coastal properties is estimated at a staggering
$675,000,000,000.00. All of which is susceptible to floods, wind damage, etc. from not only storm events, but also from a simple rainstorm during periods of extreme high tide.
With an average 738 persons per square mile, Connecticut is also one of the most densely populated states and as you’re aware, our state is largely forested. Given this density, falling trees, caused by high winds results in extensive property damage.
Storms of any significance bring widespread damage throughout the state. This is something insurance companies are all too familiar with this and will do what they can to mitigate their own losses. All too often, that means your claim may be wrongfully denied or undervalued by your insurer. It is important that you have an experienced attorney who can advocate on your behalf and ensure that you receive what is owed to you under your policy.
COMMON PROBLEMS WITH PROPERTY INSURANCE CLAIMS
Insurance companies have created a playbook that is aimed at saving money and underpaying claims. These guidelines provided a playbook to:
· Purposefully undervaluing claims.
· Delaying claim decisions.
· Making partial payments.
· Shuffling policyholders to numerous adjusters.
· Fighting requests for additional compensation.
We have found that each stage of the claim process can have potential pitfalls. This does not mean that each and every insurance claim is handled improperly. It does mean that having an advocate on your side who understands how to maximize your claim can help you avoid these pitfalls.
Will Your Insurance Company Handle Your Claim Properly?
Your insurance company has a contractual obligation to properly compensate you for your covered loss. One of the most important questions is how much will it actually cost to repair your property or replace items that were lost. The value of a loss is often hotly disputed in an insurance claim. Insurance companies typically underpay claims for a variety of reasons.
We believe that the repair estimate of your contractor or an experienced impartial expert should normally determine the amount that you are paid. Not the opinion of the insurance company’s adjuster. Unfortunately, insurance companies often go to great lengths to discredit reports, estimates, and opinions of those who are not their employees or retained experts.
How to Maximize Your Claim
Even if the insurance company has wrongfully underpaid, denied, or delayed your claim, you need to remember that you have to present evidence of what is owed to you.
Proof of loss is an important concept in property insurance claims. Presenting proof of loss creates clear deadlines that the insurance company must abide by. If the insurance company breaches these deadlines, you may be entitled to additional penalties or even payment of your attorney’s fees.
Proof of loss means that you have submitted sufficient evidence demonstrating that you are entitled to payment of a certain amount and that your damage is covered by the policy. Most often, proof of loss is presented to an insurance company through a sworn statement in which you declare what you believe is owed to you
Your policy will determine the [MS3] . However, in most cases, you should be entitled to recover compensation for natural damages as well as those that are human caused. Storm damage, including water damage that occurred due to wind, is typically covered under standard homeowners and business property insurance policies. You should also have coverage for incidents such as structure fires, water damage from burst pipes and/or other plumbing issues, break-ins and vandalism, etc.
If you sustained damage from flooding, those losses may or may not be covered under your standard policy. Either way, the insurance company will likely try to deny your claim unless you had a specified flood insurance policy in place at the time of the flooding event. The reasons that flood damage occurs are various and subjective[MS4] . In many cases, an experienced property damage attorney can make a persuasive case for why your insurer has an obligation to cover your losses.
Important Documents to Have Available for Your Damage Claim
Every insurer has its own standards and procedures for submitting a damage claim. However, you will likely need to provide some or all of the following:
· Property photos or videos before and after the damage;
· Damage repair estimates;
· Receipts for covered expenses;
· A list of lost or damaged contents;
· Proof of value of claimed contents;
· Receipts for water remediation, temporary roofing, etc.; and
· Receipts for displacement expenses.
Having your insurance policy handy, along with your insurance company’s or agent’s contact information will also help expedite the process. As soon as possible after property damage occurs, contact an experienced Houston insurance claim lawyer for help. Your attorney can review the terms of your policy to determine which of your losses are covered and for how much. Getting a quick start on the claims process can help ensure you recover the compensation you’re entitled to as soon as possible.
How a Connecticut Property Damage Attorney Can Help
Although you can pursue an insurance claim on your own, consider the many significant benefits that having an attorney offers.
Assistance for Homeowners
For homeowners, a Connecticut residential property damage lawyer can provide invaluable service and support through this challenging time. Having an experienced attorney on your side helps level the playing field between you and the insurance company. Attorneys understand the complex nature of insurance law and know how to hold insurers accountable for their legal responsibilities to policyholders like you.
Assistance for Business Owners
For business owners, not only do our commercial property damage attorneys handle the process for physical damage claims, but we can also assist you with other covered losses, such as business interruption, lost inventory and equipment, etc. If you own acreage that sustained damage, talk to one of our private land damage attorneys as soon as possible to determine what your legal rights might be for pursuing a legal claim.
Comprehensive Legal Services
Johns Law Group attorneys will handle every aspect of your claim. We identify your covered losses and calculate the full value of your claim. We document your claim and present a demand to the insurance company, and then negotiate to get you the best possible outcome in your case. We handle all communication with the insurance company, their attorneys, and other involved parties. Throughout the process, we provide updates so you never have to wonder what’s going on with your claim.
We can also assist you in identifying and vetting qualified repair contractors, obtaining competitive bids, and evaluating estimates. We can negotiate contract values and terms with your contractors to provide you with the best possible protection.
Contact a Connecticut Property Damage Attorney Today for Help
You have many options available when choosing an attorney to assist you with an insurance claim. However, before you google “property damage attorney near me” and choose the first law firm that pops up, contact one of our experiences attorneys at Johns Law Group for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.
We have a broad base of knowledge and extensive experience helping property owners resolve insurance damage claims in Connecticut and throughout the gulf states that are often ravaged by hurricanes each and every year. Our past case results demonstrate how committed we are to getting our clients the compensation they deserve for their losses. Let us evaluate your damage and explain your options for pursuing an insurance claim or other legal action.
Call at (866) 970-0977 or contact us now to learn more or to speak with a Connecticut property damage lawyer.