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Appealing an underpaid home insurance claim

Jan 25, 2021
Shamis & Gentile, P.A.
mortgage payment fee

One of the problems with insurance companies is that they often don’t deliver what they promise. When you are dealing with an underpaid home insurance claim, after years of diligently paying your premiums, believing that your insurer had you covered, what do you do? Thankfully, there are legal actions you can take to appeal your insurance settlement. 

Insurance companies’ legal responsibilities

Insurance companies are profit-driven businesses and, as such, will always do their best to pay as little as possible, within the confines of their legal obligations. What are they actually obligated to do from a legal perspective? They are required to act in good faith, to investigate the case thoroughly, to respond to your claim in a reasonable time. If they deny a claim, they must have a valid reason. If they grant your claim, they must offer a fair amount that is adequate to cover the damage that has occurred. 

Unfortunately, insurance companies can comply with all these obligations and still underpay your claim. In most cases, people will take the first amount that is offered, and insurance companies depend on this to help them reduce their liabilities. 

Reasons why claims are underpaid

There are several reasons why an insurance company may end up underpaying a claim. It might come down to the skills level and competence of the adjuster who is sent to investigate your claim. Adjusters work on quantity, not quality, so it is in their best interests to complete as many cases as they can. It is not worth their while to investigate each case as thoroughly as possible. On the other hand, it may have nothing to do with the adjuster. An insurance company may not always act in good faith. They may make a low offer, betting that the client will not know their rights and will not argue for a better offer. 

Consult with an experienced attorney

When an insurance company underpays you, you must get the help of an experienced home insurance attorney. Regardless of the reason for the low offer, an insurance claim attorney will take charge of your case and negotiate with the insurance company for a proper settlement. 

If you are dealing with an underpaid home insurance claim, contact Shamis & Gentile and book a free consultation.

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