If your lawyer considers your claim was wrongfully denied, you have the right to demand an internal appeal
What is the point of buying home insurance only to see your legitimate claim denied or delayed beyond any reasonable expectations? If you’re asking yourself this, you’re doing exactly what the insurance company expects you to do. Give up already. Only this is not what you should be doing. You have rights under your insurance policy contract and a smart South Carolina homeowners insurance claims lawyer can help you recover the damages you are entitled to.
Steps to take to protect your rights as a policyholder
Know your rights
In order to protect your rights you have to know what your rights are. They are listed in the insurance policy, but for most people it is nearly impossible to decipher the purposefully-complicated language used in such documents. Why can’t they use plain English? That’s simple. If the terms are difficult to interpret they can easily confuse and convince you that the damages in your claim are not covered by your policy. If the conversation with the insurance agent left you full of doubts, seek help from a knowledgeable home insurance claims lawyer in Charleston, SC. They can tell you if the insurance company representative is right or they are lying through their teeth.
Pay attention to the deadlines
Often enough the terms of your policy require you to inform the insurer promptly of any loss-causing event. What does promptly mean in this case is hard to say, so the best advice is to give them a call or an email as soon as possible, like within 24 hours just to be on the safe side. Informing them of your loss is not the same thing as filing a claim. That would come later. In most cases you have one year from the date of the disaster that struck your home to file a claim.
Be aware that there are other deadlines to keep in mind. You need to know when you’re supposed to send certain documents, such as the estimate on repair costs or the list of belongings damaged by the loss-causing event. If you feel you won’t be able to keep track of all the deadlines involved, best leave it to an experienced insurance claims lawyer and focus on rebuilding your life.
Get a fair estimate of the damages
Under the terms of your policy, the company will send an insurance adjuster to make an appraisal of the damages your house sustained. Keep in mind that the guy is on their payroll and is highly-motivated to minimize the value of your losses. If you hire a lawyer with many years of practice in this field, they can put you in touch with an independent insurance adjuster to give you an unbiased opinion. In case the insurer is trying to lowball you, you can present them with the independent expert’s estimate and ask that you receive full compensation.
Appeal an unjust denial
If your lawyer considers your claim was wrongfully denied, you have the right to demand an internal appeal. The insurer is obligated to review your case and you can submit additional documents at this stage. If the insurer is acting in bad faith and refuses to reconsider its decision, you can file a lawsuit. In most cases, however, you won’t have to go to court as insurance companies prefer to settle out of court when they are threatened with a lawsuit.