·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


How Can You Recover Homeowners Insurance Damages in Wisconsin?

— March 2, 2022

If they do not reconsider their initial decision, your lawyer will start preparing a lawsuit accusing the company of unfair practices. 

When you buy a house in Wisconsin and take out a mortgage, your lender will insist that you get homeowners insurance so the property is protected. Makes perfect sense, but when something bad happens, like a storm or a fire, you may discover that your house is not so well protected after all. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to avoid paying damages to their policyholders. This is why state legislators adopted the Wisconsin Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act. This law spells out all the possible ways your insurer might try to cheat you, but in order to recover your damages you’ll still need a good Wisconsin homeowners insurance claims denial lawyer. Knowing that an insurer is acting in bad faith is one thing, but proving it in a court of law is a completely different thing and it may require someone with extensive legal knowledge. 

How is insurance bad faith defined in Wisconsin?

The Wisconsin Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act makes it quite clear what are the obligations of an insurance company towards its policyholders. Here’s what they are not allowed to do.

Misrepresenting the terms of a policy

Insurers use this tactic when they are trying to refuse payment. The wording on a standard insurance policy is so confusing it takes an expert to understand what is covered and what not. If you’re preparing to file a significant claim or if your request was already denied, get in touch with a seasoned home insurance claims lawyer in Milwaukee and have them examine your insurance policy. In case of a denial, the company is obligated to send you a motivation letter explaining why. Your lawyer will confront the reasons stated in the letter with the terms of your policy to determine if their denial is legit or not.

Black and white analog egg timer; image by Marcelo Leal, via
Image by Marcelo Leal, via

Setting unreasonable time limits

When you make a claim, you will be required to submit various documents justifying your claim and all have different deadlines. For instance, you will be required to provide a repair costs estimate, a list of the damaged belongings that need replacing, a living expenses estimate if your house has become uninhabitable and you need to find temporary lodgings, etc. Each document must be submitted at a specified time and it’s easy to lose track of all the deadlines. If they ask you to do something like this, this is against the law. Your insurance claims lawyers will have grounds enough to accuse the company of bad faith or unfair practices.

Not providing an explanation for a claim denial

The insurance agent probably knows that this is illegal. However, they may refuse to give you an explanation to make you believe their decision is final and there’s nothing you can do about it. Many people fall for it, which explains why many claim denials are not challenged. However, a skilled lawyer will remind them that you have the right to appeal a denial decision. They are obligated to review your case and examine new documents, if presented.

If they do not reconsider their initial decision, your lawyer will start preparing a lawsuit accusing the company of unfair practices. 

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