In extreme cases, the insurance adjusters might deny your claim altogether for unclear reasons.
Last August, Hurricane Ida left a trail of destruction across Louisiana, but three months later, the people of Metairie are still struggling with their insurance claims. The costs to repair their damaged houses are staggering in many cases, and with no money coming from the insurers there’s little hope they’ll see their homes fixed by Christmas. For many residents not being able to get damages from their insurers came as a shock. Not to insurance claims lawyers in Metairie, LA, though. They’ve seen many similar cases before.
Most homeowners in the New Orleans metropolitan area buy hurricane insurance, as the area is prone to severe storms. Yet, the moment the strongest documented storm in Louisiana history devastates their city, the people discover they’ve been paying their premiums faithfully for nothing.
Insurance companies use various tactics to wiggle their way out of paying the damages policy-holders rightfully claim. If you’ve never been in such a situation before it’s hard to understand how is it possible, but that’s because you’ve never considered one simple fact – insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They make sure people pay their premiums on time (or else!), but when it comes to paying damages they’ve developed an incredible array of delaying or lowballing techniques. The situation got so bad in Metairie, the Louisiana Department of Insurance set up a mediation program between insurance companies and policy holders. As a homeowner you can request mediation, but there’s no guarantee the other party will agree to it. Even if they do, you shouldn’t go in there all alone. The insurers will make sure to deploy a team of adjusters and attorneys. If you want to get the money you need (and deserve), you should do the same. Find the best lawyers specializing in property damage in New Orleans and have them do the talking.
If you want to negotiate with an insurance company, with or without mediation, you need a seasoned insurance claims attorney. You need someone who knows all the tricks insurers routinely use to cheat you out of your rightful money. Also, someone who understands how hurricane insurance works in Louisiana.
What are the most common techniques used by insurance companies to avoid paying damages?
First of all, they won’t answer your calls. Leave them a message and they’ll forget to call you back.
When you do manage to talk to someone they’ll start finding pretexts to lower the damages you’re entitled to. For instance, they might claim that the damages to your home were caused by flooding and therefore your hurricane insurance doesn’t cover that. As if the rain had nothing to do with Hurricane Ida. You’ll get mad hearing such a ridiculous claim, but that doesn’t help. You need to know how to counter any argument they might use, and only a skilled insurance claims lawyer can do that.
In extreme cases, the insurance adjusters might deny your claim altogether for unclear reasons. Some go as far as altering or downright canceling your policy, which is against the law. Their attitude will change dramatically once you bring in a knowledgeable lawyer. Insurance companies acting in bad faith know only too well that a skilled attorney can sue them, and litigation is not in their best interests. In most cases, they will prefer to settle out of court. Your lawyer will make sure you get all the money you need to repair your house as soon as possible.