In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, many Louisiana home and business owners are facing property damage on a massive scale. Those trying to rebuild are finding the insurance claims process to be complex and may cause as many problems as they solve. Insurance companies are obligated to honor the protection that their clients purchased, and provide compensation fairly, on time, and accurately.
Tactics Insurance Companies Use
After filing a claim an insurance company may respond in ways that can allow you to seek legal action. The following are red flags to be aware of:
- Improper investigation of a claim
- Failure to respond in a proper amount of time
- Delaying payment
- Underpaying on a claim
- Outright refusal to pay a claim
While this list is incomplete, any of the above could enable you to pursue legal action against your insurance company. To do everything to ensure your claim is accepted, we recommend reviewing our list of tips during the claims process.
At times when they are needed most, insurance claims are being delayed or outright denied, preventing property owners from starting the rebuilding process. State law requires insurers to provide compensation in a timely manner and while extensions for these timeframes exist during instances of natural disasters, these timeframes must still be reasonable. The sooner your claim is paid to you, the sooner you can rebuild.
Insurance companies may also find ways to underpay those who complete the property claims process in New Orleans. While a discrepancy between what is owed and what is paid may seem minor or even justified by the insurance adjuster, it may be a sign an insurer is acting in bad faith. It is important to remember that insurance companies are businesses that profit when they pay as little as possible on your policy. If your insurance company is not compensating you as they are obligated to, seek professional assistance.
Refusal To Pay A Claim
After paying years of premiums on your policy, a refusal to pay on your claim from your insurance company can feel like betrayal. Insurance companies have many tactics to deny your property claim including asserting damages were caused by elements not covered by your policy. These complexities are often outside the knowledge of your average property owner. When property damage has put a halt to your life and your claim is denied, your only option may be to contact a New Orleans attorney well versed in insurance law.
New Orleans Insurance Claims Attorneys FAQs
If you’re facing challenges with an insurance claim in Louisiana, property claims damage attorneys in Louisiana can assist. Let’s explore some FAQs our Scott Vicknair, LLC team often receives.
What is an insurance claims attorney?
An insurance claims attorney specializes in insurance claims, including for property damage. They advocate for policyholders who are facing difficulties with their insurance claims. These attorneys possess knowledge of insurance laws and regulations, and they work to protect the rights and interests of their clients throughout the claims process.
Why do I need an insurance claims attorney in Louisiana?
Having an insurance claim attorney can provide numerous benefits. They can provide you with a clear understanding of your rights and obligations under your insurance policy. They can also guide you through the complex claims process, ensuring that you take the necessary steps and meet the required deadlines. Additionally, an attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, advocating for a fair settlement and helping you pursue legal action if necessary.
What types of insurance claims do Louisiana attorneys handle?
Louisiana insurance claims attorneys can provide assistance with claims, including:
- Property damage claims: These involve losses or damages to your property caused by events such as natural disasters, fires, or accidents.
- Personal injury claims: Attorneys can assist with claims related to injuries caused by accidents, medical malpractice, or product liability.
- Business interruption claims: They help businesses navigate claims for financial losses resulting from interrupted operations.
- Health insurance claims: Attorneys can provide guidance and assistance with disputes or denials related to health insurance coverage and medical bills.
- Disability claims: They help individuals pursue claims for disability benefits under long-term disability insurance policies.
- Bad faith insurance claims: Attorneys can represent policyholders who believe their insurance company is acting in bad faith by denying valid claims or failing to provide appropriate compensation.
How can an insurance claims attorney help me?
Insurance claims attorneys in New Orleans can provide assistance to clients by providing:
- Policy review and analysis: Attorneys can review your insurance policy to assess coverage, exclusions, and potential legal remedies.
- Claims guidance: They can guide you through the claims process, ensuring that you provide the necessary documentation and meet deadlines.
- Negotiation with the insurance company: Attorneys can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, aiming for a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your losses.
- Litigation representation: If a settlement cannot be reached, attorneys can represent you in court and pursue legal action to seek the compensation you deserve.
- Protection against bad faith practices: Attorneys can help you identify and address instances of insurance companies acting in bad faith, such as unjustified claim denials or delays.
How do I choose the right insurance claims attorney in Louisiana?
When choosing property claims damage attorneys in Louisiana, you should look for the following:
- Experience: Look for attorneys with a track record of handling insurance claims cases successfully. Experience with Louisiana’s insurance laws and regulations is particularly important.
- Specialization: Choose an attorney who specializes in insurance claims rather than a general practitioner. They will possess in-depth knowledge of the complexities involved in these cases.
- Reputation: Research client testimonials, reviews, and case outcomes to gauge an attorney’s reputation and level of professionalism.
- Communication: Select an attorney who communicates clearly, listens to your concerns, and keeps you informed throughout the process.
- Fee structure: Discuss the attorney’s fees and billing structure during the initial consultation to ensure it aligns with your expectations.
How long does the insurance claims process take?
The duration of the insurance claims process can vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the claim, the cooperation of the insurance company, and the need for litigation. Some claims can be resolved through negotiation within a few months, while others may take longer, particularly if they require court involvement. When working with an attorney, they can help provide an estimated timeframe.
What can constitute as evidence in a property damage claim?
In a property damage claim, evidence plays a crucial role in establishing the extent of the damage and proving liability. Crucial pieces of evidence that can be used to build your case are:
- Photographs and videos: Take clear and detailed photos or videos of the damage from multiple angles. These visual records can provide compelling evidence of the condition of your property before and after the incident.
- Documentation: Keep any documents related to the property, such as purchase receipts, maintenance records, and repair invoices. These documents can establish the value of the property and any previous repairs or improvements.
- Police reports: If the damage was caused by a criminal act or accident, obtain a copy of the police report. This report can serve as evidence of the incident and provide additional details about what occurred.
- Witness statements: If there were witnesses present when the damage occurred, obtain their contact information and ask them to provide written statements describing what they saw. Witness statements can strengthen your claim by providing independent accounts of the incident.
- Expert opinions: In some cases, it may be necessary to enlist the help of experts such as engineers, appraisers, or contractors. Their professional opinions can validate the extent of the damage, its cause, and the cost of repairs.
What are the most common mistakes people make when submitting a property damage claim in New Orleans?
When submitting a property damage claim, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can jeopardize the success of your claim. Some common errors you should avoid are:
- Delaying the claim: Failing to report the damage promptly or delaying the claim process can raise doubts about the validity of your claim. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible to initiate the process.
- Insufficient documentation: Inadequate documentation is a common mistake. Ensure you have detailed records, including photographs, videos, and receipts. This evidence will strengthen your claim and demonstrate the value of the damaged property.
- Incomplete information: Provide accurate and thorough information about the damage. Leaving out relevant details or inaccuracies may lead to claim denial or delays.
- Lack of communication: Failure to communicate with your insurance company or responding promptly to their requests for information can hinder the progress of your claim. Stay in touch and be responsive throughout the process.
- Accepting the initial offer too quickly: Insurance companies may offer a quick settlement, but it may not adequately cover the full extent of the damage. Review the offer carefully and consider seeking legal advice before accepting any settlement.
Engaging the services of experienced property claims damage attorneys in Louisiana is vital when dealing with insurance challenges. Their knowledge of insurance laws, negotiation skills, and representation can help you navigate the claims process successfully. By choosing the right attorney, you can protect your rights as a policyholder and increase your chances of obtaining a fair resolution to your insurance claim. Reach out to our Scott Vicknair, LLC team today!
Contact a New Orleans Property Damage Attorney
If you feel an insurer is delaying, underpaying, or denying your valid property claim, they may have violated Louisiana’s bad faith laws. These laws exist to protect the consumer and hold insurance companies accountable for the service they provide. If you suspect your insurance company is not upholding its end of the bargain, speak with an attorney to ensure you are not being taken advantage of. Our New Orleans insurance claims lawyers understand the laws in place protecting consumers and have the experience required to stand up to insurance companies. We can deal with the complexities and nuances involved in securing your fair compensation, while you focus on recovering. Speak with our attorneys at Scott Vicknair, LLC by calling us or fill out a contact form here to have our team reach out to you.