As severe storms, hurricanes, and tornados across the Gulf Coast have only increased in number and intensity, so have the number of homeowner and commercial property damage claims. Fighting with your insurance company and repairing your property to its pre-loss value can often take months, if not years. For those affected, it can mean countless phone calls to the insurance companies and unending requests for proof and documentation, even when the cause of the loss is obvious and the insured is clearly due relief.
The Hurricane Legal Group is here to help. We are a full-service law firm focused on helping families and businesses recover from severe property damage events. Our attorneys have over seventy years of combined experience handling insurance claims and routinely represent clients in state and federal courts at every level.
An insurance policy is a legally binding contract. It is an agreement between you and your insurance company to protect your family or business in the event of a catastrophic loss. Property owners fulfill their side of the agreement by making timely payments of insurance premiums. And when your home or business suffers a catastrophic event, you expect your insurance company to be there for you.
As profit-driven businesses, however, insurance companies often don’t have your best interests in mind. Instead, insurance companies will delay payment of routine claims, severely underestimate damages, and look for any reason to outright deny payment. These unscrupulous insurance practices leave many families feeling hopeless and without the necessary funds to make repairs.
Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states have enacted strong laws to help protect property owners from bad faith insurance adjusting. These laws require insurers to quickly pay all sums owed to property owners and may impose penalties and attorneys’ fees on unscrupulous insurers.
When insurance companies fail to live up to their end of the bargain, you need knowledgeable and competent New Orleans hurricane insurance claims lawyers to hold them to their obligations. With more than seventy years of combined experience handling insurance claims, the Hurricane Legal Group routinely hold insurers to account for their bad faith insurance practices.Commercial Property Claims
Commercial property insurance protects businesses from damages to their office buildings, storage facilities, warehouses, equipment, and furniture. The policies typically cover damages caused by a variety of hazards or “events” including fire, wind, smoke, flood, theft, and bursting pipes. The policies also sometimes cover damages attributable to “business interruption” that allow the insurer to recover revenues lost while deprived of the use of the business premises caused by a covered event. However, simply having such a policy is no guarantee that any or all damages sustained by an event will be covered.
Insurers often employ a variety of questionable tactics when handling commercial property claims including woefully underestimating the actual damages to the property, arbitrarily blaming the damage on an uncovered event, denying business interruption by asserting that the business could have continued operation despite the damaged premises, or asserting erroneous interpretations of the insurance policy or applicable law to support a denial of coverage.
It is extremely important to know your rights and obligations when submitting a property insurance claim to maximize recovery and to avoid arbitrary or baseless claim denials. The Hurricane Legal Group has considerable experience in evaluating, handling, submitting, and litigating a variety of commercial property insurance claims on behalf of its clients.Homeowner Property Claims
You paid for insurance to protect your home, and your insurance company should be there for you when you need it the most. However, insurers habitually rely on deceptive adjusting practices and lowball estimates when assessing damage claims. Insurers will blame wind damage on flood or “rising water,” assert that certain physical damages were preexisting, or that the damage was caused by faulty construction or maintenance. These unethical tactics delay repairs, prevent you from moving back into your home, and can lead to further problems, such as mold infestations.
Thankfully, an insurance company’s interpretation of its own policy or assessment of damages is not necessarily binding. An insurance policy is a contract that is subject to review and interpretation by a court of competent jurisdiction. Courts routinely reverse or overrule insurers’ fallacious interpretations and in some cases assess penalties and attorneys’ fees in addition to actual damages.
The attorneys at Hurricane Legal Group are experienced in fighting insurance companies and their arbitrary claims practices. We have vast experience in negotiating with insurance companies and taking them to trial to maximize a client’s recovery.Loss of Use
Nearly all homeowner policies cover “loss of use” or the costs associated with relocating to alternate housing when the insured property is “uninhabitable” due to a covered event. As one can imagine, the homeowner’s interpretation of “uninhabitable” will likely differ from the insurer’s interpretation. For example, most would agree that a dwelling without air conditioning in August in the Gulf South renders a house uninhabitable, but an insurance company may assert that because the structure is intact, it remains inhabitable albeit with minor inconveniences. Common sense would dictate that a home is unhabitable when it is without electricity, air conditioning, refrigeration or police services, but insurers often invoke one or more of a myriad of vague and ambiguous coverage exclusions in order to deny coverage under such circumstances.
After Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav, Isaac and Ida devasted New Orleans and much of the surrounding Gulf Coast, the Hurricane Legal Group represented numerous homeowners and small businesses whose claims were arbitrarily denied or undervalued. By aggressively challenging insurance companies, the Hurricane Legal Group was able to secure additional recovery in most cases well above the amount initially offered to unrepresented insureds.Attorneys You Can Trust
The Hurricane Legal Group’s law practice encompasses a broad range of homeowner and commercial property insurance disputes. Our attorneys employ their extensive knowledge, skill, and experience to assess, advance, and argue for the best interests of our clients, both individuals and business entities, in every respect. We have a winning track record resolving homeowner and commercial property disputes on behalf of our clients through negotiation, mediation, trial, and appeal in state and federal courts. And we do it all in a timely and cost-effective manner. The majority of our insurance disputes are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not get paid unless you recover.Let Us Help
Our New Orleans hurricane insurance claims attorneys represent clients throughout the Gulf Coast region and offer a free initial telephone consultation. If you are looking for competent legal representation for your severe property damage claim, please give us a call at (504) 571-5317 or contact us through our online form.
New Orleans Hurricane Insurance Claims Lawyer | Louisiana Insurance Dispute Attorney | Tolar Harrigan & Morris
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