Homeowner Property Claims
Insurers habitually rely on a myriad of deceptive adjusting practices when assessing damage claims. Insurers routinely blame wind damage on flood or “rising water,” assert that certain physical damages were, at least, in part preexisting, or that the damage was caused, in part, by faulty construction or maintenance. However, an insurance company’s interpretation of its policy or assessment of damages sustained is not necessarily binding on the insured. Most insureds unfortunately accept the insurance company’s assessments or legal positions as the final word and settle for a woefully inadequate damage estimate or unknowingly surrender a valid claim under the mistaken belief that it was not covered. 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 to maximize a client’s recovery.
Along with blindly asserting exclusions and offering lowball damage estimates, insurers almost universally apply a depreciation factor to a damage assessment even though replacing the damaged item for the assessed value is usually impossible. Though some policies include “recoverable depreciation,” the determination of the amount of recoverable depreciation is esoteric, confusing, and almost always represents a windfall for the insurance company. Other policies do not cover any depreciation whatsoever which encourages the adjuster to assess as much as depreciation as possible. The Hurricane Legal Group is experienced in retaining experienced and competent experts who can competently refute arbitrary and unsupportable depreciation calculations.
In addition to enduring bad faith claims adjusting, most homeowners are astonished to discover that once they receive a check from the insurer, it is also made payable to the insured’s mortgage company. The mortgage company then holds the check until the insured proves that all assessed damages were satisfactorily repaired. Clearly, if the insurer has already woefully underestimated the damages, the insured cannot possibly afford to adequately repair the damaged property without the insurance proceeds, which the mortgage company holds indefinitely. The insurer must then procure another loan if possible or simply defer the repairs. The Hurricane Legal Group has vast experience in negotiating with the insurer and the mortgage company to reach an adequate resolution that allows the homeowner to promptly repair the damaged premises.