How do you get over your home burning down? Residential fires can lead to significant emotional distress and physical injuries. Losing your home in a fire involves not only the loss of your residence, but also many other things of value such as photo albums, important documents, and treasured objects. Most importantly, though, your home is your place of security, comfort, and safety.
Burned by Their Insurance Company
Our clients found themselves in this nightmare situation. What made it even worse was that their insurance company denied their claim. When such an event occurs, we expect our insurance carrier to accurately assess the damage and pay us the full extent of our claimed loss. Unfortunately, insurers are not so ready to pay a loss if they suspect arson or some other event was the cause and is one that your policy will not cover.
Our clients were not at home at the time of the fire, thankfully. But circumstances were such that their insurer accused them of planning the fire. It is common for victims of house fires to experience several stages of adjustment including shock, anger, depression, and hopelessness. In the context of their emotional process dealing with the fire, the insurer’s decision was devastating. Thankfully they retained Attorney Matthew Bole to fight the insurance company’s denial.
Fire insurance claims can be frustrating and complicated. Insurance companies often deny all or part of the claim or stonewall policyholders while they endlessly investigate. During this process, it is important to have an attorney to not only negotiate the best value of your house and assets, but also to protect you from adversarial investigations. For example, insurance companies may request personal information, such as phone records and text messages, that can feel like an unnecessary invasion of privacy. Attorneys can protect you from having to disclose these things that can make an already-traumatic situation even worse.
Matt was able to fight the insurance company and eventually our clients received the full market value of their house and its contents.
Bad Faith Claims
Insurance companies owe you a duty or implied covenant to act in good faith, which means acting fairly. If it fails to do so, you may have a right to damages for breach of contract and under tort law principles. Examples of failing to act in good faith when denying a fire damage claim include:
Unreasonably delaying or failing to provide a reason for the denial
Failing to conduct an investigation or performing an inadequate one
Basing a denial on suspicion alone without either direct or substantial circumstantial evidence
Not attempting to settle your claim or to offer a reasonable settlement despite sufficient evidence justifying your damages
Misleading you on the statute of limitations or a policy provision
Threatening you if you advise them you are seeking legal counsel
These are just some examples of what insurers have done to unjustly deny legitimate claims or submit low ball settlement offers to claimants. Call attorney Matthew Bole if you are experiencing difficulties with your insurance company regarding your fire or other loss claim.