When to Contact a Lawyer for Your Flood Insurance Claim
Louisiana has seen its share of tragic flooding events in recent years, and millions of people have had to deal with high water on their property and in their homes. While you would think your flood insurance carrier would be helpful during this type of event, the unfortunate truth is that many flood insurance claims are reduced drastically or denied entirely.
If you ever have problems with your insurance company after a flood, the Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm may be able to help.
How Flood Insurance Claims Are Supposed to Work
All homeowners who live in areas that are flood prone need to have flood insurance. This coverage will typically pay for flood damage done to a home’s walls, carpeting, woodwork and foundation, as well as the plumbing and electrical systems.
If a flood occurs, the owner of a home will need to report it to his or her insurance agent as quickly as possible. The carrier will then send an adjuster to the property to look at the damage. The homeowner has to make a Proof of Loss claim within 60 days of the day that the loss occurred.
This claim will have to be accurate and backed up by evidence, such as pictures or video of both the inside and outside of the house to show all damage that has taken place as well as the water mark. This evidence will be necessary to verify your claim and to clearly show the losses you have suffered.
When the Insurance Company Does Not Cooperate
In some instances, an insurance company will deny a claim unfairly or without a valid reason. This is known as acting in “bad faith.” When this happens, an attorney may be able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
These are just a few of the ways an insurer acts in bad faith:
- Failure to provide a valid reason for denying a claim
- Failing to pay a claim’s full value
- Failure to perform a thorough investigation into the claim
- Failing to settle the claim in a reasonable time period
You may be able to recover not only the full value of the claim by pursuing legal action, but you may be able to obtain other damages as well. These include emotional distress, punitive damages and more.
To have the best chance at achieving a positive outcome in your case, however, you will need to work with an experienced attorney. For example, a seasoned lawyer will know that an insurance carrier is, in many cases, prohibited by law from refusing a claim for damage that takes place above the water mark when a flood occurs. Insurers must take other evidence into consideration when determining whether or not to pay a claim.
Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm will work to make sure your rights are fully protected if you are ever engaged in a dispute with your insurer regarding a flood claim. If you would like more information or would like to set up a confidential consultation, please give us a call at 1-800-7500-LAW or contact us online.