When you pay costly insurance premiums to protect yourself from the unexpected, you reasonably expect timely approval in the event that you file a legitimate insurance claim. Yet some insurance providers attempt to delay, limit or deny otherwise valid claims in an effort to preserve their bottom lines.
The Orlando insurance claims attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter have decades of experience helping policyholders pursue the financial benefits to which they’re entitled when insurance companies act in bad faith.
If you believe your insurance provider wrongfully denied or is unfairly delaying your claim, please call us at 407-712-7300 for your free consultation. Our insurance claims lawyers welcome clients from Orlando, the Four Corners, and Tampa, Florida and nationwide.
- Insurance Bad Faith Claims
- Hurricane Damage Claims
- Fire Damage Claims
- Sinkhole Damage Claims
- Life Insurance Claim Denial
Insurance Bad Faith Claims
When you have a policy with an insurance company, it is a contract that both parties must uphold. On your side, you are obligated to pay the premiums when they come due. The insurance company, on the other hand, is obligated to pay all legitimate claims you make on your policy.
If you file a claim with your insurance company, they are required by law to act in good faith in processing and paying legitimate claims. If your claim was unjustifiably denied or your payout is lower than it should be, an experienced insurance bad faith attorney at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter can help.
Insurance bad faith occurs when:
- Legitimate claims are not paid on a timely basis
- Legitimate claims are denied
- Legitimate claims are underpaid
For example, with all of the hurricane damage in Florida, some insurance companies have gone to great lengths to reduce or eliminate their liability for homeowners’ insurance claims. Sometimes insurers assert that they are not responsible for the damage because it was caused by flooding rather than by wind. Sometimes, they undervalue your losses to try to minimize their payout.
Bad faith insurance claims may also involve health insurance, auto insurance, and other policies.
Because the insurance companies are in a position of trust, they are held to a higher standard. In some cases, if you can prove that the insurance company acted in bad faith, you can recover up to three times the amount of your insurance claim.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in insurance claims cases, and we understand the deceitful tactics some insurance companies employ to reject or restrict valid claims in the interest of protecting their bottom lines. We also have the resources and courtroom expertise necessary to hold unscrupulous insurance providers accountable for their actions and help you recover the financial help to which you’re entitled.
Hurricane Damage Claims
Florida law requires residential property insurance policies to include coverage for damage caused by windstorms during hurricanes. Insurance providers, however, sometimes act in bad faith in attempting to deny or limit legitimate hurricane damage claims.
In Florida, property insurance policies must feature coverage for damage caused by winds during storms that are declared hurricanes by the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane coverage applies to the structure and exterior of a building, and it may extend to damages to the interior of and property inside a building that occurs when a hurricane windstorm first damages the integrity of a building and allows for the entry of rain, snow, sleet, hail, sand, or dust. Residential property insurance policies may include a separate deductible that applies specifically to damage caused by a hurricane.
Florida also offers the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, a state-run entity intended to provide insurance for homeowners who are unable to find insurance in the private market. The state additionally operates the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, which reimburses insurance providers a portion of their catastrophic hurricane losses.
The insurance claims attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter are dedicated to helping policyholders recover the compensation they need to restore their homes and lives in the aftermath of a hurricane. If your residence sustained damage during a hurricane and you believe your insurer unfairly delayed, denied or limited your claim we can help.
Fire Damage Claims
Owners of residential and commercial property often maintain fire insurance to protect themselves in the event of a brush fire or other blaze that results in damage to their home or business. Fires can cause extensive, costly damage and displace families or businesses. Property owners who maintain fire coverage have a right to expect that valid claims are honored in a timely fashion.
If your insurance provider fails to notify you in writing why your claim was denied, undervalues your valid claim, unreasonably delays your claim, or misrepresents the language of your policy to devalue or deny a legitimate claim, it may be acting in bad faith. Although not every insurance claim denial is an act of bad faith, some unscrupulous insurance providers put their own interests before those of their policyholders.
At our firm, our attorneys not only work to help those who have claims but aim to educate our clients on what they can do to help their claims. According to NOLO.com, an online legal resource, the following tips can help you as you interact with your insurance company and adjustors when pursuing a fire claim:
- Protect your property: Take steps to minimize any further damage to your property after the fire
- Request an advance: If you were forced from your home unexpectedly you may request an advance on your claim to pay for basic necessities while you’re displaced
- File right away: Filing your fire insurance claim as soon as possible will help you avoid delay in payment
- Record all expenses: Keep detailed records, notes, and receipts of everything purchased while you are displaced
These are just a few of the tips that can help you when dealing with your insurance company with a fire claim. Recovering from a fire can be a long, stressful process that involves detailed investigation by your insurance company and the assessment of your property by qualified fire damage contractors. Unethical insurance providers may even try to find ways to blame you for the extent of fire damage.
The knowledgeable insurance claims attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter offer free case assessments to help you determine the validity of your claim and to discuss your legal options. We understand the financial and emotional challenges property owners face in the aftermath of a fire, and our lawyers are here to help you through this difficult experience.
Sinkhole Damage Claims
Sinkholes can devastate homes and leave property owners facing overwhelming expenses and leave you at the mercy of insurance companies. The Orlando insurance claims lawyers at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter have an extensive record of success helping policyholders seek the compensation to which they’re entitled when insurance providers wrongfully undervalue or deny valid claims.
Early signs of sinkhole activity include cracks in the:
When a sinkhole is present, time is of the essence to prevent further structural damage.
Sinkhole damage claims can be confusing for policyholders because there are different types of sinkholes and sinkhole insurance varies widely. In Florida, insurers must include coverage for sinkholes categorized as catastrophic ground collapse—which results in damage so severe that a home is uninhabitable—as part of standard homeowners’ insurance.
Policyholders may purchase additional sinkhole coverage, but not all insurance providers offer extended coverage for sinkhole damage. When it comes to assessing and paying sinkhole damage insurance claims, some insurance companies try to devalue the damage or deny claims based on the categorization of the sinkhole or other factors.
Insurance companies often work with the same geologists and engineers to evaluate sinkhole sites and property damage. These appraisals may unfairly favor the insurers. In some circumstances, insurance providers may resort to acting in bad faith in an effort to get out of paying costly damage claims.
Our lawyers work with experienced, independent geologists, engineers, and contractors to thoroughly investigate your claim and appraise the damage. We understand the anxiety homeowners feel when confronted with a sinkhole, and our attorneys have decades of experience helping policyholders fairly resolve their insurance claims disputes.
Life Insurance Claim Denial
Life insurance is one of the ways you can make sure your loved ones are protected should something tragic and unexpected befalls you. You pay the insurance company monthly premiums, and in exchange, they will pay an agreed-upon sum of money to a beneficiary upon your death.
Of course, a life insurance agreement is never simple, and yours undoubtedly contains many complicated legal provisions. Many insurance companies use these provisions to deny a payment they agreed to make. The Florida insurance claims attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter know the insurance companies’ tricks, and we know the law. We’ll help you and your family pursue the benefits the policy promised you.
There are often disputes between insurance companies and beneficiaries over certain payouts. While these disagreements are unpleasant, many of them are the result of a reasonable disagreement over the interpretation of a certain provision within the policy.
Often, however, life insurance companies engage in bad faith disputes. In these cases, your insurance company is not working through a disagreement and attempting to come to a reasonable arrangement; instead, they are doing everything they can to avoid paying benefits they agreed to.
Insurance companies will often deny legitimate life insurance claims by:
- Citing insignificant, irrelevant, or non-existent “material misrepresentations” in your claim or the initial insurance application
- Denying a claim without giving a reason
- Denying a claim without providing you written notification
- Delaying a response to your claim in the hopes you will give up
At Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter, our Florida insurance claims attorneys don’t give up. There are no guarantees in the law, and no attorney can promise you a positive outcome. However, we can promise you that we will fight as hard as possible on your behalf. The insurance companies have lawyers on their side protecting their interests. Shouldn’t you have someone on your side protecting yours?
- Evaluate your claim at a free consultation
- Thoroughly examine the life insurance policy in question
- Investigate the facts behind the insurance company’s denial of your claim
- Apply relevant state and federal laws
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
When going up against a big insurance company, it’s always helpful to have someone with experience and credibility on your side. The insurance companies take us seriously because they know we always represent our clients with skill and passion.
Contact Our Experienced Insurance Claims Attorneys Today
The insurance claims attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter understand the tactics some unscrupulous insurance companies employ to limit their payouts. If you suspect your insurance provider is acting in bad faith, please contact us online or call 407-712-7300 today. Our lawyers are proud to represent clients from the Orlando area, throughout Florida, and across the country.