If having your home damaged or destroyed by a hurricane was not enough, having your insurance company delay your claim can seem like the final straw. Having your hurricane insurance claim delayed can keep you and your family from moving forward after the hurricane. You, of course, want to have your home repaired so you can return to some semblance of normality. Having a legal professional from New Orleans Legal, LLC, can genuinely make a difference in whether you receive a fair settlement in a timely manner.
Insurance companies are primarily concerned about their financial bottom line. If they can short most of those who file a claim, it’s better for them. Delay tactics can be used to make policyholders give up and accept what the insurance company offers even when it’s much too low. Because policyholders generally need the settlement desperately, delay tactics can be very effective from the insurer’s point of view.
Insurance Delay Tactics After a Hurricane
Many insurance companies routinely delay claims. The goal in delaying claims is that they know at least a certain percentage of policyholders will simply give up. They will accept a lowball offer just to get something for their hurricane damage. The longer insurance companies can hold onto your money, the better for them. This is known as bad faith and is relatively common. The best way to ensure you get your settlement quickly is to speak to a knowledgeable bad faith insurance attorney. We will not let your insurance company use these tactics against you.
What to Do if an Insurance Company is Stalling
If your insurance company is stalling and your hurricane insurance claim is delayed, you may be uncertain what to do. We cannot always rely on our insurance company to act in our best interests, even when we are paying for coverage. Even when your insurance adjuster seems friendly and kind, their job is to settle your insurance claim for as little money as possible. Yet, rather than processing your claim on time and paying you what your claim is worth, your insurance company may be engaging in bad faith tactics to reduce your settlement or avoid paying you altogether. The insurance company could stall your claim if:
- They suspect you have filed a fraudulent claim
- They are waiting on additional documentation
- The insurance company feels you are not cooperating
- They are acting in bad faith
Dealing With a Delayed Hurricane Claim
If your hurricane insurance claim is being delayed, there are things you can do, such as:
- Gather and organize all your records related to the hurricane damage, including photos of the property damage and lists and photos of your damaged personal possessions.
- Put together a comprehensive timeline of events following the hurricane. Document every interaction you have with your insurer, whether that interaction is a phone call, an email, a text, or a fax.
- Make sure you cooperate with your insurer and get them the documents they need as quickly as possible.
- If your insurer is stalling your claim, speak to an attorney as quickly as possible so they can speak to your insurer and get them to pay your claim quickly, and for what it is worth.
Can You Sue an Insurance Company for Taking Too Long?
If your attorney determines that your insurer is deliberately stalling your claim, that constitutes bad faith, and the insurance company can be sued. In some cases, an insurer may deliberately slow a settlement to force a policyholder to exceed the statutes of limitations, making it impossible for the policyholder to sue. This would then allow your insurer to offer you much less money than your hurricane claim is worth, with no legal pressure to do otherwise.
If you suspect your insurance company is stalling your claim and exhibiting bad faith in the process, seek legal counsel immediately. At New Orleans Legal, we will ensure your insurer is honoring its contractual obligations to you in a timely manner. We are dedicated to protecting your rights and your future to help you receive the settlement you are rightfully entitled to.
Can Attorney Help with Your Hurricane Insurance Claim?
A hurricane insurance claim delayed may not only be bad faith on the part of the insurer, but it can also cause you significant trouble as you try to rebuild your life. At New Orleans Legal, we believe when you faithfully pay your premiums and maintain your obligations to your insurer, you have the right to expect them to handle your hurricane claim promptly and fairly. Adjusters often use intentional delay tactics to frustrate you to the point you will accept a lowball offer. Since the period following a hurricane is usually one of significant hardship, insurers have an advantage over policyholders. Our goal at New Orleans Legal, LLC is to help you get your life back on track quickly. Contact New Orleans Legal, LLC today.