Deceptive Insurance Company Practices: What To Watch For When Filing A Property Damage Claim
Homeowners property damage insurance protects you in case of unexpected events. Unfortunately, when it comes time to file a property damage claim in Daytona Beach, it can come as a shock to find payments denied or delayed. While there may be a legitimate reason for this, it is important to be cautious in accepting a final decision. Find out some of the deceptive tactics insurers often use in processing claims.
Be Alert To Deceptive Property Damage Insurance Practices
Insurance policies you have in place are there to help you when adverse events occur. In terms of homeowners insurance, policies protect you in the event of storms, fires, vandalism, theft, or other common causes of property damages in Daytona Beach. Rather than having to pay out of pocket for the cost of repairing or replacing items, you pay high annual premiums to have the insurance company cover your losses.
Unfortunately, most policyholders fail to factor in that insurance companies are for-profit businesses. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), they take in more than $650 billion each year. It is in their financial best interests to avoid paying out on claims when possible In an effort to protect their profits, they may engage in deceptive tactics. Among the most common include:
- Automatically denying claims: Your insurance policy documents are full of provisions that allow insurers to deny your claim. This is why it is important to review your policy thoroughly before signing. They may also deny your claim for no legitimate reason. Be aware that you do have the right to appeal their decision. They automatically deny-you automatically file an appeal.
- Downplaying claims: Know what your property is worth. This includes what you paid for it, what repairs might cost, and what you will spend on getting a replacement. Factor in hidden fees, such as loss of use due to any down time. Do not accept a settlement if it is less than what you need or deserve. Be aware that once you do accept, you are waiving your rights to any future claims.
- Delaying processing: If the insurer cannot actually save money, at least they can delay making any actual payments This may include requesting an excessive amount of paperwork/documentation, not sending an adjuster promptly, and leaving your claim to linger in the reviews process. Be aware that there are time frames they must follow and that you can hold them accountable for not doing so.
To protect yourself against deceptive insurance company practices, it is important to be aware of your rights. The Florida Division of Consumer Affairs offers a handy toolkit that can help guide you through some of your dealings with representatives.
Let Us Help You Today
If you suspect an insurance company is engaging in deceptive tactics or have had a claim denied, reach out to Bundza & Rodriguez right away. Call or contact our Daytona Beach property damage claims attorneys online and request a consultation today.