In this day and age, despite any ups and downs in the economy, buying a home is still one of the major milestones that a young couple or family will invest in during their lifetime. This is especially true if they are a first-time buyer, but the many hoops and complicated proceedings can complicate things and leave most customers vulnerable. It’s also required that homeowners have some form of homeowners insurance to protect against weather phenomena, fire, flood, earthquake, etc.
However, as with any insurance policy, there can be faults and cracks in the system. A homeowner can commit a false claim for their own gain. A suspicious insurance company can deny your claim and leave you floundering. These situations can leave you emotionally exhausted or distraught, especially when the core of insurance companies is to work in good faith with the customer. Whatever case may be haunting you, let our experienced attorneys at Hammond Law Firm guide you through some of the most common scenarios we have run across.
Homeowners Insurance Fraud
Let’s meet a homeowner named Patrick. He lives in a stormy area of Louisiana, and during one particular storm a tree fell down on his property, damaging a few windows and parts of the roof. He files a claim with his insurance provider, and adds that a branch had flown off and cracked the windows of his car as well. It’s later discovered that Patrick was lying – the damage to his car had occurred days before the storm, and was not related to the claim at all.
Too often we may see insurance companies painted as the bad guys, especially in films or on television. However, a homeowner who knowingly files a false claim for their own personal gain can cause a lot of headaches for both the insurance company and the investigators.
It’s important for both insurance providers, investigators, and homeowners to document the evidence that’s presented. If something even seems a bit suspicious, it should send up a red flag and be addressed immediately. The processing period for insurance claims can be complicated, and in this situation it can leave the dishonest homeowner scot-free and the insurance left to sort through the paperwork to find evidence of wrongdoing.
Wrongful Denial of Insurance Claims
Think back to Patrick’s story. Let’s say a part of the tree really did break off and damage his car during the storm. When an insurance adjustor assesses the claim, they take personal offense to something Patrick may have said. In retaliation, they determine that the car must have been damaged already because it was “too far” from the where the tree fell. Patrick decides to fight it, as his car is no longer operable because of the damage.
Situations like this are more common than you think, and can be frustrating for both parties. If Patrick can provide documented evidence that his car was not damaged prior to the storm, then he has a high chance of reversing the denied claim. Even better, if it’s proven that the insurance adjustor intentionally denied Patrick’s claim due to personal grudges, this is considered unethical and Patrick could potentially be rewarded for multiple times more than the estimate because of the insurer’s wrongdoing.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see insurance providers taking advantage of customers in bad faith, per se. A disreputable insurance provider can take advantage of customers who don’t fully understand their policies, claiming that certain things aren’t covered or have hidden charges.
Experience with Insurance at Hammond Law
Anyone could potentially be a victim of insurance fraudulence, whether it be the insured or the insurer. If you feel you have been wronged by an insurance provider, or you suspect that a customer has been lying on their claim, the first step is to gather the evidence. If it comes to the point where a court intervention is necessary, look no further than our experienced team at Hammond Law Firm.
Peirce Hammond has had personal experience in the insurance claims system, and understands the steps that need to be taken to find a resolution. Contact us today and we’ll review your case for free and answer any questions you may have.