More often than not, processing a home insurance claim involves a few inconveniences and hold-ups. However, there is a difference between typical glitches and bad faith practices. How do you know if your insurer is doing the latter? Look for the following signs:
1. The claim is taking too long to process
If a reasonable amount of time has passed and there has been no concrete response from the insurer, they might be acting in bad faith. Unscrupulous insurers often use this tactic to avoid their responsibility or frustrate you. Don’t settle for this treatment. If you’ve already been waiting too long, contact Supreme Public Adjusters to help you fast-track your claim.
2. The settlement amount is too low
Another common bad faith insurance tactic is lowballing, or offering as little as possible to the insured to make more money. Frequently, the amount is not even enough to cover the damages, especially after a major disaster. They might also tell you that this is the only offer they will make, and there is no other way to cover all of the damages.
Don’t be pressured into settling for an amount that you don’t deserve. Instead, work with a public adjuster and insurance attorney to get the maximum amount of money that you are entitled to.
3. The claim was denied unfairly or without reason
If your insurer denies your claim, they have to give you a valid reason why they did so. If they don’t give you a proper reason why they denied your claim, or the reason is unfair, consider contacting an attorney to determine if your claim was denied in bad faith.
4. The insurer is withholding upfront fees
Contractors require an overhead and profit fee upfront before they start reconstruction. If your insurance provider is withholding this amount from you, they might be acting in bad faith. However, whether or not they are mistreating you depends on your state’s rules, so make sure to check with your local laws first.
5. The insurer is rushing your inventory
It will take some time to complete your content inventory, and it is almost impossible to remember everything you had even without the disaster. If your insurer is pressuring you to complete the inventory fast, they might be banking on the possibility of you underestimating so that they can pay less.
Check your policy to see how much time you have to submit your inventory. If you need more time, ask for it in writing from your insurer. If they refuse, however, contact your local Department of Insurance office for help.
6. The insurer is trying to confuse you
Bad faith insurance companies use many tactics to confuse their insured. They can use excessive jargon, divert the insured’s attention to something else, or purposely fail to explain adequately. If you suspect that your insurer is deliberately trying to confuse you for their own gain, consider contacting a bad faith insurance attorney for assistance.
In many cases of bad faith home insurance, public adjusters and insurance attorneys are the best people to help policyholders. They work for you–not the insurance companies–and have your best interests in mind. Thus, if your home insurer is acting in bad faith, seek the right people to help as soon as possible.