Insurance Claim Disputes: Make THEM Pay to Even the Odds

Insurance Claim Disputes:  Make THEM Pay to Even the Odds

Earlier this week, I had an issue with my smart phone and went to the nearest authorized dealer for repair. Although I did not need a new phone, I asked some questions about my insurance policy. I quickly did the math and realized that I had paid over $400 in insurance payments on this particular phone, and if I needed to make an insurance claim for a replacement, I would be required to pay an additional $100 deductible. That’s over $500 for a phone that only probably costs them $100. Not only would I be paying 5 times the costs of the replacement, I would also be receiving a refurbished phone, not a new one. 

Insurance Claim Property GuidingNo, I did not flip the desk and storm out. I knowingly and voluntarily entered into the above agreement. We have the freedom to contract, but with that freedom comes responsibility. As we are bound by the contracts we sign; so is your insurance company.

This recent experience coupled with some recent cases my office has been handling lead me to today’s blog: disputes with your own insurance company.

Between the hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, hail and wind storms, fires, etc., it is very important for Floridians to have insurance in place to protect your property from damage. Being a cautious homeowner, you purchase insurance “in case something happens.” But, more often than not, nothing happens and the insurance company makes a profit. Fair enough. We all realize that they are in business to make money. The problem is when there are legitimate claims made, many insurance companies will do everything they can to deny your claim or low-ball the amount.  The insurance business is a numbers game. Many homeowners won’t fight over a 20% underpay, or sometimes even a denial. That is what the insurance company is betting on.

Thankfully, there are laws in place designed to even the odds by encouraging the insurance company to act in good-faith and pay legitimate claims that are covered under the policy. Specifically, the law provides that your reasonable attorney’s fees and costs must be paid the insurance company. When we settle a claim or receive a judgment, any money received, goes directly to you. The law firm gets compensated above and beyond your claim amount. This means that we don’t take a portion of your recovery as our attorney’s fees are separate from your underlying claim. Contrast that with a typical personal injury claim where the attorney can get up to 40% of YOUR claim.

If an insurance company refuses to pay your claim or offers you an insufficient amount, it would be wise to hire a lawyer to enforce the insurance company’s obligations. Insurance companies require you to perform under the contract, why shouldn’t you require the same?

If my office can be of help, feel free to email us at GuirguisLaw@gmail.com.

This is a generalized discussion and is not intended for any particular set of facts and should not be relied upon as such. By no means does this blog create an attorney-client relationship or attorney-client privilege between the Attorney and the readers. The law frequently changes as new cases are decided and published regularly. Anything relied upon in this or any blog, is done so at the readers own risk.

VERNON W. GUIRGUIS, ESQ.
The Guirguis Law Firm, PLLC
1423 S.E. 16th Place, STE 204
Cape Coral, Florida 33990
239.573.9939 Telephone
239.603.6965 Facsimile

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Posted on January 23, 2013, in Legal and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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