Duty to Cooperate with Your Insurance Company When Filing a ClaimDecember 12, 2017
An insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurer, detailing the terms and exclusions of coverage. While this contract creates certain obligations for your insurance provider, it also typically obligates you to cooperate with your provider during the claims process.
Failing to honor this duty to cooperate can complicate a claim, possibly leading to forfeitures of coverage and benefits.
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Duty to Cooperate: The Obligations for the Insured
In general, the duty to cooperate means that an insured individual is obligated to work with the insurance provider during the investigation or resolution of a claim. While this duty to cooperate can be included in the notice provisions (associated with standard liability policies), it may also stand as an independent “cooperation clause.”
Across insurance providers and different types of policies, the language in duty to cooperate provisions can vary. In general, however, this provision pertains to the insured’s duties to do things like (but not necessarily limited to):
- Notifying the insurance company of a claim – A policy can contain specific and strict terms regarding how soon after a storm, accident, or incident an insured individual must notify the provider in order to be eligible for coverage for the damage caused by that event. Failing to meet this notification deadline can give an insurance provider cause to reduce or deny a claim.
- Preventing further damage to the covered property – The methods of mitigating damage can depend on the nature of the storm or incident that caused the damage. For example, in a hail storm, mitigating damage can involve boarding or covering up windows or moving outdoor property to enclosed or covered spaces.
- Participating in the investigation process – This can involve providing an insurance adjuster with access to the damaged property and with any claim-related documents (s)he requests (like receipts, damage estimates, etc.). It may also include providing truthful answers to the adjuster’s questions.
Duty to Cooperate: What It Does NOT Entail
While an insured’s duty to cooperate can include various obligations, this duty does NOT obligate an insured to:
- Provide “official” (recorded) statements if (s)he is not prepared to do so
- Blindly trust that the insurer will honor the policy or fairly process the claim
- Accept minimal or unfair settlement offers for a claim
- Proceed through the claims process alone, without the representation of an attorney.
If you are preparing to file – or have already filed – a hail damage claim, the single best thing you can do to protect the value and success of your claim is to contact an insurance & hail damage claim attorney at the Amaro Law Firm.
With previous experience in insurance defense, we know precisely how insurance companies can attempt to undercut, delay and deny valid claims – and we are highly skilled combatting these tactics to help our clients secure the recoveries they deserve.
We Are Ready to Help You: Contact a Hail Damage Claim Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
A hail damage claim lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to help you successfully navigate the claims process. We represent property owners, business owners, contractors, public adjusters, and others in commercial and residential hail damage claims.