THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES WHEN FILING AN INSURANCE CLAIMNovember 3, 2016
If you are unsure where to begin once you have suffered a loss that might be covered by your insurance company, you are not alone. Many questions involving the process of filing claims are never even considered until something has already happened. A great deal of uncertainty and unrest may follow, especially if mistakes are made in filing a claim. The following are the most common mistakes made when filing an insurance claim:
- Failing to document your damages property through pictures, logs, video, or other methods that show the damage done that is covered by the claim. Insurance companies may ask for additional evidence, and documenting the damage may prevent disputes over the amount that should be paid. Adjusters have the duty to inspect the property, but it can be helpful to have additional evidence to provide if the insurance company disputes any of the property under the claim.
- Failing to notify your insurance company of a claim. Under your insurance policy, you may have to notify your insurance company of a claim within a specified time period. If you fail to notify your insurance company in the amount of time listed in the policy, they may have the ability to deny your claim. It is important to know how much time you have to submit your claim in order to prevent a covered loss from becoming a denial.
- Failing to follow up accordingly with the insurance company once the claim is filed. Many individuals are unaware that Texas law imposes strict deadlines on insurance companies. These deadlines specify the time periods in which they must acknowledge the claim, initiate an investigation, request additional information, and notify you in a timely manner of whether they have accepted or rejected your claim. If your insurance company does not adhere to these deadlines, you may be entitled to submit a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance and seek legal help to hold them accountable.
- Failing to follow up with your insurance company after your claim has been approved for payment. Once your insurance company approves your claim and provides notification, they must pay within 5 business days. Failure to pay within this time period may constitute bad faith.
- Failing to settle your claim for full value or challenge a denial. Your insurance company is required by law to examine your claim thoroughly by analyzing all of the property and factors in the claim. Insurance companies attempt to maintain their profits while offering minimum benefits to you by offering less than you are entitled to. You are entitled to the coverage that your policy allows and you do not have to accept any low ball offer that your adjuster may propose. Further, if your claim is denied, your insurance company must give you a specific reason with language from your policy. Insurance companies often give vague or convoluted reasons that are not consistent with the language in the exclusion portion of your policy. Vague language is an improper denial and may be overturned.
The attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm have vast experience dealing with insurance companies. Prior to working with the Amaro Law Firm, some of the attorneys worked as defense lawyers for the insurance companies. These lawyers now understand both sides of the dispute and tactics used by the insurance companies and put this to use in helping property owners fight for fair and just treatment. Consultations are free, and if value cannot be added to your claim, we will not take your case. When insurance companies are caught acting in bad faith, they are required to pay the full amount and reasonable attorney’s fees, which means we only get paid when we do our job.