After filing an insurance claim for property damage due to a natural disaster, like that from the recent flooding along the Arkansas River, your insurance company will assign an adjuster to your claim. The adjuster will assist you in the claims process – inspecting the damage, reviewing your list of lost or damaged property, and work with you to calculate the value of the items on your list. You and the adjuster should come to an agreement on the scope of damage. However, it’s not uncommon for disputes to arise over the extent of the damage, whether your property should be repaired or fully replaced, what the policy covers, or the amount for coverage.
At what point should you involve an attorney with your insurance claim dispute? If you have a good, working relationship with your insurance adjuster, if he or she is assertive, responsive, and polite, and your insurer is cooperating in trying to resolve your claim, continue working together. Hiring an attorney may not be necessary. If you find that you’ve come to a road block by becoming overly-frustrated or angry with your adjuster’s lack of communication, lack of a sense of urgency, or you strongly disagree with the insurer’s scope of damages and their costs, consider hiring an attorney. An attorney can help you get the attention and results you deserve.
If you hire an attorney, do your research to find the right attorney who is well-versed in insurance claims disputes or bad faith litigation. Not all attorneys are skilled in dealing with large insurance companies who hire very experienced and multiple attorneys to fight claims brought on by their insureds. Given your claim is valid, a qualified attorney should be ready to confidently take on your insurance company no matter how complex your claim may be.
Once you hire an attorney, he or she can guide you through the process, advise you on your rights, and communicate with your insurer when needed. If your frustration escalates, your attorney can take over in communicating with the insurance company.
During your consultation, the attorney will assess the property damages and the reasons for your dispute. If your claim is lawful, he or she can advise you on the various routes of action you can take against your insurance company. Negotiating may successfully resolve your dispute before litigation is necessary. However, if a thorough communication plan and negotiation don’t resolve the issue, your attorney may advise that litigation would be the most impactful option.
If you’re in the process of filing a claim for flood damage your property sustained in Arkansas or are going through the mediation process and are unsatisfied with the services you’re getting, McMath Woods P.A. may be able to help. Get in touch with our offices today to learn more.