Your child’s love of toilet paper clogs your toilet and floods the house. A tree falls in a storm and crashes through your roof. Filing a homeowner’s insurance claim strikes fear into the heart of every homeowner. You have paid your premiums faithfully and you count on your insurance company to be there when you need it, yet many homeowners have nothing but bad experiences in dealing with Homeowners Insurance.
It is important to understand that when you file a claim, you are dealing with a business. It is in that insurance companies’ best interest to limit their financial outlay when it comes to insurance claims, even if their sole purpose is to pony up when you need them. Because of this, Homeowners Insurance disputes are common in Georgia because of the amount of money involved and the adverse objective of each side.
Many times, insurance companies will attempt to deny a claim on a technicality. When filing a claim in Georgia, it is important to ensure that there are no deficiencies in your coverage that would allow this to happen. To illustrate this point, some common denials from insurers involve past due or late premiums, while others deny on the basis that the claim was excluded on your policy. The insurer may claim that the damage was not a one-time occurrence, but instead happened gradually over an extended period. In similar circumstances, the insurer will blame you, stating that the home was not properly maintained, and this contributed to the loss.
Fortunately, for Georgia residents, there are administrative remedies available when this occurs and you are getting nowhere negotiating on your own. The Georgia Department of Insurance maintains a Consumer Services Division, whose resources you can find here. While they will not fight the claim on your behalf, they do seek to level the playing field and make sure that both sides engage fairly.
With this state resource, you can educate yourself on insurance laws, and set up arbitration should the need arise. While the Georgia Department of Insurance does not undertake fighting your claim for you, in some instances this can be just the nudge that the insurance company needs to pay fairly on a claim.
Unfortunately, many of these cases simply will not be resolved without professional help. Just because an insurance company denies your claim does not mean that you cannot receive a fair settlement, however. Talking to an attorney who is knowledgeable on the law and can hold insurance companies accountable can make a world of difference in this seemingly one-sided affair. In extreme cases, a lawsuit for bad faith failure to settle claim case can be filed, whereas if strict requirements are met, the insurance company can be forced to pay the claim, in addition to extra penalties.
Should you find yourself out of options, and needing the counsel of an attorney, Thrift & McLemore’s attorneys are standing by to review your claim. Thrift & McLemore has fought numerous insurance cases and achieved positive outcomes for our clients countless times. Contact Thrift & McLemore by email at [email protected] or by phone at 678-784-4150 to discuss your case today.