Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance is critical in the event of a storm or accident that causes significant property damage. Repairing the damage can become costly quickly, but you may qualify for property damage coverage if you are insured and pay your premiums.
A catastrophic event can leave homeowners vulnerable, and the process of filing a claim can seem like an overwhelming task. Your insurance provider may try to offer you a low-ball settlement that doesn’t cover the cost of your repairs. Many homeowners mistake accepting their insurance carrier’s claims decision without an additional review.
Hiring an experienced lawyer can help you avoid the pitfalls of the claims process. An insurance recovery lawyer can guide you through the process, from settlement negotiations to a bad faith claim against the carrier, if necessary.
Speaking with a property insurance claim lawyer at Nessler & Associates can help you determine how much your case is worth.
Reasons for Filing a Residential Property Insurance Claim
One of the most common reasons for filing a residential property insurance claim is damage from severe weather. High winds can tear off roofs, break windows, and uproot trees while falling tree branches can dent siding and damage shingles.
Flooding can also cause extensive water damage to homes, particularly if the floodwaters are contaminated with sewage or other toxins.
In addition to weather-related damage, fires are another common cause of property damage. Whether caused by faulty electrical wiring or a careless act like leaving candles unattended, fires can destroy houses and belongings in minutes. Other reasons for filing a residential property damage claim include:
- Smoke damage
- Wind damage
- Roof damage
- Storm damage
- Hurricane damage
- Tornado damage
- Hail damage
- Flood damage
- Ice damage
- Mold damage
Fortunately, homeowner’s insurance typically covers both weather and fire damage, providing financial assistance for repairs and rebuilding.
To ensure you are covered, it is crucial to understand the importance of residential property insurance. You pay an insurance premium for financial protection from damages that may occur from an unexpected event. Accepting less than maximum compensation for your valid claim means paying out-of-pocket for repairs and can cause financial distress.
Understanding Residential Property Coverage
Insurance laws are complex, and understanding the types of coverage you get under a standard residential insurance policy is essential for successfully carrying out your claim.
Homeowner’s insurance offers protection from losses due to property damage and accidents. These policies also protect the homeowner from injuries that happen on their property. Most homeowners insurance policies provide coverage that includes:
- Liability protection
- Personal belongings
- Structural damages
- Damage to external property structures, including garages
- Living expenses for an emergency evacuation
Renters insurance offers many of the same protections as homeowner’s insurance but is geared toward tenants. You can receive liability protection and personal property coverage if you rent an apartment or house. You can also recover loss of use when incurring costs from an emergency evacuation.
What Can Affect Your Residential Property Insurance Coverage?
The residential insurance coverage you have can vary according to your insurance carrier, your policy, and whether you own or rent your home. If you have standard home insurance in Illinois, you likely do not have coverage for flooding or earthquake damage. Securing coverage beforehand for common disaster phenomena in your area can ensure you are protected from costly damages.
Illinois has one of the most extensive inland rivers and lakes systems in the U.S., and at least 15% of the total land area is vulnerable to flooding. Flood insurance protects your home and personal property against damage due to flooding.
This type of insurance offers coverage against damage caused by floodwaters, including damage to the foundation, plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems, and cabinetry. Most policies also cover damage to detached garages but not other detached structures like a shed or in-law suite, which would require their own policy.
Residential Property Insurance Statistics
Approximately 95% of all homes in the United States have residential property insurance. This percentage translates to over 70 million homes. About 6% of homes had a claim in 2020. Property damage and theft account for almost 10% of homeowner claims.
In contrast to the high percentage of homeowners with residential property insurance, only about 57% of renters choose to have coverage.
What to Do if Your Claim is Underpaid, Denied, Delayed, or Mishandled
After filing a residential insurance claim, it may be underpaid, denied, delayed, or even mishandled. Insurance adjusters know that you need money to make major repairs and will try to offer you a quick, low-ball settlement. If the settlement falls short of your expectations, do not accept the offer. Instead, contact an attorney who can help get you the recovery you need to make the repairs.
In Illinois, an insurance company has 15 days to acknowledge your claim and send you the appropriate paperwork. The insurer has 30 days to make the final payment once your claim is approved. However, your provider can find different reasons to stall your claim or deny it.
Insurance carriers try to maximize profits by minimizing payouts. An insurance adjuster may deem that your losses are not covered by your policy or are less significant than you estimate. Other common reasons your claim may be denied include missing premiums, lack of evidence to prove damages, suspicion of fraud, missing deadlines, or human error.
If your claim is denied, you can take steps to ensure you receive compensation. Disputing the denial is an action that may not necessarily be successful but provides an opportunity to present further evidence of your claim.
Usually, insurers that make the final decisions about your claim are unlikely to make drastic changes to their assessment. However, you are entitled to a review of a disputed claim to ensure no errors were made by the adjuster.
Filing your dispute with an experienced attorney’s help can maximize its effectiveness and prepare you for pursuing a claim against your insurance provider for acting in bad faith.
How an Attorney Can Help You Dispute an Insurance Claim
If you have disputed a residential property insurance claim, you know how frustrating the process can be. The insurance company may deny your claim or only offer a partial payment. An experienced attorney at our law firm can help you navigate the insurance claim process and get the compensation you deserve.
The attorneys at Nessler & Associates understand the laws governing insurance claims and know how to build a strong case. We can work with you to gather evidence and documents to support your claim, including photographic evidence and expert assessments. We can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If necessary, we may also file a lawsuit to get the compensation you are entitled to.
Don’t try to handle a wrongfully denied, delayed, or low-ball settlement offer for your residential property insurance claim on your own. Contact an experienced attorney at Nessler & Associates if you need help with the dispute process. Our insurance recovery attorneys can investigate your claim and determine your eligibility to take legal action against your insurer.
What Nessler & Associates Residential Property Insurance Attorneys Can Do for You
Our insurance recovery attorneys can help clients at all stages of the insurance claim process, from strengthening a claim, disputing a claim, or taking legal action against the insurer for unlawful tactics. At Nessler & Associates, we provide:
- A complimentary case evaluation to discuss your situation
- Strengthen your claim to maximize your payout quickly
- Investigate the claim for unlawful tactics
- Gather evidence, including consulting property experts to support a dispute
- Negotiate with your insurance company
- Work to reach a fair settlement on your behalf as quickly as possible
- Bring your case to trial if necessary
Contact an Experienced Residential Property Insurance Claims Lawyer Today
For more than 35 years, our attorneys have successfully represented clients wronged by individuals and entities.
A residential property insurance lawyer at our law firm can use all the tools you provide to pursue your claim with maximum effectiveness. Take detailed photos and videos of any property damage you sustain. List the items you intend to claim and note every detail you can remember about the incident that caused the damage.
Our lawyers are committed to ensuring you secure the compensation you are owed.
If you’re a residential property owner who is having a hard time claiming damages or whose claim has been denied, delayed, or mishandled, contact our law firm today at (800) 727-8010 for a free, confidential consultation.