Table of Contents
- Understanding Homeowners Insurance Claims
- How Do I File a Homeowners Insurance Claim?
- When To Hire A Homeowners Insurance Lawyer
- Choosing The Right Homeowners Insurance Lawyer
- Choose Desai Law as Your Homeowners Insurance Lawyer
Understanding Homeowners Insurance Claims
Being a Morgantown homeowner means more than just simply owning a house. It also means making the right decisions for your home and your security, and one of the most important things is investing in homeowners insurance.
Just like any claim, filing one for homeowners insurance can be a technical and tedious process, and over time, it may get really complicated and overwhelming. This is where the role of a homeowners insurance lawyer comes in.
How Do I File a Homeowners Insurance Claim?
When faced with a home incident like a fire, flood, theft, or other unfortunate events, it’s crucial to contact your insurance company promptly.
This not only ensures your safety but also initiates the claim process. U.S. News & World Report enumerates the steps involved in filing a claim:
- If the incident involves a crime like theft or vandalism, start by filing a police report. Note down the names of any police personnel you interact with or who inspect your property.
- Notify your insurance company or agent as soon as possible. Most policies require immediate notification of any damage, theft, or injury likely to result in a claim. Check your policy and supporting documents for reporting requirements. Some companies may allow online claims submission.
- If there are any urgent repairs necessary to prevent further damage without endangering yourself, you may have them fixed. However, keep receipts for reimbursement and take detailed photos of the damage before conducting any step.
- Document all expenses and other relevant information for the claim. Gather sufficient evidence, room by room, if needed. If you have a detailed home inventory, it will make the process faster. During the appraiser’s inspection, point out any structural damage or concerns. The appraiser will assess the damage and determine the compensation you can expect.
When To Hire A Homeowners Insurance Lawyer
According to the latest report from the Insurance Information Institute (III), around 88% of homeowners purchased this type of insurance, with 32% of homeowners saying they had been impacted by weather events in the last five years.
This kind of insurance provides protection to your finances in times of unfortunate circumstances such as home or property damage.
Sometimes, it’s often mistaken to be the same as a “home warranty,” but these two are very different. Being able to deeply understand what and how homeowners insurance works is crucial to ensure that you and your investment are protected when the unthinkable happens.
Quite frankly, legal representatives are not always required when filing for this claim. However, there are cases where seeking professional counsel may be necessary.
Here are some situations where hiring a homeowner insurance lawyer should be considered:
Denial of Claim
There may be instances when an insurance company denies a homeowner’s claim. If you think that your claim is valid but is being denied without a reasonable explanation, seeking legal counsel from a lawyer can be helpful. They can help assess the validity and denial of your claim as well as guide you in taking legal action.
Bankrate.com, an independent publisher and comparison service, reported that in West Virginia, homeowners typically spend around $1,125 per year on home insurance for a dwelling coverage of $250,000.
This amount is 21% lower than the national average of $1,428 per year. In comparison, the average cost of home insurance in West Virginia is slightly higher compared to neighboring states, such as Virginia, where homeowners pay an average of $887 per year, or Ohio, where the average premium is $1,140 annually for similar coverage levels.
Given the amount that’s required to protect your home, it can be really frustrating when insurance companies underestimate or undervalue your claim.
If this is the case, hiring a seasoned attorney can help you better deal with the situation. They will look into the valuation, the extent of the damage, and the repair costs and will make a professional estimate in relation to your coverage and policy.
Disagreements Regarding Coverage
There may be situations when an insurance company will disagree or claim that their policy does not cover the specific issue you are dealing with.
Legal professionals can provide insight into the circumstances of your claim and help assess the terms of your contract. They can also negotiate on your behalf.
According to ValuePenguin, a company that releases financial information about the insurance market, the following are the recent data involving property and liability claims as a percentage of total homeowners insurance losses:
- Wind and hail (34.4% of total losses)
- Fire and lightning (32.7%)
- Water damage and freezing (23.8%)
- Other property damage, including vandalism and malicious mischief (6.2%)
- Liability for bodily injury and property damage to others (1.8%)
- Theft (1.0%)
If you think your claim is rather complicated and deals with overlapping issues, seeking competent counsel may be necessary to help you better understand your case.
Choosing The Right Homeowners Insurance Lawyer
According to Policygenius, an information and digital services company, homeowners insurance premiums in the U.S. increased an average of 21% nationally from May 2022 to May 2023.
Thus, as the stakes get higher with soaring costs, choosing the right lawyer is crucial to ensuring the success of your case and preserving your financial stability. Below are several factors you need to consider in selecting your legal counsel:
- Experience: It’s important that you choose a lawyer who has several experiences in handling homeowners insurance. Look for a lawyer who is not only knowledgeable but also well-versed when it comes to handling such claims.
- Reputation: Make sure to look for a lawyer who has established a reputable record. It’s essential that you choose a lawyer who has the ability to settle claims and deliver favorable outcomes.
- Good communication skills: Remember, the lawyer you will choose will be working with you throughout the entire process, so transparency is paramount. Make sure to choose someone who’s able to simplify technical terms and is able to help you better understand the complexity of your claims.
Choose Desai Law as Your Homeowners Insurance Lawyer
Dealing with this type of insurance claim is not an easy task, but the good news is you don’t have to do it alone.
Desai Law is an established and reputable law firm that specializes in handling homeowners insurance claims.
We understand the urgency of this matter, and with our team of lawyers and legal professionals by your side, you can better understand the complexity of your insurance claims and navigate the process correctly to serve your best interests.
Desai Law, PLLC
449 Fortress Blvd
Morgantown, WV 26508