Most roof replacements leverage insurance. If you have storm damage, use your insurance! You have paid premiums all these years, now reap your reward.
Remember an insurance company CANNOT raise rates for making a claim related to an Act of God (weather).
Should you fight it? Do you need an attorney?
We get this question a lot! But interpreting the state insurance code or your insurance contract is a legal area we do not handle. So, we asked Chip Lane from The Lane Law Firm to pen an article about denied insurance claims. This article was also posted on The Lane Law Firm Blog.
Chip Lane, Esq – April 2015
Homeowners and roofing contractors often go it alone or hire a Public Adjuster because they believe one or more myths about how attorneys work and get paid. Unfortunately, these myths cost both homeowners and roofers lots of money.
Don’t fall prey to these 5 Myths About Insurance Claim Disputes and Attorneys:
MYTH #1: There will not be enough money to replace the roof after the attorney is paid.
TRUTH #1: There should be more than enough money to replace the roof. Property owners, contractors, and public adjusters can only recover the amount of the property damages. By law, attorneys are entitled to their fees and costs, 18% interest, plus other penalties; all of which is paid by the insurance company, in addition to the amount of the property damages, when a denial or partial claim is improper.
MYTH #2: Attorneys demand money upfront.
TRUTH #2: A reputable insurance claim dispute attorney will not ask for money upfront; because they work on contingency and get paid only if they win.
MYTH #3: The insurance policy will be cancelled or the property owner’s rates will be raised if an attorney is hired or files suit.
TRUTH #3: State law forbids insurance companies from raising rates or terminating coverage because of a weather-related claim or if a property owner hires an attorney who sues the insurance company.
MYTH #4: Public adjusters (PA) are better suited to handle insurance disputes than attorneys.
TRUTH #4: Only an attorney can dispute denied claims or handle legal issues such as bad faith, slow payment, mental anguish, loss of income due to time off, or reimbursements.
MYTH #5: Attorneys get paid on money they did not earn or the homeowner got on their own.
TRUTH #5: Attorneys only gets paid on the “net new” money; in other words only the additional money over and above what the homeowner already has.
Remember, insurance policies and Texas insurance law provides that the insurance company should pay for the homeowner’s attorney’s fees and costs for a wrongful denial of a claim.
The bottom line is that an experienced insurance claim dispute attorney should get money over and above what the homeowner, roofer, or public adjuster is able to get and better yet, is only paid on net new money. It is a no lose scenario for property owners and roofing contractors.
Thanks again to Chip Lane. We hope you never have to deal with an insurance claim dispute but if you do and especially if it denial then take action.
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