First Party Insurance Disputes FAQ
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What kind of cases does your firm handle?
Much of our practice is devoted to helping ordinary people and businesses level the playing field when they find themselves at odds with a large insurance company.
Insurance companies, despite claims to the contrary, rarely have as their goal to maximize your recovery under an insurance policy. In fact, many times the insurance company tries to get away with paying as little as possible, despite being obligated to do more. And in some cases, the insurance company engages in practices to advance its own interests – those practices sometimes rise to the level of "bad faith" under the law, which may expose the insurance company to additional penalties depending on the state law in question and the particular conduct of the insurer.
Our firm frequently handles cases involving the rights of ordinary people and businesses that find themselves at odds with these insurance companies – over virtually any type of issue, and under virtually any kind of policy. Daly & Black, P.C. enforces the rights of ordinary people and businesses against these large insurers in order to level the playing field, and ensure a just result for the policyholder, our client.
And we always bet on our own abilities, never taking a fee unless the client recovers. We do not charge clients by the hour, we do not take a case unless we believe it has merit, and we will not settle a case until you are satisfied that your rights have been protected and fully enforced.
What is a first party insurance case?
When a person or business has an insurance contract or policy, and a disagreement with that insurance company over whether the insurer has fully complied under its contract, you have a first party insurance claim.
What if my claim was not denied, but I don't think the insurer paid what it was supposed to pay?
This is very common. In these instances you may still have a first party claim. The most obvious form of a first party insurance claim is where the insurer simply refuses to pay what is owed. But more frequently the insurance company underpays the claim – this can still be a breach of the agreement. Our lawyers will analyze the contract to determine whether such a claim exists in underpayment situations.
Why do insurers deny or underpay claims?
Insurance companies make money when they collect premiums, and "lose" money when they pay claims. Like any business, the insurance industry is profit-driven and will, on occasion, put its bottom-line ahead of its customers' rights.
Insurance companies might try to cut corners, pay less than what is truly owed, or even bully customers in an effort to save money. When these practices are undertaken on a large scale, insurance companies can save millions, particularly if the practices are not policed or ever challenged.
Which types of policies are affected by denial or underpayment of claim?
Virtually all types of policies might be the subject of improper denials or underpayment of claims. This includes, auto, health, life, homeowners, disability, and recreational vehicle agreements.
What kinds of first party insurance disputes do you most commonly come across?
Our firm comes across a wide variety of first party insurance claims. Residential claims are very common, particularly following storm damage, be it wind, hail, hurricane, tornado, or other natural disasters such as fires or earthquakes. Businesses sometimes have commercial insurance claims or business interruption claims that are unique to its business and require special expertise. Condominium losses are also not uncommon, and can differ from ordinary claims in that they require expertise construing condominium bylaws and other documents to properly prosecute and adjust the claim.
What types of first party insurance claims will your firm consider handling?
Our firm is happy to review any such claim, at no cost to the policyholder, to determine whether a valid claim exists under the policy in question, and applicable state law.
Our firm will consider handling first party insurance claims in the following areas:
- Commercial Claims
- Business Interruption Claims
- Disability Insurance Claim
- Life Insurance/Death Claim
- Earthquake loss claims
- Hurricane claims
- Tornado claims
- Windstorm claims
- Hailstorm claims
- Health insurance claims
What are examples of unlawful insurance practices?
What is deemed unlawful, illegal, or bad faith depends on the state law. Typically your state of residence controls what state's law will apply to this question.
By way of example, in Texas the Texas Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act has defined a list of practices considered to be wrongful.
They include such things as:
- Knowingly misrepresenting policy provisions
- Failing to acknowledge claims in a timely manner
- Inadequate claim investigations
- Underpaying or denying reasonable claims
If I think I have a claim, or that an insurance company has engaged in bad faith, what should I do?
Call us. Insurance companies, and the representatives they send to adjust or review your claims, do not always have your best interests at heart. We do. If you believe your insurance company has improperly denied or underpaid a claim, or behaved wrongfully, we will review the case at no cost to you. And if we agree that the case has merit, we will prosecute your rights and level the playing field against the insurer so that you or your business is made whole.
Our attorneys will make sure that your rights are enforced and that the insurer is held accountable for any wrongdoing. And we will not take a penny unless you are satisfied that the insurer is finally doing the right thing.
At Daly & Black, we never take a case we do not believe we can win, we receive nothing until we win, and we make no settlement of any nature without our client’s approval. Our attorneys leverage results - not time.