Anyone hire attorney sue homeowner insurance company?

5 Replies

My friend has a water loss and damages in a rental property.
The adjustor came and had estimate already.
No injury.

But the insurance company finding all different excuses to delay my friend’s claim payment for 3 month already.
Still receive zero penny now.

My friend want to hire an attorney to sue the company for insurance bad faith act.

Has anyone done it before?

Any attorney recommend?

Thank you

Originally posted by @Mary L.:

My friend has a water loss and damages in a rental property.
The adjustor came and had estimate already.
No injury.

But the insurance company finding all different excuses to delay my friend’s claim payment for 3 month already.
Still receive zero penny now.

My friend want to hire an attorney to sue the company for insurance bad faith act.

Has anyone done it before?

Any attorney recommend?

Thank you

 You may want to get a public adjuster involved.  They are essentially a liaison between you and the insurance company.  I hired one for a house fire a few years ago, they increased my claim by over 150% of what the adjuster originally gave me and helped me throughout the process including the coordination of payment.  They charged a commission but it was well worth it since they increased the claim about and did all the work for me

Brie Schmidt, Real Estate Agent in Wisconsin (#57846-90) and Illinois (#471.018287)

@Mary L., to follow up on @Brie Schmidt comments, this is the role of a public adjuster.

When you hire a public adjuster, they replace the insurance companies adjuster and adjusts the claim per your policy.

The insurance companies adjuster will always default to denying coverage, while the public adjuster will default to providing coverage.  The insurance company then needs to show where in the policy there is specific language denying coverage being claimed.  If they can not come up with the specific language, you have coverage.

Good luck

Jason Bott

    @Brie S, @Jason B,

    Very helpful information, Thank you!

    :)

    Originally posted by @Mary L.:

    @Brie S, @Jason B,

    Very helpful information, Thank you!

    :)

     No problem.  It was one of the best things I have ever done.  @Jason Bott does my insurance and the poor guy has explained it to me over and over, and I still don't understand it all.  The adjuster took over the whole process and saved me from pulling my hair out

    Brie Schmidt, Real Estate Agent in Wisconsin (#57846-90) and Illinois (#471.018287)

    Originally posted by @Jason Bott :

    @Mary L., to follow up on @Brie Schmidt comments, this is the role of a public adjuster.

    When you hire a public adjuster, they replace the insurance companies adjuster and adjusts the claim per your policy.

    The insurance companies adjuster will always default to denying coverage, while the public adjuster will default to providing coverage.  The insurance company then needs to show where in the policy there is specific language denying coverage being claimed.  If they can not come up with the specific language, you have coverage.

    Good luck

    Not exactly.  The public adjuster is your adjuster representing your interests.  They do not replace the insurance company's adjuster.  The insurance company will still have an adjuster on the file but now you have a professional negotiator on your side.

    Insurance companies do not always default to denying coverage.  That would be bad faith.  They do default to the minimum costs to bring a property to a pre-loss condition.  Public adjusters cannot provide coverage but can argue your position to maximize payment to you based on the coverage you purchased.  

    The insurance company MAY need to show in the policy the specific language denying your claim.  That is entirely dependent upon the policy you purchased.  If you purchased an all perils policy with exclusions then yes, they have to do that.  If you purchased a named perils policy, then the onus is on you do prove your claim falls within a names peril.  

    Now what a public adjuster can't do that an attorney can do is bring suit on your behalf for bad faith claims practices.  Also, in many states you need an attorney to bring a claim for property damage against a third party that is not your insurance carrier (Florida allows it but I think that's still better handled by an attorney).  As to which is better for you, you have to decide.  I'm in law school right now and have been an adjuster for about 12 or so years and can tell you with full authority that law school has no class that teaches how to adjust claims.  They teach a lot of things relative to contracts but there's nothing specific to adjusting.  However, a public adjuster's license is not a license to practice law and there's a certain something about a lawyer presenting a claim that gets things moving at the insurance company.  I won't lie, I'm a bit of a quandary myself as to which path I'm going to take after school because even though I will be fully confident that I will have the best of both worlds, getting a law license lets me do more but solicit less.

    As to your situation you have to decide which path you're going to take.  I know a good public adjuster in California who was a former adjuster for insurance companies if you need help taking that route.

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