Helping Tennessee Property Owners Get the Insurance Money They Need
Attorneys offer strong advocacy when property is damaged in Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, or Jackson
Homeowners and renters who pay monthly insurance premiums expect that their carrier will promptly pay their claim when damage or theft occurs. Many times, though, they find that their insurance company will deny their claim, try to argue that some exclusion applies, or underestimate the value of the damage. The insurance company may delay payment in the hope the resident homeowner will get frustrated and take a lower offer.
The Tennessee residential insurance lawyers at Gilbert Russell McWherter Scott Bobbitt PLC represent homeowners in Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, Jackson, and across Tennessee whose insurance claims have been denied, delayed, or improperly handled. Do not settle your claim until you have reviewed it with an attorney. Often, our lawyers can prove that the value of the damaged property is more than the settlement offer. The Firm anticipates many of the arguments that insurance carriers use to attempt to deny coverage. We ensure that your valued assets are properly repaired, restored, or replaced.
Common residential insurance claims
Homeowner policies generally protect against damage to property and theft or vandalism of property. Our Tennessee residential insurance lawyers handle first-party claims against your own insurance carrier.
Most homeowner insurance policies protect against:
- Some types of Water damage
- Catastrophic conditions – tornados, hurricanes, natural disasters
- Electrical or plumbing problems
Damage claims in residential cases normally occur in the following categories:
- Structural damage. Property damage can be structural, such as damage to the roof due from a storm resulting in water leaks. Damage to the whole house can be caused by a fire, tornado, or flood. The sides, patio, front, foundation or any part of the house may be damaged too. The plumbing or electricity may malfunction.
- Property damage. Harm to any of the personal possessions in your home should also be covered under a good insurance policy. This includes jewelry, photographs, furniture, clothing, books, rugs, technology equipment, kitchen utensils, etc.
- Additional protections. If the damage to the home is severe, you may need a place to live while the repairs take place. Homeowners insurance should cover the cost of living in an apartment or another home. This coverage is known as Additional Living Expenses.
Insurance company tactics used to deny or limit claims
Insurance companies use many arguments to try to deny or limit your claim. Many of the arguments can be defeated with effective legal strategies. The Gilbert Firm assists clients by explaining what documentation and evidence are needed to prove the full extent of the loss. Some of the arguments we are prepared to address are:
- The item was not covered under the policy. The insurance company may argue that an exclusion applies. Our firm works to show that structural or personal property damage is covered under the policy.
- The value of the item is less than claimed. Our Tennessee residential insurance lawyers verify value by using professional appraisers and experts when necessary. Good homeowners insurance should also cover the cost to replace the items instead of just covering the value if you sold them.
- Causation. Insurance carriers often hire biased experts in an effort to argue that damage is caused by non-covered perils, such as “wear and tear” or “defective construction.” When appropriate, our attorneys strategically work with the proper experts to prove that all damage is covered by the insurance policy.
In one recent case, we obtained the policy limits, over $500,000, when a West Tennessee couple lost their home due to a fire. In another illustrative case, the Firm was able to obtain an insurance payout of more than $2,000,000 after a residential house fire in a dispute about the cause of a house fire.
Additional homeowner’s considerations
Sometimes the problem in getting payment is due to reasons other than the policy. Our Tennessee residential insurance lawyers are adept at handling the following issues:
- Bad faith. Insurance adjusters may try to delay payment or fail to honor policy provisions. When full payment is not received on time or for frivolous reasons, you may have grounds to sue for bad faith damages. If the insurance company’s behavior is especially egregious, you might be entitled to a bad faith penalty of 25% or even punitive damages. And in some cases, if the insurance carrier’s bad behavior causes you additional damage, it can result in it having to pay the full amount of damages – even if they exceed the policy limits.
- Agent negligence. If the agent failed to get you the right policy for your home or failed to process the correct payment and paperwork with the underwriter, you may have a direct claim against the agent and the agent’s company.
- Mediation and arbitration. Some insurance contracts require that disputes be heard through mediation or arbitration instead of being tried before a judge or jury. The Firm can help you in every type of legal forum.
Get full value for all damages covered by your residential insurance by contacting a Tennessee lawyer
The Gilbert Firm fights for all residential homeowners whose property is damaged and covered by an insurance policy. We help residents of Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, Jackson, and across Tennessee get prompt payment for their claims. When you pay your premiums, you deserve to have the insurance company uphold their end of the bargain. To review your case with an experienced Tennessee residential insurance lawyer, please call 1.888.354.FIRM or complete the contact form.