Many homeowners in the Chicago area are not aware of their contractual rights under their insurance policies. You have legal rights when it comes to your insurance coverage. The law requires insurance companies to handle claims in a timely manner. Insurance companies that delay claims decisions, wrongfully deny claims, or put their own financial interests above their customers’ can be held liable for the damage they cause. Learn more about how a home insurance claim lawyer in Chicago can help you protect your contractual rights to insurance coverage.
As soon as you file a claim against your homeowner’s insurance policy, certain legal protections start to apply to your claim. The insurance company must make a timely decision to accept your claim or deny coverage. (The insurance company can also continue to investigate your claim under a “reservation of rights,” which means the claim could be denied later in the investigation.) A delay in this decision or improper denial of coverage can cost you money. Policyholders are entitled to compensation for the money they must pay due to an insurer’s improper handling of their claims.
Policyholders have rights under their insurance contracts, but they also have certain obligations. One important rule is that a policyholder must take steps to mitigate any further damage. For example: suppose a broken washer hose caused your laundry room to flood. You would be required to at least drain as much standing water as possible. If you left the room underwater, there could be extensive structural damage, and mold would be more likely to form. While you are waiting for your insurance claim to be handled, you would be expected to drain the room and air it out as much as possible. Consult with our Chicago home insurance claim lawyers to determine what “reasonable steps” will mitigate the damage in your particular situation.
Policyholders also have the right to appeal a denial of their claims. If your attorney is not able to resolve the issue through negotiations, they will be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf. In that case, a judge or jury will determine whether your insurance policy covers the loss. Remember: just because the insurance company says you aren’t covered does not make it true. You have the right to fight an improper denial of your claim.
Homeowner’s insurance policyholders also have the right to be fairly compensated for their losses. Some losses have values that are clearly defined in your written policy. Other losses are valued by the insurance company at the time of the loss. In this case, the insurance company might try to “lowball” you by valuing your claim lower than it is fairly worth. You have the right to hire your own lawyer to prove the fair value of your claim.
The experienced Chicago home insurance claims lawyers at Anspach Law Office work hard to protect your contractual rights. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.