As a property owner, the last thing you want to deal with is property damage. When a property sustains damage to its structure or appliances, the likelihood of collateral damage becomes pretty significant. This could be issues such as bursts and broken pipes or damage caused by important weather, including hurricanes and flooding. Whatever the cause, the main aim should be to correct those problems as soon as possible.
Most of the time, you will feel confident that the issue can be covered financially through your building insurance. However, as we have all found out to our cost in the past, insurance providers are keen to do everything they can to avoid paying out on a claim. When that happens, what do you do?
The main challenge you face is trying to provide the insurance provider with enough proof that you are not at fault for the damage. However, inspect the clause of your insurance arrangement, and you will often find all manner of exceptions and clauses. This can make it easy for the provider to try and invalidate your claim.
This can become very stressful, leaving you struggling to get the results you are looking for. What do you do when an insurance provider is not paying out for property damage?
You have a few avenues that you can take, ranging from simply trying to convince them through additional evidence or turning to a more ‘nuclear’ option of hiring legal support. Let’s evaluate what options you have moving forward.
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Appeal The Decision
The first step here is to appeal whatever decision has been made. They might try and reduce the payout limit, or they might reject you outright. Whatever happens, you should look to appeal the decision. Do this in writing, and make sure you keep a written copy of your response.
Look to build as clear a message as you can when it comes to the decision. Give them as much information as possible regarding the policy part that you believe is valid. Where possible, provide proof that you are not at fault for the damage that has been caused. For example, if a flood has been caused, you might need to find corroborating information to prove that extreme weather, as opposed to poor home conditioning, was at fault.
This can be a time-consuming process, and the burden of proof is often quite hard to put together. Again, insurance providers will look to find any reason they can to avoid paying out, so you have to be very precise here when appealing. The more proof you can see, such as proof that the damaged appliance was recently passed after testing, the better.
Get Expert Witness Support
This might add to your costs without success, but one thing you could try is to bring in a professional who can appraise the damage. For example, if the damage you have suffered is due to a pipe bursting due to extreme weather, the testimony of a professional plumber could help sway the insurance company.
Most insurance firms will use a mixture of professional jargon and confusing legal clauses to get out of paying. By having an expert on-site who can give evidence that you are not at fault for the damage, you improve the chances of the company having to accept your testimony.
Look to find someone who is experienced and reputable. Ideally, you will have used this person before for home service so that they can show a record of your home being in good order before the incident occurred.
Hire A Legal Professional
In most cases, you will need to hire a property damage lawyer. These professionals are experts in appealing to insurance companies to compel them to pay out. They understand the industry better than most and, more often than not, can point to where the company might be going wrong regarding their planning. Hiring a legal professional is your last resort, but it is often the most successful way to get your due payout.
There are various firms you could look to hire, including groups like The Professional Law Group. You should regardless look for someone who is experienced, who has been in the industry for several years, and who can point to previous cases like yours that they have successfully overcome.
Generally, though, your main aim here should be to hire a legal professional you can trust to fight your case. The sooner you hire someone, the sooner they can get to work on arranging a plan of action that absolves you of blame and forces the insurance company into meeting its obligations.
Insurance firms always look for ways to avoid a payout. Building a body of proof and, if needed, hiring a legal team to put your message across provides the best chance of finding success.