For most of us, our home is our biggest investment and our largest asset. That’s why we purchase insurance to protect that investment and to help secure our future.
Catastrophic losses can occur from a multitude of events, such as:
- A massive Arizona monsoon storm with heavy rains and strong winds that damages your home,
- A homeowner returns home from work or vacation to find a water line has broken and water is flooding the home,
- Fire, and
- Theft or burglary.
Homeowners expect their homeowner’s insurance policy to provide them with the protection they purchased. You expect to have your policy repair your home to the way it was before the loss, to repair or replace your damaged personal property and, if necessary, to provide you with alternative living while your home is being repaired.
Your Insurance Company is not on Your Side
Insurance companies will tell you that they will take care of you, and most people have faith that their insurance company can be trusted to look out for their interests. While Arizona law does require an insurance company to look out for its insured’s’ interests, and not place its own interests above those of the insured, this doesn’t always happen.
Insurance companies attempt to pay as little on claims as possible, so that they can increase company profits. As a result, many homeowners who have suffered a catastrophic loss find that their insurance company is very slow to respond to their claim for loss. Or, some homeowners will find that when the insurance company does respond to the claim, they don’t seem to acknowledge the full damages that have been sustained, whether it be through not making sufficient repairs, or not paying for damaged or lost personal property. Other times, homeowners find that insurance companies will deny their claim for loss, or deny them certain portions of their loss, even though the homeowner understands there to be coverage based upon a reading of the policy or conversations with their agent.
In the unfortunate event that you have suffered a loss to your home, it adds insult to injury to have your homeowner’s insurance company fail to live up to its end of the bargain. An insurance company’s failure to treat you fairly and reasonably is called bad faith – a breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing as recognized by Arizona law.
Understanding Insurance Bad Faith
Insurance bad faith can be found in a plethora of insurance company actions, including:
- Failing to timely communicate with an insured member
- Failing to promptly process a claim for loss/unreasonably delaying a claim for loss
- Failing to conduct an adequate or reasonable investigation
- Failing to reasonably assess the amount of damages an insured sustains (often called “low-balling” the insured)
- Placing the insurance company’s interests above the homeowner’s interests
- Forcing the insured through hoops in order to obtain the policy benefits, such as making repeated requests for supporting documentation, requiring the insured to provide repeated recorded statements or examinations under oath, or forcing the insured to demand appraisal when the insurance company fails to pay what it owes
These are just a few examples of how an insurance company treats their insureds unfairly and in bad faith. If this has happened to you, you could be entitled to money damages above and beyond what the insurance company owes you under the insurance policy, to compensate you for the stress, frustration, aggravation, anxiety and emotional distress you have suffered because your insurance company refused to live up to its end of the bargain.
Struggling with Your Insurance Company? Contact Douglas Dieker, P.C.
If you believe you have been treated unreasonably and unfairly, you want an advocate on your side who will fight for you and do everything possible to make sure you are compensated fully and completely for your insurance loss and insurance company’s bad faith conduct. Douglas Dieker has the knowledge and experience to make sure you are getting everything you are owed. He has obtained many high-value settlements on behalf of clients who have gone through exactly what you are going through.
At Douglas F. Dieker, P.C., you will receive a personal, caring approach to your case. Every case is a little bit different, so each case is analyzed individually by Douglas Dieker and a specific case strategy developed for each specific client, crafted specially for their case. We understand that suffering an insurance loss is traumatic in and of itself. But to have your insurance company treat you unfairly, like you are simply a number to them and nothing more, makes matters so much worse. That’s why we (Doug and his wife Monica) treat each case as if we are handling it for ourselves or for a family member. We want to do everything we can to alleviate some of the frustration and aggravation you are suffering.
If you have suffered a homeowner’s insurance loss and/or feel as though you are being treated unfairly by your insurance company, contact Douglas F. Dieker, P.C. today. We are here to help you.