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Natural Disasters

Are You Facing An Insurance Dispute After A Natural Disaster?

Some of the most expensive and important insurance claims arise out natural disasters — they can level your home and leave you homeless, or put you out of business until you can rebuild or repair enough to get back on your feet. Unfortunately, natural disasters often represent one of the most vigorously contested areas in the insurance industry, where carriers deny that coverage exists and deny your claim for benefits. At Mannion Lowe & Oksenendler, A Professional Corporation, our attorneys have the depth of knowledge and experience with fires, earthquakes, and other disasters to know when the insurance companies aren’t playing fair with your policy. When that happens, we can help.

We invite you to send an email to our office today if you would like to discuss your concerns with one of our attorneys.

Natural Disaster Insurance Issues

Depending upon where you live in the country, your home or business may be vulnerable to damage or destruction from earthquakes, hurricanes, or tornadoes. It is important to know whether your homeowner’s insurance, condo or renter’s insurance, or commercial insurance covers the particular type of disaster to which your area is prone. If it is clearly excluded, you may want to consider special insurance to cover the particular event. This type of insurance is typically more costly, however, if you are in a high-prone area, and you will have to study the terms of the policy before you purchase it to make sure it doesn’t contain so many exclusions and fine print as to make the insurance virtually worthless.

Natural disasters can cause fire damage, water damage, and windstorm damage, raising questions as to liability. Wind damage is generally covered, and most tornado damage can be properly classified as wind damage. In the case of hurricanes, however, which also have strong wind damage components, major damage can also come from the storm surge and flooding which occurs along with a hurricane’s landfall. In many cases it can be difficult to tell whether damage is due to flooding (normally excluded) or wind damage or wind-driven rain (normally included). For instance, if a storm surge causes a sewer pipe to burst which results in water damage, is the damage due to flooding or a pipe failure? These issues are often vigorously debated and must often be resolved through litigation.

Don’t Be Fooled By Insurance Company Tricks

A common insurance tactic is to offer a quick settlement which represents only a fraction of your claim, in hopes that you will cash the check to cover immediate expenses and waive your rights to collect any more on your policy. It may also be hard immediately after a disaster to assess the total amount of your damages. If you have specialized insurance, that company may try to pass off the damage as the responsibility of your general liability policy, and vice versa. Don’t fall prey to these tactics. Contact Mannion Lowe & Oksenendler, A Professional Corporation and have your claim represented by an experienced insurance law attorney who understands and stands up for the rights of consumers impacted by natural disasters. Send us an email or call 800-724-6188 today.