Tornados can cause major damage to homes, businesses, property, and vehicles. Tornado damage may be covered under general homeowners, commercial, or vehicle insurance policies. Insurance policy holders may benefit from contacting tornado damage attorneys when filing an insurance claim for tornado damage, as insurance companies may attempt to unlawfully deny claims or provide lower compensation than what is specified in the policy.
Tornado Damage Attorneys Assistance
Since large numbers of insurance claims are often filed following tornados, unethical insurance companies may attempt to mislead policy holders in order to save money. An experienced tornado damage attorney will be able to review an insurance policy and provide the policy holder with advice about what damage is covered and the amount of compensation that the policy holder should rightfully receive. A tornado damage attorney may also be able to provide assistance in compiling the information that may be necessary to properly file the claim and to pursue legal action if he claim is denied or settled for an amount lower than was agreed upon.
Tornado Claim Denial
If an insurance company has specified within an insurance policy that tornado damage will not be covered, the insurance company is not liable for damage sustained from a tornado. In areas where tornados are common, this is a regular practice. In many cases, insurance companies will offer extended coverage if the property or business owner wishes to be covered in the event o a tornado. If the policy does not state that tornado damage is not covered, the insurance company may be obligated to cover the cost of tornado damage.
Time Frame for Claims
Most insurance companies specify a time frame in which a tornado damage claim must be filed. Contacting a tornado damage attorney while filing the claim and making note of the date that the claim was filed may be helpful if the company attempts to deny the claim based on delayed filing. A tornado damage attorney may also be able to assist the policy holder in following the proper procedure for filing the claim so that filing errors do not cause the claim to be delayed or denied.
Damages Not Covered
Insurance policy holders should carefully review the insurance policy prior to purchasing the policy so that tornado coverage is thoroughly understood. In many cases, insurance policies will outline specific damages that may be covered in the event of a tornado, while excluding others. Insurance policy holders may also wish to review this information with an attorney that is experienced in tornado damage claim cases in order to prevent misunderstanding.
Tornado Damage Assessment
Insurance companies will often require than an adjuster view and assess tornado damage prior to honoring a claim. A tornado damage attorney may be able to provide advice regarding having a knowledgeable contractor present during the assessment so that the adjuster is held accountable for providing accurate estimates of the tornado damage value. The policy holder may benefit from taking pictures of the tornado damage and keeping a written record of all damage along with estimated monetary values of the damage. These records may be helpful if it becomes necessary to take legal action in order to receive compensation for the tornado damage.
Handling Unlawful Claim Denials
If an insurance policy holder believes that an insurance company has unlawfully denied a legitimate claim for tornado damage, a tornado damage attorney may be able to provide assistance. Tornado damage attorneys have expert knowledge of the laws regarding insurance company obligations and have experience dealing with insurance companies that attempt to break the law. Tornado damage attorneys may be able to help obtain the maximum amount of compensation available for covering damage claims.
Unlawful Rate Increases
In some cases, insurance companies will attempt to raise a business or property owners insurance premiums following a tornado damage claim. This is illegal, and a tornado damage attorney will be able to hold the insurance company accountable for any payment amount that was unethically obtained. Insurance companies are also prohibited from cancelling a customer’s insurance policy following a tornado damage claim, in most states.
“Filing an Insurance Claim for Storm Damage.” National Storm Damage Center. National Storm Damage Center. Web. 3 Apr 2014. <http://stormdamagecenter.org/storm-damage-insurance-claim.html>
“Tornadoes.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 16 Jan 2014. Web. 3 Apr 2014. <http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/tornadoes/>
“Tornado Damage Insurance Help.” United Policy Holders. United Policy Holders, n.d. Web. 3 Apr 2014. <http://www.uphelp.org/blog/roadmap-recovery/tornado-damage-claim-help>