Insurance Claims & Disputes
Insurance Dispute Attorneys in Gainesville
Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A. provides experienced representation for insurance policyholders caught in a dispute with their carrier.
When you purchase an insurance policy for your car, home, boat, or motorcycle, you expect the process to go smoothly in the event you need to file a claim. After all, you have enough to worry about between any injuries sustained and property that has been damaged. The last thing you want to deal with is a dispute with your insurance carrier.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out this way all too often, which turns an already stressful situation into an overwhelming one.
How do insurance disputes come up?
An insurance policy’s language can be extremely difficult to understand for someone who isn’t familiar with it. A policyholder may think something is covered, but upon review of the fine print, they find out it isn’t. This is just one of many sources of dispute between a policyholder and the carrier.
Other sources of disputes during an insurance claim can include, but are not limited to:
- Insurance carrier decides to retroactively void your contract after you file a claim. Carriers will sometimes assert that you misled or neglected to mention certain information on your application.
- Insurance carrier denies a claim and charges that you were not complying with the conditions of the contract.
- Insurance carrier denies your claim based on exclusions in the policy.
- Insurance carrier denies your claim because of misrepresentations or fraud.
- Insurance carrier claims your policy lapsed, or that you had a late or missed premium payment.
- Insurance carrier delays payment for an already approved claim.
- Insurance carrier avoids looking into your claim or otherwise misleads you.
Just because a claim is denied doesn’t mean the insurance company is acting improperly, or in “bad faith.” Clearly understanding your coverages and exclusions when you purchase your policy is an important step in avoiding unnecessary conflicts.
What should I do in the event of a dispute with my insurance company?
Again, trying to prevent a dispute from occurring in the first place is the easiest approach. When you’re applying for a policy, be sure the agent clearly explains everything that is covered, and everything that isn’t. Once you have the policy, be sure you clearly understand your coverage, including limits and exclusions.
Make sure you and the insurance company are on the same page about your policy. Many disputes come up when the carrier and the insured have different interpretations of what’s covered by the policy.
However, being diligent alone doesn’t avoid disputes from coming up.
Florida Statutes (Ch. 626, 627) outline procedures for settling an insurance dispute out of court through a third-party mediator. Going to court should be a last resort.
Fortunately, most disputes are resolved without going to court, but this doesn’t mean you should face the insurance company all by yourself.
Facing the insurance company on your own is fraught with all sorts of risks. Companies often use this to their advantage by interpreting language in the policy a certain way to lower the settlement amount. You should never accept an insurance company’s first offer without speaking with an attorney.
Contact An Insurance Dispute Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a car accident or some other event and you’re experiencing difficulty with your insurance company, discuss your case with an experienced insurance dispute attorney at Warner, Secrest & Butts, P.A. by submitting your case details via the contact form on our website.