Reno Home Insurance Claim Attorney
What can a Reno home insurance claim attorney do for you? Imagine this: Your Reno home is your castle — you saved for the down payment and searched for the perfect place to raise your family. To protect your home and your belongings, you purchased homeowners insurance. If an unthinkable catastrophe happens, like a fire, flood, break-in, or structural damage, you feel secure because your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the damage to help you rebuild, right?
What happens when you submit your claims for damages to the insurance company and receive a home insurance “claim denied” notification? With reconstruction bills mounting and your family possibly homeless, where do you turn when your insurance company refuses to pay a claim you filed in good faith?
When insurance companies fail to honor their obligations, it can be maddening. You’ve paid your premiums on time and didn’t cause the damage, so why is the carrier refusing to pay? Reno home insurance claim lawyers are experienced in dealing with recalcitrant insurance companies. Come talk to the legal team at Leverty & Associates Law, and we can help you fight for the coverage you’re entitled to.
With over 50 years of experience in insurance law and active involvement in litigating against bad-faith insurance companies, you’re in good hands with us. Contact us today at (775) 322-6636 for a complimentary consultation.
The Home Insurance Claims Process
A homeowners insurance policy is a contract between the homeowner (the insured) and the insurance carrier (the insurer). The insured pays a monthly premium, while the insurer agrees, per the policy, to pay a certain amount of compensation if an accident or other circumstance, as delineated in the policy, happens. It’s a legally binding contract, and if the insured pays their premiums on time and is not at fault for the incident that damages their home, they should expect the insurance carrier to pay the agreed-upon compensation.
The typical home insurance claims process proceeds like so:
- An accident like hail, storm, fire, or flood happens.
- The policyholder files a claim with their insurance carrier, following the procedures in the policy.
- The insurance company sends an individual to the home to investigate and appraise the damage.
At this point, you either submit any bills for fixing the damage to the insurance company, and they release funds to cover them, or the insurance company presents you with approved contractors to fix the damage.
This is how the claims process should go, but when a home insurance claim is denied, things go differently.
Many people may go years, or even decades, without filing a home insurance claim, so the whole process may be unfamiliar. Unscrupulous insurance companies count on clients being unfamiliar with industry practices and the claims process and may use your ignorance to run you around until you give up from frustration. However, the advice of a knowledgeable home insurance attorney can help you go through the claims process and assess whether you have unreasonably had a home insurance claim denied. If so, home insurance claim attorneys can help you file a bad faith insurance lawsuit. You may be able to recover funds to fix the damage to your home and pay for other losses.
What Is a Bad Faith Home Insurance Claim?
If you have a home insurance claim denied when you expected it to be approved, there’s a good chance your insurance company acted in bad faith. A bad faith insurance action is a wrongful decision or wrongful policy instituted by an insurance carrier that is intended to reduce the benefits paid out or deny claims outright. Bad faith actions can come in many forms, but these are the most common ones that home insurance claim denial lawyers encounter:
- Reducing benefit payments without a sufficient explanation
- Delaying benefit payouts
- Failing to confirm a benefit payout or issue a denial within a reasonable amount of time after the initial claim
- Requesting additional documentation to prove your claim
- Undervaluing your claim or the amount of damage to the home
- Rude, hostile, or combative treatment
- Suggesting less expensive, superficial repairs instead of more expensive structural repairs your home may need.
Dragging their feet in issuing your claim payment is a common technique of insurance companies. They may ask for more paperwork or documentation, which can take a homeowner a long time to collect. Then, they may “review” the claim for an overly long time, hoping that you’ll just give up. Or they may offer a lowball offer for your claim and threaten that this is the only amount you’ll receive, telling you to take what you can get or risk getting nothing.
Your Rights as a Homeowners Insurance Policyholder
Your insurance policy is a contract; legally, both parties to the contract are required to uphold their obligations. If you aren’t getting a proper resolution, you have the legal right as a policyholder to hire a home insurance attorney to litigate your claim. You have rights as a policyholder, which your homeowner’s insurance carrier is required to notify you of. If they fail to do so, it’s an act of bad faith. Your policy should include a copy of the Consumer’s Bill of Rights, which has nearly 50 distinct provisions afforded to the insured, including:
- The right to honest treatment when filing a claim
- Protection from discrimination
- The right to refuse information to the insurance company that doesn’t relate to your claim
- The right to reject an offered settlement
- A written explanation if your home insurance claim is denied
- The right to sue the insurance company that violated your rights.
If you met your obligations to the insurance company by paying the premium on time and submitting only legitimate claims, then you are afforded these rights, including the right to hire a home insurance lawyer to pursue litigation.
Leverty & Associates Law — Why Choose Us?
Strong Advocacy for Your Rights
Patrick Leverty holds a Master’s Degree in Insurance Law and has a long history of successful litigation against insurance companies. He has a deep knowledge of Nevada insurance laws and a passion for defending clients who have been victims of a corrupt insurance company. He and his team of home insurance attorneys protect the rights of families just like yours who have had their rights trampled by an insurance company.
Mr. Leverty is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocate Forum and is certified by the State of Nevada as a Personal Injury Specialist. His firm has won over $150 million in awards for its clients in many types of bad faith insurance cases. Insurance companies often take victims more seriously once they hire a home insurance claim denial lawyer to handle their claims.
How Reno Home Insurance Claim Attorneys Can Help
Protecting You Against Insurance Companies Acting in Bad Faith
Many insurance companies suddenly move faster once you’ve hired a home insurance claim attorney to represent you. The first step that our legal team will take is to send the insurance company a demand letter stating your requests. These can include the cost of repairing the initial damage to your home and additional losses you suffered. For example, if you had flood damage and didn’t get your insurance payout in a timely manner, then mold may have started growing in the flooded parts of your home. Your settlement, in this case, would include the initial cost of fixing the damage and any mold remediation services.
Or, if you and your family had to stay elsewhere for an extended period of time, then your settlement could cover that as well. If the insurance company’s delays prevent you from returning home, your claim can include reimbursing you for the cost of a hotel or temporary apartment.
Negotiating with Your Homeowners Insurance Carrier
If the insurance company doesn’t respond to the demand letter, your Reno home insurance claim lawyer files a lawsuit in civil court. The suit may be settled in mediation, or it could go to trial. Mediation is a formal negotiation between two parties to resolve a legal dispute. It’s overseen by a neutral third party who can help the negotiations move forward civilly. However, sometimes the facts of the case may be disputed to the point where mediation simply isn’t possible, and the case moves forward to trial. Your insurance company will likely have an entire legal team to represent them. Hiring your own home insurance lawyer levels the playing field and ensures your voice is heard.
Leverty & Associates Law can help you to understand the best path forward. Contact us today at (775) 322-6636 for a no-obligation assessment of your case.
Many of our clients have questions about pursuing their homeowner’s insurance company in court. Although each case is different, many bad-faith insurance claims share several commonalities. Your home insurance claim attorney will discuss your particular circumstances and answer your questions in your initial consultation.
You’re entitled to file a suit if your consumer rights have been violated, but the process is complicated. You need a lawyer to determine where the insurance company violated laws governing the industry and then construct a case that proves what it did. If the company acted especially egregiously, your lawyer might file for punitive damages, a form of financial punishment for grossly violating policyholder rights and insurance laws.
It’s a good idea to have an experienced insurance attorney review the settlement offer from your insurance company. Stipulations could prevent you from filing an additional claim if the offer doesn’t cover the home damage. And a lawyer can usually achieve a higher settlement than you would have gotten without one.
Many bad-faith insurance lawyers, like those at Leverty & Associates Law, work on a contingency basis. This means that we collect our legal fees after we win your case, as a percentage determined in your initial consultation.
Although many insurance claim denial cases are solved after a denial letter or settled through mediation, sometimes the parties cannot come to an agreement. If we seek punitive damages, we may take the case to trial or will opt for a trial if mediation doesn’t work. The Leverty & Associates Law firm are experienced litigators, and we provide each client with a vigorous defense in the courtroom.
Your claim will cover the actual cost of repairing your house and cover any subsequent damage that happened to your house because the insurance company delayed your claim. You may also be entitled to non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, or mental anguish you experienced because of your treatment. Sometimes, we seek punitive damages if we find that the company violated insurance laws. Bad faith cases are filed in civil court, not criminal, so the company may not be charged with breaking the law, but punitive damages are a punishment for their egregious behavior.
Policyholders have four years under the Nevada statute of limitations to file a bad faith insurance lawsuit. If you delay in filing, the courts will likely dismiss your case. This is part of the reason why it’s so important to have a home insurance lawyer involved in your case as soon as possible. Insurance companies know the statute of limitations, and if they’re trying to deny or reduce your claim, they may be trying to run out the clock on the time limit to file a claim.
Many of our clients have specific questions about their cases, which we will discuss in detail during your first consultation. And our team is responsive to your questions throughout the process.
Do You Need a Reno Home Insurance Claim Attorney?
If you had a home insurance claim denied by your insurance company, you have legal options, one of which is to file a lawsuit. Hiring a Reno home insurance claim attorney can improve your chances of a favorable settlement from the insurance company.
Leverty & Associates Law can review your legal options and file suit. Contact us today at (775) 322-6636 for a complimentary assessment of your case.