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Homeowners’ Insurance Claim Lawyer

Louisiana Homeowners’ Insurance Lawyer 

Homeowners’ insurance is supposed to protect the investment that you make in your home. Your homeowner’s policy likely provides coverage for losses such as hurricanes, robberies, fires and other disasters, as well liability coverage in case someone is injured on your property. You may also have special policies that protect you in the event of a flood, especially if you live near the water. Policyholders pay insurance premiums each month to buy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your insurance covers losses if your property is damaged or destroyed. Since most homeowners cannot afford to replace their property or its contents without insurance coverage, they are willing to pay for months and years on end to maintain coverage. Unfortunately, homeowners’ insurance companies sometimes fail to live up to their end of the bargain.

If your homeowners’ insurance company is denying your claim or refusing to pay a reasonable sum of money for losses you believe are covered, you should seek legal assistance. A Louisiana homeowners’ insurance lawyer at Lavis Law will stand up to the insurance company on your behalf to fight for the money you need to rebuild or make repairs and move on with your life.

How a Louisiana Homeowners Insurance Lawyer Can Help

Insurance policies are contracts; and the policy agreement specifies the terms that each party is bound to abide by. When you pay the premiums, you buy a promise from the insurer to cover losses that the insurance contract covers.In addition to the express terms of the contract, every insurance policy has an “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” Essentially, this means that the insurance company is legally required to handle your claim in a fair and reasonable manner.

If the insurer fails to act in good faith, you can file a bad faith claim to recover the money you should have received for your covered losses in addition to damages that can sometimes exceed the limits of your insurance coverage. These additional damages are intended to compensate you for harm that occurred due to unfair delays or denials of a legitimate claim. The additional damages are also intended to punish the insurer for treating policyholders in an unfair manner.

A Louisiana homeowners’ insurance lawyer can help you pursue a bad faith claim against a homeowner’s insurer who has failed to handle your insurance claim properly. Your attorney can also try to avoid the need for bad faith litigation by negotiating on your behalf with the insurer to try to get the money you are entitled to for your damaged or destroyed property.

Contact a Louisiana Homeowners’ Insurance Lawyer Today

At Lavis Law, we have extensive experience representing homeowners whose insurance companies have let them down. Since 1995, we have helped clients with all types of homeowners’ insurance disputes including claims arising from Tropical Storm Cindy and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike and Isaac as well as theft and fire damage insurance claims.

There are six types of homeowners coverage:

  • Basic Form– provides insurance for your home and personal property like furniture, carpeting and personal belongings.  It covers risks like fire, lightning, remove of property endangered by peril, windstorm or hail, vandalism or malicious mischief, theft, damage from vehicles and aircraft. explosion, riot or civil commotion, glass breakage.
  • Broad Form– in addition to providing what is covered in Basic Form. Broad Form also insures against building collapse, freezing of or accidental discharge of water or steam from within the plumbing, heading/air conditioning systems, domestic appliances, falling objects, weight of ice, snow or sleet and rupture or bursting of hot water heating systems.
  • Special Form– protects your home against “all risks” except for certain exclusions, like floods and earthquakes.  The policy also covers other structures (like a garage) and all perils covered by the Broad Form as well as damage to or loss of personal property.
  • Tenant Broad Form– provides coverage for personal property only.
  • Comprehensive Form– insures the dwelling and personal property against all risks with some exceptions such as flood and earthquakes.
  • Special Condominium Form – provides coverage found in Tenant Form but also provides protection needed by owners of condo units.  It insures the interior of the dwelling but not the structure itself.

Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation– is Louisiana’s insurance company of last resort for people who cannot purchase insurance in the regular insurance marketplace due to the risky nature of the property.

Valuable items Coverage– most insurance policies place limits on the amount it will pay for valuable items such as jewelry, furs, silverware, guns, antiques and computer equipment.  Usually you can purchase additional insurance for these types of items.

Take An Inventory of Your Home– before disaster strikes, you should make a list of possessions covered under your policy.  Include date of purchase and price.  Also, take photographs and vidoe of the outside and inside of the home and of the personal property.

What to do after a loss?

File a claim- read your policy to determine what you need to do to file a claim and to comply with the terms of the agreement.  Also, keep detailed notes of who you speak with from your insurance company and what they say.  Keep of copy of all documents and emails.  You may have to submit a proof of loss form.

Make temporary repairs– under the terms of your policy, you probably will have an obligation to prevent further damage to your home.

Perform a thorough investigation of your contractor before hiring any contractor to do any repairs.

What is the difference between Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cost?

Actual Cash Value (“ACV”) pays for replacement cost minus depreciation.

Replacement Cost (“RCV”) pays for the cost of replacing the damaged property without deducting for depreciation.  However, most companies require replacement before paying the entire amount.

If you feel you are being treated unfairly by your insurance company and to learn more about how we can represent you in a bad faith claim or other dispute with your insurance company, call today to speak with a Louisiana homeowners’ insurance lawyer.

 

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