If you suffer a loss covered under your insurance policy, your insurance company is obligated to pay the claim in accordance with the terms of the insurance policy. As a policy holder, your rights aren’t limited to those identified in your insurance policy, you have statutory rights and common law rights mandating that the insurance company properly adjust your loss covered by your insurance policy.
Filing a claim with your insurance company should not feel like you’re at the mercy of the insurance company, they aren’t doing you any favors, you pay your premium in exchange for insurance coverage but unfortunately, many insurance carriers are denying claims or minimizing claim payouts. You do not have to accept a low estimate prepared by your insurance carrier’s adjuster. Your insurance company is hedging it’s bet that out of desperation, in your time of need, that you will jump at the first offer, sign the release of claim, cash the check and go away. In these situations, you need an insurance claim attorney to navigate this complex process for you to make sure you receive every dollar you are entitled to. Often, it is necessary to retain a Rhode Island insurance lawyer to negotiate with an insurer or sue an insurer to recover money that they are obligated to pay you. At Bilodeau Capalbo, LLC, our dedicated attorneys understand the ways in which insurers try to protect their bottom line rather than pay valid insurance claims and honor their obligations in homeowner’s insurance claims, personal injury cases, and other consumer matters. We assist consumers in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.Holding an Insurer Accountable for Failing to Meet Obligations
There are many ways that insurers regularly minimize or dispute policyholder claims in order to avoid making payments as required by the written policy. If insurers do this without justification, they are betraying the terms of coverage and acting in bad faith. In Rhode Island, bad faith could include denying a legitimate insurance claim, paying too little on a claim, delaying payment on a legitimate insurance claim, failing to properly investigate a claim, altering policy terms during the assessment of a claim to avoid paying, illegitimately claiming that damages were pre-existing, or blaming the claimant for damages inappropriately. Common bad faith practices by insurers include:
- Insurance companies failing to acknowledge and respond to an insurance claim
- Offering lowball settlements that are generally significantly less than what the policy holder is entitled to
- Intentionally delaying processing insurance claims
- Requesting overly burdensome documentation and conducting numerous lengthy harassing examinations under oath in excess of what is reasonably necessary to investigate and adjust a claim
- Making unsubstantiated claims of arson or other intentional acts for purposes of invalidating an otherwise valid claim
An insured under any insurance policy can retain a Rhode Island insurance attorney to sue an insurer that issued a policy when the insurer wrongfully and in bad faith declined to pay or settle a claim made under the policy terms, or when it otherwise wrongfully and in bad faith did not timely perform its duties under the insurance contract. The person who is insured can make a claim for compensatory damages, punitive damages, and reasonable attorneys' fees under this law. For example, if a fire burns down your insured real estate, but a fire insurer refuses to make timely payments pursuant to policy terms, you may have a claim for bad faith.
Insurers have a fiduciary obligation to act in the best interests of the insured to protect them from excess liability and to not act in ways that show a greater concern for their own financial interest than the financial risk attached to the insured's situation. An insurer's fiduciary obligations thus include a duty to seriously consider a plaintiff's reasonable offer to settle a claim within policy limits. When an insurer decides not to settle the case within the limits, there is a risk that a trial will result in a judgment greater than the policy limits. Even when an insurer does not act in bad faith, it can be exposed to potential liability for an amount of a judgment exceeding the policy limits, except when it can show that a policyholder was not willing to accept a settlement offer.How Will Hiring a Rhode Island Insurance Claim Attorney Assist With My Insurance Claim?
We will conduct an extensive review and analysis of your insurance policy to determine your exact coverage. We will then analyze the estimates and investigative reports prepared by your insurance company and compare them to our estimates and reports to determine the appropriate claim amount. After the appropriate claim amount has been determined, we will dispute the claim in accordance with the provisions of the insurance policy.
It’s no surprise that dealing with insurance companies regarding your claim is a daunting task. They rely on the arduous process to wear you down and tire you out at your most vulnerable moment with the hope that you will just settle and accept their “low ball” offer or worse abandon a wrongfully denied claim altogether. We take on the task of handling the insurance claim dispute process to ensure you receive every dollar you are entitled to under your policy.Enlist an Insurance Lawyer in Rhode Island to Assert Your Rights
If you have a homeowner’s insurance claim that has been denied or “lowballed”, or any other legitimate insurance claim, legal options are available. Our Rhode Island homeowner’s insurance claim attorneys know how to protect your interests and ensure you receive maximum compensation available under your insurance policy. If your insurance company has turned your insurance claim into an adversarial proceeding, demanded an Examination Under Oath, denied coverage or provided you with a “low ball” settlement amount, it is important to consult an experienced attorney. At Bilodeau Capalbo, LLC, we are proud of our strong reputation for client satisfaction in dealing with insurance companies. Our firm represents people in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts from offices in West Warwick, South Kingstown, and Hartford, CT. Call us at 401-300-4055 or use our online form to set up a consultation.
Bilodeau Capalbo, LLC represents clients in Woonsocket, Burrillville, Chepachet, Smithfield, Scituate, Coventry, West Greenwich, Exeter, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, Warwick, Cranston, Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, East Providence, Warren, Bristol, Barrington, Little Compton, Tiverton, Middletown, Portsmouth, Newport, South Kingstown, Charlestown, Hopkinton, Ashaway, Richmond, Narragansett, New Shoreham, West Warwick, Cumberland, Foster, Glocester, Johnston, Lincoln, North Providence and Westerly