How to dispute an insurance claim.
Negotiating on your own hasn’t worked. So what do you do now?
You purchased insurance to relieve financial stress in the event of damage to your home or business. What happens when you have a legitimate claim but your insurance company’s settlement falls short, or is denied outright? If you think you’re getting a raw deal and you’ve hit a wall with your insurance company, know that you may still have options.
1. File an Official Complaint
Contact your state agency that regulates insurance companies and file an official complaint. Whether or not this process resolves your dispute, at least you’ve gone on record with your grievances.
2. Find Out if You Have a Legal Claim
Contact McDonald Law Firm and speak with a member of our insurance litigation team. During our free case review, we’ll evaluate your claim and determine what legal grounds you may have to fight for a better settlement. It costs you nothing to feel out the strength of your case and you’ll leave with a better understanding of your potential options for resolving your claim.
3. Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Most property insurance policies contain wording that allows disputes over the value of a loss to be resolved by through the appraisal process. An insurance appraisal can determine the scope and severity of a loss (what was damaged and how badly) and the value of the loss (how much repairs should cost). The biggest downside to appraisal is that it determines only what was damaged and how much that damage costs, not whether your insurance company actually has to pay for the damage. It’s important to note that an appraisal won’t resolve disagreements over your coverage, the language in your policy or other issues holding up your claim.
Mediation can be an effective way of resolving disputes without the need to go to court. It involves an independent third party – a mediator – who helps both sides come to an agreement. You will split the cost for mediation with your insurance company unless your policy includes coverage for mediation. During mediation, each of the parties has the right to accept or reject the settlement offer, if any. The mediator has no power to impose a resolution, other than the power of persuasion.
Arbitration is the private, judicial determination of a dispute by an independent third party. An arbitration hearing may involve the use of an individual arbitrator or a tribunal. A tribunal may consist of any number of arbitrators, though some legal systems insist on an odd number to avoid a tie. In arbitration, each of the parties gives the power to decide the outcome to the arbitrator. Arbitration is generally final and binding, unlike mediation and negotiation, which are non-binding).
4. File a Lawsuit
Although litigation can seem intimidating, if you have an experienced insurance lawyer on your side, it may be the best way to get a fair settlement with your claim. Filing a lawsuit may give you leverage in negotiations and many times, lawsuits reach settlement before they go to trial. McDonald Law Firm handles insurance claim dispute cases on a contingency basis, which means you never owe us any out-of-pocket fees or expenses. We only get paid if we recovery money for you ― either through settlement or a trial.
Let McDonald Law Firm go head-to-head with the insurance company so you don’t have to.
If you need help figuring out how to dispute an insurance claim, contact McDonald Law Firm today for a free, confidential case review. We understand insurance disputes and know how to recognize insurance bad faith. We won’t hesitate to take your insurance company to task for denying or low-balling your valid claim. Call us at 877-803-2897 or complete the form on this page.