High winds can cause significant damage to homes and other property. There doesn’t need to be a hurricane for the wind to cause property damage. Even a normal storm with heavy wind gusts can cause damage to your roof, windows, or cause other structural damage from falling trees, branches, and other debris.
The unfortunate reality is that many insurance companies will attempt to deny wind damage claims, or offer a settlement that is much less than the actual extent of the damage. This can put property owners in a difficult situation where they feel trapped by a denied or unfair settlement offer.
If you are struggling to settle a wind damage claim, or your claim has been denied, you need the help of an experienced law firm. The attorneys at Scott, Vicknair, Hair, and Checki have years of experience helping policyholders in the New Orleans area obtain a fair settlement for their wind damage claims.
Know Your Rights with Your Wind Damage Claim
It is no secret that Louisiana, and especially New Orleans, is subject to some devastating weather patterns. Most residents of the area are familiar with the damage that can occur from even a normal storm system. Even though these winds tend to be less severe than hurricane-force gusts, these storms can still cause a significant amount of damage.
Just because a storm did not level your property, doesn’t mean that your property will not sustain costly damages from the winds. Some of the damages to the property include but are not limited to:
- Damages to roofing
- Broken windows
- Structural damage
- Vehicle damage
- Damage to HVAC and pipes
- Damage to other buildings on the property
Many of the structures damaged by high winds are very costly. If you find yourself needing to replace your roof, you are looking at a significant cost. This can be extremely problematic for property owners when insurance companies are not willing to pay the full extent of the damage incurred.
Preventing Bad Faith Insurance Tactics:
Unfortunately, many insurance providers are not as reliable or trustworthy as they expect their policyholders to be. You pay on time every month, but they look for glitches in the system through which to deny your coverage in the event of a natural disaster causing damage to your home.
Not only is this clearly unethical, but it is also illegal, and our team of New Orleans bad faith insurance attorneys will help you prove this. If it can be determined that your provider indeed participated in bad faith tactics, they could be liable for up to twice the number of original damages plus attorneys’ fees.
Understanding Bad Faith
Bad faith is the legal term used to define misleading or dishonest tactics by insurance companies to avoid paying their policyholders. Providers use these tactics to save their own wallets and often get away with it because they don’t expect their policyholders to know how to fight back.
Some examples of bad faith insurance tactics include:
- Deliberate delay of an investigation into your damages
- Deliberate delay of your disbursement
- Misrepresenting the amount of coverage needed
- Deliberate confusing of the damage’s cause
- Intentionally low estimates
Each of these tactics can be proven as fraud, which would leave your insurance company to pay you considerably more than was originally needed. For example, if your home required $50,000 in damages, but bad faith was proven, you may be entitled to an additional $100,000 on top of the amount paid for damages plus attorneys’ fees. If your insurance company attempts to do this, it’s important that you act fast.
Common Difficulties with Insurance Companies
Wind insurance claims can be difficult for property owners to settle. What might seem like a straightforward claim for roof, window, or other damages, can quickly turn problematic when insurance companies don’t want to pay for the repairs. They will often try to state that the damages you are claiming were pre-existing or not caused by the wind. Some common problems our clients have experienced include:
- The insurance company claims the property damage already existed
- Maintenance problems resulted in the damage
- Discrepancies over the estimated cost and the actual cost for repairs
- Low settlement offers
- Denial of claims
- Missed damages from the insurance company’s inspection
- Multiple parties and multiple insurance companies
- Incomplete estimates
- Excessive delays in settling claims
The unfortunate reality is that these issues are common when trying to recover damages from insurance companies for wind-related claims.
Insurance companies are notorious for denying property owners’ legitimate claims.
The good news is that you don’t have to be controlled by the insurance company. Our experienced team of attorneys is here to help you get the fair settlement for your wind damage claim that you deserve. We have worked with many clients who were being treated unfairly by their insurance company. We can help you fight back and get compensated for all the damages caused by excessive winds.
How an Experienced Law Firm can Help
Minor damages from windstorms might not need the assistance of an attorney. However, if your property has suffered significant damages, you might need a qualified attorney to help you with your claim. The most important part is to understand the limits of your policy and the rights you have as a policyholder. Our law firm can help you navigate your policy and help you to get the settlement offer you deserve.
Our team of experienced attorneys can help you with the following:
- Maximize your settlement offer
- Help you avoid common mistakes when filing a claim
- Help you understand the limits of your policy
- Get fair and reasonable estimates
- Document all necessary damages and assessments
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
- Help you to prioritize short and long-term damage recovery
- Address any unique needs
Regardless of your needs, an experienced attorney can help you with every step of the claim process. If needed, we will also represent you in court to help you recover all your losses from the damages caused by high winds.
Overcoming Disaster: What you need to know after a fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, or other disaster
Legal Representation in Opposition of Your Insurance Provider
While you may not expect that your insurance company will try and leave you high and dry, it’s important that you recognize their attempts as soon as possible and contact a New Orleans property damage attorney. Once we intervene, we can help you assess your policy, prove damages, and prove the liability of your insurance company, getting you headed back in the right direction.