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FAQ About Commercial Harvey Claims

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Business owners are facing some of the worst circumstances the Gulf Coast has ever seen and small businesses are facing the worst of it. Many of them were unprepared for a disaster like Hurricane Harvey, and now they’re facing an uncertain future due to flooding damage, wind damage, business interruptions, displaced customers, damaged equipment, and more.

If you want to file a claim, learn about your options, or hold your insurance company accountable, call (888) 400-2101.

What If My Insurance Company Has Denied My Claim?

It’s a common tactic for insurance companies to delay or deny your claim on a first attempt. They’re hoping that you won’t fight back, that you’ll take a lower offer, or that you’ll simply give up and pay for your repairs yourself.

They often use reasons like the following to deny claims:

  • Late filing
  • Fraudulent claim
  • Excluded damages
  • Exceeded policy limits
  • Unpaid premiums
  • Lack of proof
  • Failing to mitigate damages

Having years of experience handling claims against insurance carriers, Arnold & Itkin has the resources to take your insurance company on and help you navigate the claims process. Contact us today at (888) 400-2101 to learn more.

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Do I Have Options If Insurance Won’t Help Rebuild My Business?

If your claim was denied, you’ll want to ask an attorney if you have grounds to file a lawsuit. Qualifying claims might be eligible to file a “bad faith insurance claim,” which is an allegation that an insurance company knew you had a valid claim but denied you anyway. It’s a serious allegation. The consequences of bad faith would allow you to claim late fees and other expenses.

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What If My Insurance Claim Is Being Underpaid?

Unfortunately, underpayment is par for the course with large commercial insurers. Since the 1990s, insurance profits have skyrocketed thanks to a business model that low-balls clients and delays claims when initial offers aren’t accepted. It’s disastrous for claimants, but insurers don’t care because it’s “good for the bottom line.” The best way to fight against underpaid claims is to hire an attorney and let your adjuster know that you’re serious about prosecuting your claim. Having an experienced professional on your side evens the playing field, forcing the insurer to pay up or prepare for trial.

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What Do I Do If It’s Been Months & I Haven’t Been Paid?

Delaying claims is a common tactic to force you to accept an underpaid claim. Your options, however, are limited to filing a civil claim. Thanks to a lack of insurance regulations, companies can delay claims through a host of tricks: meaningless investigations, “check-ins,” and other bald-faced delay tactics. Forcing them to come to terms with you requires building your own case and threatening to bring it before a jury. The stronger your attorney’s record of success in that regard, the more likely this will work.

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How Do I Choose a Good Contractor?

Here are some hard-and-fast tips to find a solid contractor:

  • Get 3 bids minimum
  • Throw out the lowest bid—they’re cutting corners
  • Ask for (minimum) 3 customer references from each bidder
  • Insist on getting financial references as well
  • Call their suppliers to make sure they’re not marking up supply costs too high (normal markup is 20-30%)
  • Make sure they have workers’ compensation insurance and general liability
  • See if they’re willing to stick to a payment schedule (10% upfront, 25% 3x over project, 15% final payment is normal).
  • Be wary of contractors who want 50% upfront
  • Be wary of contractors who haven’t been in business for longer than a few months
  • Never agree to let your contractor receive your FEMA benefits directly (and be suspicious of those who ask)
  • Check their reputation with local trade associations

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