Personal property and possessions can be significant investments. However, this property can be easily damaged or lost to an accident, theft, or storm. Many people purchase insurance to cover their property, only to find their claim unfairly denied when they need help the most.
If you encounter any challenges when filing your property insurance claim in Illinois, the property loss attorneys at Nessler & Associates can take on your case. Our lawyers will help you recover compensation for your lost or damaged property.
What Property Insurance Covers
Property insurance policies, including homeowners and commercial property insurance, cover specific damages to your home or other structures on your premises. Although coverage varies per policy, most plans in Illinois cover the following:
Damage to Your Property
Your home and high-value possessions are covered under your insurance policy. If your property suffers structural damage in a storm or is damaged in an accident such as a fire, you should be compensated for the cost to repair the damage up to your policy limit.
However, insurance may not cover all types of property damage. Floods, for example, are not included in natural disaster coverage. Similarly, damage to your vehicle is covered by your auto insurance, even if the vehicle is parked on your property.
Loss of Property
If your property is stolen or destroyed, you can file a property loss claim to recover the value of what was lost. For example, if personal possessions like your pictures, clothes, or T.V. are lost to a fire, you can file a claim for compensation to help you pay for the replacement of these items. Similarly, if theft occurs and your jewelry is stolen, you can file a claim to cover your pieces up to the coverage limit.
Injuries or Damage to Another Party
Most property insurance policies include premises liability insurance, which covers injuries to guests on your property. If somebody falls in your home and files a personal injury claim, your premises liability insurance will pay their settlement to cover medical treatment.
If a storm, theft, or accident occurs, it can be difficult to understand what types of property damage are covered under your policy. Contact the property damage lawyers at Nessler & Associates to help you review your policy and assist you with filing your property insurance claim.
Challenges when Filing Property Damage Claims
Many property owners encounter complications when trying to recover the cost of their lost or damaged belongings. Insurance companies often deny claims outright or for minor reasons that make it challenging to get the compensation you need to pay for repairs to your home.
The property damage attorneys at Nessler & Associates have helped many homeowners resolve their claim denials to get paid according to their policy coverage. Our lawyers can guide you through the following challenges with your insurance company to get your claim paid:
Proving Ownership or Value
When filing a claim for property loss or damage, your insurer will request information about the property to ensure you are the owner. You will usually need to provide documentation such as the following:
- Title, deed, or purchasing contract for the home
- A description of what was damaged or lost
- Estimated value of the item or property
- Approximate date and time of the loss or damage
- Serial numbers for electronics or large appliances
- Receipts, contracts, or invoices proving purchase or ownership
If you are missing any of this information, your insurance may be unable to verify your ownership of the damaged or missing property, allowing them to deny your claim. Our property insurance lawyers can help you locate relevant information about lost or damaged property and use it for your claim.
Proving Accidental Damage
Property insurance policies do not cover intentionally-inflicted damage, like arson. If your insurance company suspects that you deliberately damaged or destroyed your property, they may deny your claim.
A skilled attorney from Nessler & Associates can help you gather evidence that the damage was accidental and is covered under your policy. For example, they may obtain a copy of the fire investigator’s report to prove that there was no evidence of arson.
Using the Correct Language
The words you use to describe your property damage can impact your claim. A seemingly normal word may mean something specific to your insurance company. For example, describing water damage from a burst pipe as a flood might allow your insurance company to deny your claim since they don’t cover flood damage.
Your property damage attorney will help you draft your claim using the right terminology to ensure your insurance company pays your claim.
Receiving Lowball Offers
The compensation you receive for lost or damaged property depends on your policy. Some policies only compensate for the item’s value, while others will adjust for inflation. However, some insurance companies use bad faith practices, deliberately undervalue the lost or damaged property, and offer you less than the item’s value.
Your attorney from Nessler & Associates can review any settlement offers you receive to determine whether the offer is fair. They can also seek an independent appraisal of the lost or damaged property and negotiate a fair payment with your insurer so you get the maximum amount possible for your lost or damaged item.
Handling Bad Faith Insurance Companies
While Section 154.6 of the Illinois Insurance Code prevents insurance companies from acting in bad faith, many insurers ignore this law. Insurance companies acting in bad faith may do the following:
- Delay your claim until a deadline passes
- Deny your claim with no explanation
- Accuse you of making false or fraudulent claims
- Not honor your policy (deny claims covered by your policy)
If you suspect your insurance company is acting in bad faith, schedule a consultation with the lawyers at Nessler & Associates. We will ensure your insurer follows legal procedures, such as responding to and investigating your property damage case and pursuing legal action against them if they act in bad faith.
Consult with Nessler & Associates About Your Property Insurance Claim
Theft, structural damage, and disasters are stressful for property owners. If your insurer adds to your stress by acting in bad faith and denying your claim, the property insurance attorneys at Nessler & Associates can help. Our legal team will review your claim and help you recover the settlement you’re owed.