Mansell, Engel & Cole

My home is damaged: Will my insurer perform?

The above-posed question in today's blog post headline is one that many residents in Oklahoma and surrounding states understandably ask themselves in the wake of material damage that their home has incurred following a tornado, hail storm, fire, flood or other calamity.

Most homeowners reasonably assume that their insurance company will promptly step up and contractually perform in a comprehensive and good-faith manner when it is presented with a legitimate claim.

And that simply makes sense, right? A contract operates pursuant to reciprocal duties, to wit: A policyholder faithfully makes regular and timely premium payments, and an insurer conscientiously complies with policy terms and conditions when the time comes to do so.

Daily, though, and notwithstanding the well-placed beliefs of homeowners across the country, that expected outcome does not materialize. It often turns out to be the case, rather, that an insurer responds to a claim by diving into contractual fine print in efforts to thwart, delay or deny outright payment that a policyholder flatly knows should be lawfully and quickly forthcoming.

Proven homeowners insurance attorneys intimately know the post-event strategies that are commonly employed by insurers that seek to deflect payment demands through bad-faith behaviors.

Your suffered damage might be termed a non-covered loss. Its origins might be improperly identified (for example, substandard building materials brought about your loss, not the flood that just ravaged your community). It is a common insurance ploy to undervalue a claim.

No homeowner needs to passively and helplessly acquiesce to such tactics. If an individual or family has honored the terms of an insurance contract, the same obligation logically -- and legally -- extends to the insurance company that eagerly accepts their premiums.

An experienced insurance law attorney who exclusively represents policyholders in insurance disputes can provide guidance and diligent legal representation in any matter concerning a delayed or denied claim.

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