Mansell, Engel & Cole

Here's an instructive case re persistent insurance coverage denial

Sometimes an insurance coverage dispute and resolution can make some key points without being a high-value claim. We think that the following story will readily resonate with many of our Oklahoma readers.

The tale is easily told. It concerns a homeowner, an insurance policy and an uppity air conditioner. The bottom line: Nothing but frustration and denial resulted from the consumer's persistent attempts to have the insurer act promptly and responsibly in the wake of the cooling system's inadequate performance.

The insurer initially approved the repair fix and sent a check to cover the costs.

Unfortunately, the repair didn't fix anything. The insurer sent a second approval (this time with no accompanying check). The subsequent attempt to fix the unit worked.

That's when things got frustrating for the homeowner, who spent months unsuccessfully trying to communicate with the insurer and get the money owed for the remedial fix.

Out of final desperation, the consumer contacted a TV reporter, who in turn got in touch with the insurer.

The result: a one-day turnaround on an apology and a cut check.

Getting the money was nice, said the homeowner in the aftermath, but an equitable result was long delayed and only obtained because of potentially adverse public relations.

"Do not let them push you around if you really feel like they owe you something," the homeowner counseled others facing coverage denial problems.

Occasionally it might be useful for a consumer to contact the media when irate about an insurance matter. It certainly merits noting, though, that insurers who take quick note of a reporter's call will be even more inclined to act fast and responsively to a legal communication from a proven law firm.

Attorneys who routinely act with knowledge and dispatch on behalf of claimants challenged by unfair coverage denial or an insurer's outright bad faith often obtain optimal settlements for their clients. Sometimes those include so-called punitive damages responding to particularly egregious insurance company behavior.

An experienced insurance law firm can provide further information.

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