On August 29, 2020, Lake Charles residents were hit by Hurricane Laura. With 15-mile-per-hour sustained winds peaking in Cameron, it represented the worst storm to hit Louisiana in an entire century. After the launch of clean-up operations, October saw Hurricane Delta, a Category 2 storm, hitting the same area, with Hurricane Zeta arriving later that month.
The chaos did not end there. An unlikely yet horrific ice storm destroyed even more houses in February of the following year. Unprecedented rain amounts in May brought in 19 inches of water in a single day, flooding the riverbank city.
If the weather battering the area wasn’t enough, insurance companies denying valid claims or slow-rolling out payments without reasonable justifications make bad situations like these even worse. While some cases come down to an understandable mistake, other factors are at play in denials.
Bad faith tactics
Simply put, bad faith means that the insurer did not act in good faith. Instead of fairness, there was fighting. Best interests were set aside or outright ignored.
Bad faith can take the form of:
- Refusing to acknowledge or evaluate a claim
- Delaying investigations
- Unreasonable denials
- Denying a claim without explanation
- Underpaying a claim
- Putting up obstacles regarding specific information
Victims of horrendous natural disasters should know that the initial refusal is not the final verdict. Specific steps can make a difference and include:
- A thorough review of your insurance policy
- Analysis of what is covered and excluded
- Requesting a written denial explanation, providing necessary information that includes everything from the date of the loss to the policy number
Maintaining a proactive approach is paramount. Insurance agencies are powerful companies that take the steps necessary to protect their respective bottom lines. In the end, help from an attorney could be the best option to secure amounts paid after a devastating event.