5 Myths About Insurance Claim Disputes & The Attorneys That Dispute Them – Debunked
Megan Simonsen | Sep 19, 2023
Navigating insurance claim disputes and dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, and hiring an attorney to help is one of the best moves you can make. However, many people have heard negative things about lawyers and are apprehensive about working with them. Do you resonate with this?
If so, we're here to clear the air. We know there are many myths and misconceptions about disputing insurance claims and insurance claim attorneys, and we're here to debunk the top five.
5 Myths About Attorneys and Disputing Insurance Claims
In this blog, we're breaking down five common myths about insurance claims and the attorneys who tirelessly advocate for their clients in order to get them the compensation they rightfully deserve. So, if you're wondering how this whole process works, we’re here to help!
MYTH #1: Attorneys demand money upfront.
TRUTH: This is a common myth; a reputable insurance claim dispute attorney will not ask for money upfront. Instead, they work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if they win the case. This means there are no upfront costs to the homeowner, and the attorney only gets paid a percentage of the settlement or verdict amount they secure for the homeowner.
If the attorney does not win the case, the homeowner is not responsible for paying any legal fees. It's a win-win situation for the homeowner.
MYTH #2: There won't be enough money to replace the roof after the attorney is paid.
TRUTH: Since insurance companies are legally required to pay attorney fees, legal costs, and interest penalties in addition to the claim proceeds, this is not true.
Under most insurance policies, the insurance company is required to cover the reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred by the homeowner when they pursue a claim. This means that if a homeowner hires an attorney to dispute a claim denial or inadequate settlement offer, the insurance company must pay for the attorney's services.
On top of that, if the insurance company unreasonably delays or denies payment of the claim, the homeowner may be entitled to recover 18% interest penalties on top of the claim amount.
MYTH #3: The insurance policy could be canceled, or rates could be raised if an attorney is hired or initiates a lawsuit.
TRUTH: Absolutely not – state law prohibits insurance companies from retaliating against policyholders who file a claim, hire an attorney, or take legal action against them. This means that insurance companies legally cannot cancel a policy or raise rates solely because a homeowner hires an attorney or sues the insurance company.
MYTH #4: Public adjusters (PAs) are better suited to handle insurance disputes than attorneys.
TRUTH: Public adjusters aren't always best suited to handle insurance disputes. While it's true that PAs have expertise in assessing and estimating property damage, it's important to note that they are not licensed attorneys and may not be able to handle legal issues related to insurance claims.
Attorneys are better equipped to handle legal issues and situations where there are disputes over coverage limits or exclusions. They can review the insurance policy and determine if the insurance company is acting in good faith and complying with state insurance laws.
MYTH #5: Attorneys get paid with money they did not earn or that the homeowner got on their own.
TRUTH: This is not true. Attorneys are only paid with the “net new” money, which is over and above what the homeowner received on their own. In other words, the attorney is only paid on the money they were able to get for the homeowner that the homeowner would not have been able to get on their own.
For example, a homeowner filed a claim with their insurance company and was awarded $50,000 for damages to their property. The homeowner then hires an attorney to dispute the insurance company's decision, and the attorney can negotiate a settlement of $70,000. In this case, the attorney would only be paid on the $20,000 difference between the original $50,000 settlement and the $70,000 settlement that the attorney was able to obtain.
The Lane Law Firm Is Here To Help Settle Denied Insurance Claims
As outlined above, hiring an experienced insurance claim dispute attorney can provide significant advantages to homeowners in getting the compensation they deserve and protecting their rights. Attorneys are only paid on the net new money they are able to get for the homeowner, and their fees and costs are required to be paid by the insurance company, not the homeowner. So, there's no reason to hesitate to seek out legal help if you want to dispute an insurance claim.
The Lane Law Firm has a team of experienced attorneys specializing in tackling insurance claim disputes. If you're looking for a dedicated advocate who will fight tirelessly on your behalf, click this link to set up a free consultation.