We all would like to think that our insurance company is looking out for our best interests. Unfortunately, no matter the reason you are dealing with them, the insurance company’s main goal is to pay out as little as possible on any given claim. You may need an experienced lawyer to help you when dealing with an insurance company, whether it is your insurance company or someone else’s. Alan Green spent the first 7 years of his legal career working for some of the nation’s largest insurance companies, so he knows how things work behind the scenes and can use that knowledge to help you against those same insurance companies now that he has his own practice.
Insurance claims now touch almost every aspect of our lives. Just here in Spokane alone, dozens of different insurance-related scenarios are playing out every day. Just a few of the different claims that people often deal with are:
- Claims against homeowner’s insurance policies for water damage from a burst pipe, collapse of a structure, or other sudden damage;
- Claims against automobile policies for a hit and run accident damaging your vehicle, no fault accident with an uninsured vehicle, or other circumstances causing injuries to yourself or your property;
- Claims against another’s automobile policy for personal injuries and property damage from a multiple vehicle accident;
- Dealing with health insurance policies for medical treatment arising out of accident or illness, including subrogation or reimbursement negotiations; or
- Claims against valuable personal property policies in the event of loss or theft of certain important items.
These are just a few examples of the ways that insurance companies become a part of our lives. Each one of these scenarios presents a unique set of circumstances that the insurance company may try to use to deny coverage or undervalue your claim. Regardless of the specifics, though, there are two important phases to any claim.
First, the insurance company will conduct a “coverage analysis.” This process involves the application of the specific language of the insurance policy to your unique set of circumstances. Have you ever read your entire insurance policy? Most insurance policies, whether they are auto, home, professional or some other kind of policy, contain numerous complicated and detailed clauses, riders and exceptions. Insurance companies will often times try to use this carefully crafted policy language to deny coverage for your claims. Involving an attorney to assist you in deciphering and interpreting policy language can often mean the difference between having coverage denied, and having your claim paid. Many times, an experienced attorney can artfully draft demands to the insurance company that will creatively circumvent some policy exclusions. Often the way the claim is presented is more important than the claim itself, and only a knowledgeable attorney can really draft the language you need to be successful.
If the insurance company does accept coverage for your loss, then the second phase begins: valuation of the claim. Insurance companies will often undervalue a claim, and an insured may not know how to go about getting an acceptable evaluation with the proper legal and factual support. Insurance companies are corporate beasts, that feed on form documentation and red tape. An attorney that knows how the claims evaluation process works from the inside can help you present your claim with the proper documentation so that all of the insurance company forms get the right boxes checked, and all the right things get passed up the endless chain of managers and supervisors so that they can approve paying you money. If you do not have someone on your side that knows how the system works, your claim can get bogged down in the system, and getting paid becomes a painfully long and difficult process.
Lastly, there are a number of technical legal issues that may come to bear on your claim, or your dealings with the insurance companies. In Washington, there are several statutes that deal with insurance companies, and put very specific restrictions, deadlines and other rules in place for how they must deal with consumers. It is important that you understand these statutory rules, and are able to use them to apply pressure to an insurance company when they are not acting in your best interests.
If you need to deal with an insurance company for any reason, contact The Green Law Office, PLLC today to discuss how Alan can help you get the settlement you deserve.