Property Damage Claims
Property insurance can help pay for repairs or replacements when property sustains damage. This type of insurance may protect you in case of a loss or may pay for loss and repairs when somebody else destroys your property such as your house, office, restaurant, car, motorcycle, store, a vacation home. You may assume that when you purchase insurance coverage you are assured of having damage to your property covered. Unfortunately, insurance companies sometimes put profits ahead of their duties to their insureds and deny legitimate claims. If you are worried about the outcome of a property damage claim, you should call the seasoned Quincy insurance attorneys of Brabant & Huynh, LLP.Property Damage Claims
Insurance policies are contracts. A policy’s precise phrasing will govern whether you can recover for your losses. Often these policies are intricate, including language about exactly what damage is covered and any exclusions. Unfortunately, lawyers for the insurance company may make this language difficult for a layperson to understand, which is why it’s critical to talk to an attorney. The policy will specify the amount of any deductibles you must pay for property damage claims. Sometimes different deductibles are specified for losses arising out of different kinds of situations.
Automobile insurance can include coverage for damage to the vehicle. In Quincy, drivers are required to have at least $5000 worth of liability coverage for property damage in case of collision with another vehicle. In many cases, it's wise to obtain more coverage. Depending on your particular circumstances, you may need to purchase other insurance, too, such as home insurance, commercial general liability insurance, and perhaps separate insurance for certain types of losses such as those related to fire, storms, and floods. Additionally, while most Massachusetts home insurance policies cover damages caused by rain, hail, and wind, insurers may include a separate deductible for certain types of losses that are common for coastal properties such as wind or hurricane.
When you have a property damage claim, it can be helpful to retain an experienced attorney to make sure that your claim is handled appropriately. An insurer owes those it insures a duty of good faith and fair dealing, but it does not always satisfy its duties.Bad Faith
The insurance agreement between you and your insurer is an enforceable contract. When an insurer fails to pay your first-party claim, you may have a claim for breach of contract, along with bad faith. If your insurer acts improperly, such that you are harmed, a bad faith lawsuit may be pursued. For instance, if you were found liable for someone else’s property loss, the bad faith refusal of your insurer to settle the claim against you could expose you to an excess judgment, and you could pursue damages in a bad faith lawsuit. However, a third party can also have a direct claim against an insurer for bad faith. For example, if your neighbor’s tree fell on your store, damaging it, the neighbor’s insurance may need to investigate and make a payment to you under the policy. If the neighbor’s insurer fails to avoid making a payment for your valid claim you may have a basis to sue for bad faith.
Two laws may govern your bad faith lawsuit in connection with an insurer’s failures related to a property damage claim. One is M.G.L c.93a, which prohibits unfair or deceptive acts in conducting any trade or commerce. The other is M.G.L. c.176D(3)(A), which covers unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive practices in insurance. Your insurer may be held accountable under this second law for misrepresentation of policy provisions, unfair settlement practices, delayed communications, refusal to conduct a reasonable investigation, delaying payments, or failure to provide reasonable explanations. For instance, if your restaurant burned down, but the insurer failed to investigate your loss in good faith or intentionally misrepresented that your policy had a fire exclusion when it did not, you may have grounds to sue for bad faith.Damages for Bad Faith
If we can successfully establish bad faith, we may be able to recover monetary damages up to treble damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees.Consult a Seasoned South Shore Property Damage Claims Attorney
If you are concerned about coverage for a property damage claim, the Quincy attorneys of Brabant & Huynh may be able to provide representation. We also represent claimants in Dorchester, Mattapan, Milton, Dedham, Canton, Stoughton, Randolph, Holbrook, Braintree, Weymouth, Hingham, Brockton, Bridgewater, Avon, Hanover, Abington, and Norwell. Call us for a free consultation at (617) 934-0913 or complete our online form.