Kentucky Homeowners' Claims Denied and Unpaid
As the spring approaches and heavy storms roll through, your home may suffer damage. If that happens, and you need to file a claim with your insurance company, the odds are that everything will play out the way it should. That is, an adjuster will inspect the damage, assign a value to your claim, and you will receive a check to make the necessary repairs. But what if your insurance company denies the claim? What if the insurance company offers you far less than what it will cost to repair the damage? What if the insurance company determines that only part of the damage is covered? If these things happen, you may need representation. Insurance policies are complicated contracts, full of confusing language for what is covered and what is excluded, or, in other words, what the insurance company is obligated to pay for and what it is not.
Most people think their insurance company, or another person’s insurance company, will step up to the plate and do the right things if they suffer a loss. After all, they paid their premiums on time, they have an insurance policy, so why wouldn’t the insurance company pay for that roof or water damage? Simply put, insurance companies do not turn a profit by paying out claims. Insurance companies make a profit by collecting premiums and not paying out claims.
What Are Your Legal Rights For Your Kentucky Homeowners' Claim?
In Kentucky, policyholders are owed certain statutory duties by insurance companies under the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act and the Kentucky Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act. These Acts require your insurance company to negotiate any claims you may have in good faith. This means that the insurance company must conduct reasonable and timely investigations into claims, promptly pay claims where it is reasonably clear that there is an obligation to pay the claim, and provide a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim. Insurance companies are prohibited from misrepresenting pertinent facts or policy language to deny a claim, and from forcing an insured to initiate litigation to collect money owed under the policy or offering substantially less than what is owed under the policy.
Importantly, if an insurance company denies a claim that should rightly be paid, or violates certain provisions of the Kentucky Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, it can be held liable for more money than was owed under the policy in the form of bad faith punitive damages.
If you suffer a loss you believe should be covered by your insurance company, don’t let your rights to a good faith negotiation be trampled. The attorneys at Skeeters Bennett Wilson & Humphrey have the knowledge and skill necessary to tell you whether there is coverage for your claim. Contact us through our online form or call us today for a free consultation.