El Niño is expected to cause severe damage throughout California and the U.S. Southwest in 2016, resulting in hundreds of millions in property damage claims caused by mudslides, failed roofs and flooding. Our law firm is currently representing home and business owners who were denied insurance claims related to the El Niño weather event.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If your home or business was damaged by El Niño, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
Update: Many U.S. Homeowners Not Covered for El Niño Storm Damage
February 15, 2016 – Despite weakening, El Niño will continue to drive enhanced storms into the U.S. through spring, leaving homeowners vulnerable to damages that may not be covered by typical insurance policies. According to AccuWeather, homeowners should stock up on supplies, patch their homes to prevent leaks, and contact their insurance companies to double-check the proper coverage is in place. About 256,000 policies under the National Flood Insurance Program were in force in California, as of Nov. 30 – an 8.5% increase from Nov. 2014, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
What’s the Problem?
When a natural disaster like El Niño occurs, insurance policyholders expect to be covered for losses caused by the event. In most cases, damage and loss due to a natural disaster are covered under a property insurance policy such as homeowners insurance.
However, sometimes insurance companies deny coverage or say that certain damages are not covered by the policy. In cases where the insurer denies improperly, this leads to bad faith claims by policy holders.
Types of Denied Insurance Claims
Some of the most common types of insurance denial claims from a natural disaster like El Niño include:
- Homeowners whose roofs have collapsed and cannot afford to replace the roof, or who are forced to live in a hotel because the insurer is delaying payment.
- Condo association, apartment or building owners who have extensive property damage and whose insurance companies are denying claims.
- Condo owners whose associations refuse to pay for damage to the roof and/or exterior of the property.
- Apartment tenants whose landlord will not pay for damage to the unit.
- Building tenants whose business is disrupted by damage that the landlord wont repair or who takes an unnecessarily long time to repair.
- Developers whose projects were affected by the weather.
- Ranchers or farm owners whose crops and/or livestock have either been directly damaged or who have had their business affected due to damage to other parts of the property that the insurance policy does not cover.
What is Bad Faith Insurance?
Insurance companies have a legal obligation to act in good faith by helping their clients recover after natural disasters like El Niño, which means carefully investigating each claim and paying the proper value for damages covered by the policy. However, when an insurance company denies a seemingly legitimate claim for frivolous or unfounded reasons, it is best to contact a lawyer to hold the insurer accountable for acting in bad faith.
Examples of Bad Faith Insurance
- Improper denial of claims
- Underpayment of claims
- Bad adjusters, including aggressive, deceptive or negligent practices by the insurance company
- Improper calculation of deductibles
- Bad faith
In some cases, state laws may allow for punitive damages against an insurer as a way to prevent future “bad behavior” by the company as it relates to bad faith.
The Law is on Your Side
No matter how big an insurance company is, they are legally obligated to settle claims in good faith and in a timely fashion. If an insurer has denied, underpaid or is not settling your El Niño insurance claim, you may be entitled to compensation in the amount of the original claim and possibly even more.
Do I Have an El Niño Insurance Denial Lawsuit Lawsuit?
The Bad Faith Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in El Niño denied insurance claim lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you are a home or business owner who were denied an insurance claim from El Niño weather, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a class action suit and we can help.