When your Denver home suffers significant hail, water, fire, wind damage or more, you may find solace in knowing that your homeowners insurance policy should sufficiently compensate you. However, when your insurer delays your claim, you may feel frustrated in understanding how to get access to the relief you are due.
While insurance companies should promptly process and pay all valid claims, your insurer may employ various bad faith tactics to delay, underpay or even deny your claim. If you find yourself waiting weeks or months to learn the status of your claim, what are your options?
Reasons why insurers may delay payment of claims
Colorado law requires insurers to refrain from unreasonably delaying or denying payment of a valid insurance claim to policyholders. However, insurance companies may delay claims for a wide array of reasons, including:
- To entice you to accept a lower offer. Carriers may hold out on paying the claim to get you to settle for a lower offer just to obtain some compensation.
- To collect further interest on the benefits. Insurers may attempt to hold on longer to the money you are due to earn interest on the funds.
- To buy more time to pay out claims. After a substantial storm, insurers may delay claims while they attempt to make payments to all affected homeowners.
- To stall before eventually denying the claim. Unfortunately, experiencing a significant delay in your claim can ultimately lead to its outright denial.
Taking several steps immediately after your home suffers storm damage can help to expedite the process and avoid delays. Proactively maintain an up-to-date inventory of all belongings in your home to be able to easily document damaged items after a storm.
After your home suffers damage, report your claim promptly, providing detailed descriptions of damage and photo documentation. Keep a detailed record of your interactions with the insurer, including of the dates, times and responses to prove your attempts to communicate and hold the insurer accountable.
Collecting the payment you deserve
In some situations, after your insurer acts in bad faith by delaying your claim, taking legal action may be the only route to pursue the payment you deserve. Depending on your situation, you may be able to collect compensation for your claim and even punitive damages. Work with an attorney to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.