Experienced Assistance In Wisconsin Fire Loss Claims

After a fire you may be dealing with a laundry list of damages that includes fire damage, smoke damage and the aching loss of personal and sentimental property.

Does My Insurer Have Any Obligation?

Yes. There are many things the insurance company has to do. There are also practices that an insurer is forbidden to do. In Wisconsin fire loss claims, there are five things to know:

  1. The claims adjuster is obligated to help you with your claim.
  2. Your insurer must investigate every claim in a timely and fair manner.
  3. If a payment is owed, your insurer must promptly pay the claim.*
  4. If your insurer denies your claim, they must give you an explanation as to why.
  5. The insurer has to disclose any and all significant facts to you.

Insurance companies must treat you fairly and reasonably. If your insurer violates one or more of these rules, your insurer may have committed bad faith.

*An insurance company must respond in a reasonable amount of time. It is unlawful for them to ignore you or delay payment.

What Is Insurance Bad Faith?

A consumers' relationship with their insurance company is called a fiduciary relationship. This means an insurer must treat your interests as a policy holder with the same consideration it gives its own interests.

Consumers are buying a guarantee when they buy insurance. They do not set the terms of the contract nor are they in a position to bargain.

Additionally it is understood that a consumer:

  • Understands that the insurer agrees to pay and will pay the amounts owed under the policy.
  • Will attempt to collect in the event of a loss such as a wrecked car, a burned out house, or a terrible injury.

The law recognizes that under a distressful circumstance it would be fundamentally unfair for an insurance company to take advantage of the situation. Therefore the law sets special obligations as to how insurance companies must treat you, the policy holder.

Three Things To Know When You Bring A Claim Under The Bad Faith Law

  1. An insurance company is required by law to live up to their end of the insurance contract.
  2. There are many ways that insurance companies can commit bad faith, including denying and delaying payment. Bad faith includes an insurer making "unreasonable interpretations of the policy language" that either limits your recovery or makes it possible for the insurer to avoid paying you.
  3. Your insurance company must treat you fairly. If the company does not, you can bring a bad faith claim.

Contact the Firm With The Experience To Help

All three of the attorneys at the Middleton firm of Atterbury, Kammer & Haag, S.C., have attained the highest rating a trial lawyer can attain in this country. Call us toll-free at 800-817-3729 or 608-821-4600 to discuss your Madison area property insurance claim. You may also fill out our online contact form and an attorney will get back to you.