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Insurance Policy Holder Representation

Your house burns down or your business is burglarized. You paid your insurance premiums for years and years – so you’re covered, right? Too often, when you make your claim to the insurance company, the coverage isn’t what you thought. You didn’t get what your agent said he was selling you. Or maybe the coverage seems to be there within the terms of your insurance policy, but the insurance company denies your claim with little or no investigation. Or the terms are vague, but they interpret the ambiguity in their favor instead of yours. They may even wrongfully accuse you of causing the loss. All you wanted was to be put back in the place you were before, to get the coverage you paid for – that’s why you buy insurance!

I used to defend insurance companies in bad faith and breach of contract cases. I know what they do, and I know what they are supposed to do. Contact me, and we'll discuss your next move.

Here is another situation. Did you get a “Reservation of Rights” letter?

You get sued for something that allegedly occurred at your home or business. It happens, but fortunately you have insurance. You report the suit to your insurance carrier. The insurance company appoints counsel to defend you, but they send you a “reservation of rights” letter. What’s that? Simply put, your insurance company is putting you on notice that while they are defending you for now, if they can establish that you are not owed a defense or that the claimed loss isn’t covered under their interpretation of the policy, then you are on your own.

Next, your insurance company hires separate counsel to file a complaint for “declaratory judgment” – and sues you in a separate lawsuit to convince the court that you shouldn’t be covered or defended in the first lawsuit. When your insurance company hires one set of attorneys to defend you while hiring a second set of attorneys to sue you in an effort to get a court to give them permission to fire the attorneys they hired to defend you – then it is time for you to hire your own counsel to protect you – and to bring an action on your behalf against your insurance company.

I used to represent insurance companies in declaratory judgment actions against their own policy holders. I know what they do, and I know what they are supposed to do.

You should not wait to be sued by your insurance company before seeking assistance of counsel. If the insurance company is “investigating” instead of paying your claim, or if they ask you to submit to an “examination under oath” – your next call should be to experienced counsel.

If the insurance company has acted in bad faith, that is, if there was no reasonable justification for its actions, then you may be also entitled to attorney fees and punitive damages. Insurance companies that don’t honor their promises and commitments deserve to be punished. Bad faith takes many forms – outright arbitrary refusal to pay your claim can be an obvious one, but there are often more subtle things insurance companies do that you may not aware of simply because you are not familiar enough with the claims handling process to know better. That’s when you bring in experienced counsel on your behalf.

When it comes to what your rights are under your insurance policy, do not take their word for it. If you think you aren’t getting what you are entitled to from your insurance company, use the contact form to tell me about your situation, or call me at 440.996.0066.

 

 

Michael Dylan Brennan - Consumer Rights

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Michael Dylan Brennan - Consumer Rights

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The Law Office of Michael Dylan Brennan, LLC
5001 Mayfield Road, Suite 301
Cleveland, OH 44124

Phone: 216.382.1000
Fax: 216.291.0159

 
 

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