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Bellevue Washington Insurance Law Blog

Confused by insurance law? Companies use that to their advantage

Even though you reviewed your homeowners' insurance policy before signing anything, it is entirely possible that you are still not totally sure what all is covered. This is actually not uncommon, so you should not be embarrassed about getting help understanding your coverage details from someone who is familiar with insurance law. In fact, it is especially important to do just that if your homeowners' insurance denied what you think was a valid claim.

Whether you made a claim for damaged or completely destroyed areas of your home, you should receive compensation for repairs or replacements as covered by your policy. However, insurance companies know that many policy holders do not fully understand their coverage. This is not an accident. Insurance companies frequently use dense language and legal jargon when writing policies, making it difficult for anyone to really understand what is going on. If you do not fully know your coverage, you cannot accurately dispute a denial.

Appealing denials is a time-sensitive process for cancer patients

Unexpected injuries and health problems can occur to anyone at any time, so having health insurance coverage is extremely important. But what happens when an insurance company knows better than a patient's doctor? According to an oncologist and University of Washington professor, people die. Appealing denials can help some patients get the treatment they desperately need, but navigating through insurance law can be trickier than some may realize.

This problem is especially prolific among cancer patients. Fighting cancer is expensive, especially since the cost of drugs used during treatment shot up fivefold between 2006 and 2015. Despite the higher cost, outcomes for cancer patients have not improved much at all.

Your auto insurance might not have your best interests in mind

There is not much time to think or react after a car accident. Adrenaline can make it hard for some people to fully process what is going on while others may need prompt medical attention. In all of this confusion car accident victims still need to deal with their insurance providers. This might seem like a straightforward process because Washington subscribers pay these companies to cover situations exactly like this, but auto insurance companies can make this relatively difficult. Consider some of the following when making an auto insurance claim.

One of the first steps a person should take after a car accident is to notify his or her agent about the accident. This individual should also create detailed records and notes of any conversations that take place with the agent or anyone else at the insurance company. Providing photo documentation of vehicle damage, the scene of the accident and injuries is another priority. An effort should even be made to take relevant pictures in the days following the accident if a person is unable to do this because he or she needed prompt medical attention

Insurance law: How a public insurance adjuster can help

Living through a severe storm or house fire can be extremely stressful. On top of dealing with the emotional aspect of these traumatic situations, Washington homeowners also have to worry about repairs. Fixing serious damage to a home is expensive, but homeowners insurance should provide compensation for those damages. Hiring a public insurance adjuster is a smart way to make sure that the compensation is actually fair according to insurance law.

An insurance adjuster is a professional who assesses property damage and decides how much the insurance company should pay. Insurance companies generally hire their own adjusters, although hiring an independent insurance adjuster to work on a specific case is common. However, both these professionals are linked to the insurance company, which means they might not have the policyholder's best interests in mind.

Breed restrictions in homeowners' insurance coverage

There is something very special about being a pet owner. Owners and their dogs usually form close bonds that are difficult -- if not impossible -- to break. Sadly, some dog owners in Washington will face more hurdles than others when it comes to protecting that bond. This includes dealing with things like breed restrictions in homeowners' insurance policies.

Breed restrictions can work in one of two ways. An insurance policy might cover all of the typical homeowner conditions but simply exclude the dog or any of its actions. An insurance company might also decline to provide coverage at all. The details of any breed restrictions should be included in the policy and may explicitly ban coverage for dogs based on things like breed, aggressiveness and more.

Insurance law: Can my insurance company really deny my claim?

Paying insurance premiums is not always fun or even easy, but most people in Washington understand how important it is to have coverage for unexpected life events. People trust that their insurance companies will cover their claims when needed and are surprised when they are denied. It is very possible that a company might deny a valid claim, but insurance law is complicated, and few people understand their rights in this type of situation.

An insurance company can deny a claim -- even a legitimate one -- for a number of reasons. It might assert that a person did not have adequate coverage or that he or she made an error on the application. A claim error is also a common excuse for denial and is frequently used when a person files a claim outside of a specific window of time.

Understanding why your medical claim may have been denied

If you have been injured in an accident in Washington and have unsuccessfully tried to negotiate a settlement with your insurance company, it can be disheartening and discouraging. While you are fighting to heal and focus on your recovery, you are also trying to manage the financial impact all by yourself. At Lepley Law Firm, we understand the challenges that you may be facing in your effort to have your medial claim approved. 

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury, your method of seeking compensation could vary. For example, if you were injured at work you may be able to draw upon your employer's workers' compensation program for support. If your injury was the result of a product defect, you may be able to negotiate a settlement with the manufacturers of the product. In the case of a car accident, depending on who is at fault, you may be able to secure some form of compensation from that at-fault party's insurance company. 

What do I do next if I am denied Social Security Disability?

The Social Security Disability program exists to help financially support those who have long-term or permanent disabilities that prevent them from working. That said, being approved for disability benefits can be a grueling process that often ends in a denial. What can you and other Washington residents do if you are denied your disability claim?

It is common for most people to have their initial disability claim denied by the Social Security Administration. Many people file false claims in hopes of being financially supported and not having to work. This, unfortunately, makes the process more difficult for those with genuine disabilities. The Social Security Administration explains that there are four levels of appeal that you can go through if your initial claim is denied. They include the following:

  • A reconsideration of your claim by a different person than the one who first handled your claim
  • A hearing by an administrative law judge who did not take part in your claim’s original decision or reconsideration
  • A subsequent review of your case by the Appeals Council
  • The opportunity to file a civil suit with the Federal Court

Evaluating homeowner's insurance options

If you are buying a home in Washington State, you know that your mortgage lender will require you to carry a homeowner's insurance policy. However, before you blindly just pick the one with the lowest price or accept the minimum terms required by your bank, you should understand how to truly protect yourself with this type of insurance. 

Consumer Reports indicates that in addition to protecting your structure, you should factor in the assets in your home. There are a couple of elements to a homeowner's insurance policy that may be important in doing this. One includes provisions that provide liability protection. A good way to go here may well be to purchase an umbrella policy so you are covered in the event that someone pursues recourse from you.

How quickly should you file a home insurance claim?

Bellevue homeowners like you pay for homeowners insurance with the notion that if something goes wrong, insurance will cover it for you. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. We at LePley Law Firm are here today to discuss some of the reasons as to why it is important to file quickly for insurance claims.

Insurance companies are supposed to help you out in trying times after your home has been damaged, but that doesn't always happen. Some issues that you may run into include a denial of your claim, a delay of your claim, or the insurance company paying an inadequate amount to cover the cost of repairs. In other words, they may deny that they owe you anything at all, put off paying you what you are owed, or pay you only a fraction of that amount.