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Bellevue Washington Insurance Law Blog

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.

Does homeowner's insurance cover earthquakes?

Though the most famous may be located in California, fault lines run throughout the Pacific Northwest. This means that earthquakes could strike at any time. However, if you own property in Washington, you may not feel overly concerned about the possibility, trusting in your homeowner's insurance to protect your investment.

Nevertheless, you may be less protected than you think. According to KOMO News, most standard insurance policies do not cover damage due to earthquakes. Nor do they typically cover damage from a number of catastrophes known to strike in the Northwest, including sinkholes, landslides or floods. 

Are you eligible for unemployment insurance?

Are you a resident of Bellevue who has suddenly found yourself in a situation where you lack the income that you rely on to make a living? If so, you may be wondering what your financial options are. In this scenario, it's important to understand whether or not you are eligible for unemployment compensation, otherwise known as unemployment insurance (UI).

FindLaw takes a look at the eligibility requirements for unemployment insurance, which must be met in order for you to gain said compensation. There are some general requirements that apply to almost all states. Other requirements are state-specific.

What to do after buying a new home insurance policy

There are many reasons why a homeowner in Washington state may wish to obtain a new insurance policy on his or her property. Perhaps there is a better price available. Perhaps the current insurer engages in practices or espouses politics that the homeowner finds morally objectionable. Insurance is, of course, a necessity for any homeowner who pays a mortgage. However, while the mortgage lender can require a  customer to carry insurance, it is up to the customer to decide from which insurer to buy. This means the homeowner is at liberty to obtain a new insurance policy on his or her property as desired. 

However, there are two very important steps to take after purchasing a new policy. Failure to take these steps could end up costing the homeowner greatly. 

Are you eligible for unemployment insurance if you quit?

As a worker in Washington, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance if you are laid off or unfairly fired. But what happens if you are the one who decides to quit? Are there any circumstances in which you would still be eligible for unemployment?

As FindLaw states, there actually are some situations in which an employee who quits their job is still eligible for unemployment. However, you are only eligible if you quit your job for valid reasons that were somehow caused by an employer. You must also be able to prove that you would have been injured or harmed if you stayed on the job. Typically speaking, the court will judge based on whether or not a reasonable person in your situation would have remained employed.

Avoiding underpayment for your homeowner’s insurance claim

When something goes wrong in your Washington home, you may have faith that your homeowner’s insurance company will cover the damage so that you can fix things and get back to life as you know it. At the Lepley Law Firm, we understand that insurance companies are for-profit entities, and that, at the end of the day, their goal is typically to pay out as little as they possibly can for your claim.

According to SmartAsset, underpayment of homeowner’s insurance claims is a common occurrence in the industry, but there are some steps you can take in an effort to maximize how much your insurer ultimately gives you for your claim. Just what you can do to better the chances of getting the money you deserve and need to effectively repair your home?

What should you know about ERISA benefits?

As an employee in Washington with a benefits package, you may be able to rely on ERISA disability benefits if you ever become disabled and can no longer work. Today, we'll take a look at some of the basics of ERISA benefits.

FindLaw states that firsts and foremost, ERISA does not apply to private disability insurance plans. It only applies to the disability benefits that you are offered by your employer in a benefits package.