Bad Faith Insurance Case Recently Settled
Kacy: Well the folks at The Higgins firm recently settled a case where an insurance company had denied a client's fire claim when they're building had actually burned down due to bad wiring.
Attorney Jim Higgins with the Higgins Firm recently stopped by to explain what happened. Great to have you back thank you I tellus a little bit about this case this insurance dispute.
Jim Higgins: Sure this is a case like that unfortunately had several of over the years. I've got several lawyer's in my office, myself included, that use to defend insurance company so we had a lot of insurance dispute claims. In this case we had a family that had a commercial building that burned down. They submitted a claim that their insurance company saying hey we need to pay for rebuilding rebuild it and it was denied they denied it because the insurance company thought the fire was suspicious and we were able to show that they were wrong. That this was a fire that was started because of what we believe was faulty wiring. That's what our experts believed. They had kind of what we thought denied the claim on a hunch. That happens a lot. We see insurance companies deny a claim if they think a person had what they see as motive to burn their own place or destroy property. In other words if somebody's you know having a financial hardship maybe had made a mortgage payment or two and their place burns down while insurance company towns will be suspicious of those fires and they may deny that claim that that's the most common we see it so you need to act quick when that happens.
Kacy: Tell us a little bit more about how you were able to settle the case in more detail.
Jim Higgins: Yeah well you know we're limited on the details we can share but I can tell you one thing that helps in these cases is Tennessee has a bad faith insurance act and what it says basically if the claim is denied and you go through certain procedures; one is I have to send a letter to the insurance company and demand that they pay it and give them 60 days to investigate. You must tell them if they're not gonna pay it that we're gonna seek a penalty. You get up to 25% percent of what they owe you on on the insurance claim and that gives you a little bit more force when dealing with the insurance company because a lot of times on these buildings there are big numbers it can be expensive property. So that's one thing is being able to show that the insurance company really had no good faith reason to deny this claim if you can do that and you can set up a claim against them for that then it puts more pressure on them and there are more likely to pay the claim.
Kacy: ok so if someone finds himself in a situation like this when should they call your office.
Jim: You know they're welcome to call us anytime. I'll tell you, more times than not if you have a house fire at your house, or something like this or some type of property destroyed, the insurance company is just going to pay it. However, when they start dragging their feet, things don't seem right, or they may want to do what we call an examination under oath. If you're starting to get queasy about it, call us and we can tell you whether you need us or not.
Kacy: Alright, good info Jim. Thank you so much The Higgins firm is serving. Tennessee give them a call or visit their website at thehigginsfirm.com