When you buy an insurance policy you are safe-guarding yourself against difficult times. It may be a car accident, a health issue, a fire destroying your home, or any number of calamities that most of us experience at some point in our lives. Yet, for any number of reasons, insurance companies are not always there for us when we need them.
An insurance coverage issue may arise because the insurance company doesn't believe that the claim is covered under the policy. Or the insurer may argue that not all of the "loss" is covered and wants to pay less than you think you're entitled to. Fortunately, you have options when insurance companies fail to live up to the terms of their policies by delaying or denying payment of valid claims.
The language of your insurance policy, written by your insurance company and its lawyers, can be virtually incomprehensible at times. Your insurer will be happy to explain your policy to you (or at least its version of what the policy means), but take that with a grain of salt because your insurance company protects its profits first and your interests second, even though it's supposed to be the other way around for you as a paying policyholder. We can help you level that playing field.
We can help you fight your insurance company if it denies some or all of your claim. Our firm frequently contacts insurers on policyholders' behalf before a lawsuit is filed in an effort to resolve the claims dispute without the need for legal action. But, when insurance companies refuse to be fair and instead force the issue, we're always ready to file suit against an insurance company on our client's behalf.
The most common type of claim under an insurance policy is basically a standard breach of contract claim. Your insurance policy is a contract; when you're arguing that your insurance company hasn't complied with its obligations under the contract, you're essentially claiming that the insurer has breached the insurance contract. A judge or a jury may then order the insurance company to cover some or all of the loss you've asserted under the policy.
Another insurance law claim available is insurance bad faith. In such a claim you're asserting that your insurance company willfully failed to pay a claim that it knew should have been paid. If successful, you can receive not only the coverage you should've had in the first place, but also perhaps punitive damages, attorney fees, and expenses.
Improper insurance practices can take several forms, including:
Our Des Moines insurance law firm can assist with various types of insurance claims and insurance coverage disputes, including:
Our firm knows that insurance companies make money by collecting premiums, not by paying out claims. We also know that some insurance companies participate in illegitimate practices to deny or delay payment for claims to policy holders or beneficiaries. Insurance companies sometimes fail to interpret their own policies correctly, or fail to investigate the facts of a case properly. And, worse yet, they sometimes purposely deny or undervalue claims in the hopes of minimizing payouts and protecting their bottom lines. Such behavior oftentimes ends as soon as your insurance company learns that you have a lawyer. Let us try to help you with your insurance claim or insurance coverage dispute to avoid wasting all the money you've spent on your insurance premiums.
If you're confronted with a situation involving an insurance claim or an insurance coverage dispute, please take a moment to learn about your rights by reviewing the information provided on this site. We also offer additional, more specific information about various topics at our on-site and off-site blogs that we hope you'll find helpful. If, after reviewing this information, you'd like to speak with us about your insurance law or insurance coverage dispute case, please reach out to us through the Web Contact Form by using the "Contact Us" button or by calling (515) 281-1460. We make every effort to provide a same-day response to all communications received during weekday business hours. Initial telephone calls are always free. If it looks like we can help, it'll be our pleasure to meet with you, learn more about your situation, and lend you a hand. Our law firm handles as many of our cases as possible on a contingent fee basis, meaning that there's no fee unless we make a monetary recovery for you.
Erbe Law Firm
2501 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50312
Erbe Law Firm has proudly served clients throughout Iowa since 2005 from our Des Moines offices. We look forward to hearing from you to see whether we can do the same for you.
Harley C. Erbe