Insurance Companies are just that, companies.
They are a business. And like any business, they care about the bottom line. Insurance companies make money by paying out less than they take in, and by investing your money and getting a return on that investment. That means the number one thing an insurance company wants to do is keep your money.
As you can imagine, insurance companies are happy to insure your things (house, contents, jewelry, etc.) simply based on your word. You have a $50,000 engagement ring? Sure, we’ll take your premiums to cover that item. You have a $15,000 guitar? No problem, we can take your premiums to insure that too.
But then, the unthinkable happens. You are robbed, or you have a fire, or any number of things happen that you now have to put a claim in for that ring or that guitar. Then you get a response like this:
“Thank you for putting in a claim. We are here for you and understand how difficult this time may be. Now that you have lost everything in a fire, can you please provide your receipts for that ring? Oh, you can’t? You lost the receipt in the fire? I’m sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, without proof, we can’t pay for your ring.”
This hypocrisy within the insurance industry is strong. They take your money with no proof of value, and are perfectly happy to go with nothing but your word. However, once you suffer a loss and ask for the money they owe you to cover that loss, suddenly your word is useless, and they refuse to pay. At Wheeler, DiUlio, & Barnabei, we understand how wrong that is, and we fight to make sure that the carriers don’t get away with this.
Recently, Allstate insurance was found by a jury in the Eastern District of PA to be liable for the policy limits of the their contents policy when the insureds home was demolished as the result of a collapse. The homeowner lost everything. Allstate admitted that they insured all of her stuff, but then denied her claim based on the fact that she didn’t provide documents showing she had those contents in her home. However, they admitted that they had accepted her premium for years under the assumption that those contents existed, at the value presented by the homeowner when opening her policy.
We stood up for the homeowner, and Allstate was found responsible for payments by the Jury.
If you have been denied or underpaid because you didn’t have physical proof of value for your property at the time of a loss, while the carrier has previously agreed to insure your property for that value, please give us a call. We can help.