Tennessee Insurance Dispute Lawyers Handling Property Damage Claims
Protecting policyholders who have sustained losses throughout the Southeast and Midwest
Your home has just gone up in flames. Your commercial building has suffered hail damage causing leaks and costing millions to replace. A tornado rips the roof off of your apartment of condominium building. When these events happen, you don’t want an insurance adjuster that isn’t going to return your calls and will try to underpay your claim. You want action so that you can start making repairs or rebuilding your properties.
At McWherter Scott & Bobbitt, our Tennessee-based insurance lawyers handle a full range of property damage claims no matter the cause of the damage. We understand which experts need to inspect your home, office, or building in order to properly value the loss. We work with qualified engineers, contractors, consultants, estimators, etc. who can assist in identifying all of the damage and the best way to make the necessary repairs. Our attorneys work to ensure that insurance companies honor their policies and pay you what they owe you – on time – so you can start fresh.
What does property damage insurance coverage protect?
Residential and commercial property damage policies typically protect your home and buildings against fire, theft, vandalism, hail, wind and most catastrophic natural disasters. Secondary policies are normally needed to protect against flood damage and some other events.
Subject to exclusions and limitations, property insurance policies should provide coverage for:
- Structural damage. This is damage to the frame of the home/building: to the roof, windows, and doors, to the foundation, and electricity, plumbing, heating, and air conditioning. Structural damage includes the sidings and any part of the property that helps the building stand and serve the living and business needs of the occupants. In general, it covers the entirety
- Personal property and damage. This is damage to your furniture, clothing, some appliances, technology, and other possessions. In the case of commercial and business-owners insurance coverage, the insurance should also cover inventory, equipment, tools, etc.
- Additional Living expenses. Most residential insurance policies provide coverage if you need to temporarily move to another location while the construction work is done.
When property damage occurs and a claim is made, the insurance carrier should send an adjuster out to determine the scope of your damage. When the insurer fails to properly value the loss, our experienced insurance lawyers can assist with connecting policyholders with the right professionals to assist with righting the ship.
Depending on the case, we often help our clients determine:
- Whether repairs are possible or whether a complete rebuild is necessary
- The cost for the repairs or rebuild
- The value of the items lost
- The timeline for all the work that needs to be done
We help with a range of other issues depending on the type of property you have and the extent of the damage.
What are the types of property damage claims?
Our Tennessee-based lawyers handle the following types of property damage insurance disputes:
- Commercial property claims. In commercial claims, we routinely assist our clients with all types of property damage. From hailstorms to total fire destruction and all things in between, our goal is always the same – to quickly obtain all amounts to which the insured is entitled.
- Restaurant claims. We help properly present your claim to the insurance company so kitchens are rebuilt, dining areas look like new, and so that customers don’t leave for the Italian bistro or diner down the street.
- Manufacturing facility claims. Property damage loss includes related issues such as structural damage, equipment and machine damage or replacement, business interruption, and environmental and other regulatory concerns.
- Churches and non-profits. Organizations that help the community need to get back in operation quickly so the residents of Tennessee can get the healthcare they need, they can pray, and so they can take advantage of all the services these non-profits and charities offer.
- Condominium claims. These difficult claims are often large, and the stakes are high. We’ve handled condo claims involving hundreds of units scattered across dozens of buildings. Massive damages and construction costs require strategic claim presentation and negotiation to accomplish an appropriate result.
- Hotel claims. Motels and hotels lose business when they can’t provide rooms to customers. They need to know exactly when they can reopen and what repairs or rebuilding is required. We’ve handled multiple seven figure insurance claims involving hotels, and have the skill and knowledge necessary to get our clients paid accurately.
- Industrial and warehouse claims. When warehouse structures are damaged, it’s almost always the case that the contents are damaged too. Warehouse disputes about the structure involve the warehouse owners and the insurance companies. The contents belong to third party business, each of whom may have their own claim for property damage.
- Residential claims. For homeowners and apartment residents, their home is their castle. It’s more than where they sleep. It’s their community where they enjoy life, watch children grow, and spend time with neighbors. Residents need to get into their residences as soon as possible.
- Multi-family dwelling claims. These insurance dispute cases involve the needs of both owners and tenants alike.
What are the tactics insurance companies use to try to deny or limit your claim?
There are many different strategies insurance companies use to try to pay you less money than you are owed. At McWherter Scott & Bobbitt, we’ve heard most of the excuses. We’re ready to counter and defend against the arguments insurance companies and their lawyers employ. Some of the ways insurance companies work to put their profit before your rights as a policyholder are:
- Exclusions. Practically every policy excludes some types and causes of damage. These exclusions can be twisted beyond their natural meaning and sometimes in a fashion that is counter to the language of the policy itself.
- Value. Games about depreciation, co-insurance, methodologies for calculating value – we’ve seen it all. Part of our job is to help you identify the amounts you are owed, and then we put a strategy in place to do just that.
- Bad faith. Payment delays, denials, ridiculous offers, lack of communication. The list goes on and on. We seek additional damages above the actual damages or policy limits in bad faith cases.
- Causation. Relying on exclusions and limitations, insurance companies will often claim damage was caused by excluded perils instead of those that are covered. Knowledge, skill, strategy, and hard work are needed to overcome these challenges.
Some of our settlements and results
Just a few of the cases we settled or obtain verdicts for clients in property damage cases are:
Confidential Manufacturing Facility v. ABC Insurance Company. We were asked to take over representation of a client in an existing TN lawsuit and in less than a year, secured a resolution of the case for an additional payment of $4,000,000.
Confidential Client v. Allstate. After Allstate completely denied a Georgia homeowners’ claim, the Firm assisted the client obtain a recovery of $225,000.
Confidential Client v. Liberty Mutual. After a Liberty Mutual underpaid a Kentucky hotel owner’s claim, the Firm assisted the client in obtaining an additional recovery of approximately $300,000.
Confidential Client v. Cincinnati Ins. Co. McWherter represented an East TN condominium owners’ association in a hail loss, and assisted the owners’ association obtain an additional payment of $287,500. In one recent case, we obtained the policy limits, over $500,000, when a West Tennessee couple lost their home due to a fire. In another illustrative case, the Firm was able to obtain an insurance payout of more than $2,000,000 after a residential house fire in a dispute about the cause of a house fire.
Make the call to our experienced property damage attorneys today
Your life can’t wait. You need to rebuild now. When a storm, hurricane, fire, or other disaster destroys what you took years or a lifetime to build, you need skilled property damage lawyers on your side. At McWherter Scott & Bobbitt, we have earned the respect of former clients, the legal community, and the insurance industry for our tough representation of property owners in insurance disputes. For help with any type of property damage for any homeowner, business, or organization – call 731-664-1340 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment with a Tennessee insurance dispute lawyer. Our attorneys are licensed in Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi and Missouri.