California individuals and businesses rely on insurance to protect them from the unexpected. This includes being shielded if natural disasters occur. Given the number of people who have been negatively impacted by issues such as fire in recent years, it is not uncommon for insurers to try and avoid paying the full amount the insured was expecting. In many cases, this is due to lapses in coverage or fine print that the person who took out the policy was unaware of or did not understand. Having legal representation can be crucial to address a denied claim.
California winters can cause various disasters
Recent wildfires have highlighted how important it is to have insurance. People have been confronted with denied or delayed claims and insurance companies refusing to even cover certain individuals for fear of major payouts. With the winter possibility of wildfires, mudslides, floods and other problems, the state insurance commissioner has advised residents of the state to look at their insurance policies to make sure they are sufficiently protected.
Insurers have been told they are required to cover damage that policyholders experienced from wildfires in addition to mudslides that might happen from weakened hillsides that came about because of those fires. Heavy rain, according to the United States Geological Survey, could be a precursor to the flow of debris. It is common for insurance policies to have exclusions for these disasters unless they happened because of a covered wildfire. People unaware of what is in their policies might be caught flatfooted and unprotected if a disaster happens. A mudslide in Santa Barbara three years ago came about after a fire and led to fatalities and $421 million in damage. Insurers were told they were obligated to pay because of the fire and its aftermath.
Scrutinizing insurance policies and help with legal claims
Despite these somewhat questionable tactics and the negative reaction it causes, insurers still try to avoid paying if they can. People who are dealing with this behavior after a disaster has already severely damaged or outright destroyed their business or private residence must be cognizant of their options. To look at the policy and make sure it covers these eventualities or to hold an insurer to account if they try to deny payment for damages, it may be wise to consult with a firm that understands insurance law.