Insurance Bad Faith for Storm Damage Claims
Attorneys in Tulsa, Oklahoma
When a severe storm strikes, it’s common for homeowners and car owners to lean on their insurance policies for repairs. Unfortunately, some insurance companies may act in bad faith by denying or undervaluing legitimate storm damage claims, leaving policyholders struggling to restore their property and rebuild their lives.
At the Law Offices of Jeff Martin, our legal team of heavy hitters has extensive experience in handling bad faith storm damage claims. We represent homeowners and car owners across Eastern Oklahoma who have been unfairly treated by their insurance companies. With your justice as our focus, we aim to hold your provider accountable and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Contact our law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to schedule a free consultation where we can discuss your case and find your best path forward. We work with victims of insurance bad faith throughout Muskogee, Bartlesville, and McAlester.
Filing Car and Home Insurance Claims for Storm Damage
Oklahoma sees its fair share of severe thunderstorms, hail storms, freezing rain, and intense winds. These all pose a significant damage risk to your home and vehicles. Depending on your home and car policies, if your property has been affected by a storm, you may be able to pursue a claim for water damage, hail damage, wind damage, or impact damage.
When faced with the aftermath of a storm, it's important to take the right steps to see that you receive the funds you need to restore your home and vehicles.
Start by documenting the damages thoroughly—take photographs and make a detailed inventory of the impacted areas and items.
Next, it’s crucial to review your homeowners' insurance policy beforehand to understand your coverage limits related to storm damage claims. For instance, your policy may cover hail damage to your roof. But hail damage is the most common claim type for homeowners’ insurance, so your policy may have restrictions in place regarding how much coverage you can receive.
Aim to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the claim and provide the necessary documentation.
Seeking legal guidance can significantly increase the chances of a successful claim and fair compensation for your storm damages in both with home insurance and car insurance claims. Getting in contact with an attorney early on in the process will also be beneficial should your insurance company mishandle your claim or act in bad faith.
What Is Bad Faith?
“Bad faith” refers to an insurance company’s dishonest or unfair actions when handling a policyholder's claim. When you purchase an insurance policy, the company promises to act in good faith to resolve claims that are covered by said policy. This duty of good faith is legally solidified in the transaction. So if your insurer doesn't act in good faith—either in a storm damage claim or another type of insurance claim—you may be eligible to file a bad faith claim against them.
When you're pursuing a storm damage claim, you could experience insurance bad faith in multiple ways. The following covers a few possibilities:
Unreasonable claim denials – Insurance companies may wrongfully deny valid storm damage claims for homeowners' properties or car damages without providing a legitimate reason for the denial.
Delayed claim processing – Some insurance companies may intentionally prolong the claims process and cause unnecessary delays in providing compensation and leaving policyholders in financial distress.
Undervaluing claims – Insurance companies have an obligation to fairly assess the value of your claims. Regardless, they may intentionally undervalue your losses caused by the storm and offer inadequate compensation.
Failure to investigate – Your insurance company needs to thoroughly evaluate storm damage claims to determine the extent of the losses and the coverage provided by your policy. Failure to conduct a proper investigation can be indicative of bad faith.
Proving Bad Faith
Because insurance companies owe their policyholders a duty of good faith, a successful bad faith claim needs to prove that this duty was breached. To do this, your claim must demonstrate the following:
Your benefits due under the policy were withheld.
The insurer’s reason for denying your benefits was founded on an unreasonable basis.
In all transparency, we should note that it's extremely difficult to win a bad faith case in court. If you think you might have a bad faith claim, your best move will be to speak to an experienced lawyer before you take legal action. Then, if your storm damage bad faith claim is worth pursuing, an attorney who’s experienced in these cases will know the best steps to take in raising the issue with the insurance company.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Bad Faith Case?
Three types of damages are eligible for recovery in bad faith claims and lawsuits: contract damages, extracontractual damages, and punitive damages.
Contract damages represent the losses you’ve suffered due to the insurance company’s breach of your insurance contract. These will include the amount you were owed in your denied claim, plus interest.
Extracontractual damages are also known as consequential or compensatory damages. These go beyond the direct losses traditionally covered by insurance and cover any additional harm or losses you’ve suffered as a result of your provider’s bad faith actions, such as emotional distress, mental anguish, and more.
Punitive damages may also be referred to as exemplary damages. These are awarded in cases of extreme misconduct by an insurance company—when their actions were deemed malicious, fraudulent, or grossly negligent. The amount of punitive damages you receive will depend on the severity of your provider’s wrongdoing.
To seek the maximum compensation you deserve, you need to work with an experienced bad faith attorney. Our lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeff Martin are committed advocates, aggressive litigators, and ready to go to bat for you.
Storm Damage Bad Faith Claim Attorneys in Tulsa, Oklahoma
We understand the challenges and pitfalls people face when dealing with bad faith storm damage claims. Our dedicated team of attorneys will guide you through the legal process and provide the necessary support to build a strong case, and to recover the compensation you need to repair your home and vehicles. Contact us in Tulsa, Oklahoma, today to book a free consultation and obtain skilled representation.