Whether it’s required by law or just a good idea, you buy insurance for a number of reasons, such as to protect the value of your car, your home, and your personal belongings, or to pay for healthcare from regular checkups and prescriptions to critical illness or employment disability. You also buy insurance to protect your assets in case you get sued for causing a car wreck, or if your dog bites someone or a visitor slips and falls on your property or inside your home.
The key word in every instance is “protection.” We buy insurance for security and peace of mind, knowing it will be there for us if we need it. Sadly, however, when the time does come to make a claim, that’s when we find out that insurers are not always on our side. Insurance companies gladly take our premiums month after month, year after year, but when it comes to paying out claims, their interests diverge from ours. Insurance companies want to avoid paying claims whenever possible and limit the amount they have to pay when they can’t avoid it. This isn’t always ethical, fair or right. An experienced insurance coverage attorney at Sarah Steinbaum PA can help.
We represent policyholders when they have good faith coverage disputes with their insurers, or when the insurance companies are acting in bad faith. Attorney Sarah Steinbaum originally practiced law for an insurance defense litigation firm before founding Sarah Steinbaum PA to represent the rights and interests of injury victims and consumers. Sarah knows how insurance companies operate, how they value claims, when they decide to settle and when they decide to fight. She also knows when they are acting aboveboard and when they are in bad faith.
If you own homeowner’s insurance and you need help resolving a dispute with your insurance company, please contact us. We can help you with virtually any insurance claim, including:
- Hurricane damage
- Wind damage
- Lightning strikes
- Plumbing leaks and pipe bursts
- Dropped objects
Property insurance policies are dense and full of legal, technical language that put specific duties on you to file a claim in a certain way within a certain time frame. When you experience property damage, insurance companies love to point to these complex provisions to tell you your claim isn’t covered under your policy. Besides exclusions from coverage, insurers might allege your damage pre-existed the storm or other event you say caused the damage, or that it was due to normal wear and tear. They might even go back to your initial application for insurance to find some reason to rescind the policy rather than pay benefits. This tactic is sometimes evidence of bad faith, entitling you to recover money damages for the harm you suffered on top of any insurance benefits due under the policy.
Florida’s automobile insurance laws can be confusing. Most people think that when they buy “full coverage,” they are completely protected from any outcome in an accident. However, “full coverage” in Florida only means that you have the basic coverage required by Florida law, meaning Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage and Property Damage (PD) liability coverage. PIP only covers a portion of your medical expenses and lost wages, and unless you obtain the proper medical certification, your $10,000 basic policy can get capped at only $2,500 in benefits. Your claim can even be turned down entirely if you fail to seek treatment promptly after a crash.
Automobile insurance policies often contain separate coverages, some of which are optional such as rental coverage and no-fault PIP coverage, as well as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. And even if you purchase all the right coverage, it does not always guarantee payment in the event of a car accident. If your insurance company refuses to pay for damages covered by your policy, we can help.
Too often we see insurance companies making health care decisions instead of doctors. For example, insurance providers might refuse treatment or call a procedure “experimental” or “investigational” when it clearly is not. Other times, they’ll say your treatment isn’t “medically necessary” despite the fact that your doctor thinks it is. Insurers hide their actions behind many layers of medical groups, review boards and independent medical examinations, forcing you to jump through hoop after hoop to get the coverage you need and paid for. Actions like these can put patients in potentially life-threatening situations. If you have had a health insurance company deny your claim, delay your payment of benefits, or cancel your policy after you make a valid claim, please speak to one of our attorneys today.
Disability insurance policies are very confusing, and the process is often frustrating if you do not have adequate representation. You might think you are disabled from working, but the insurer might have different ideas. Whether your coverage is “own occupation” or “any occupation” can come into play, including whether you have the coverage you thought you had.
Insurance companies have created an unequal claims handling process that denies a majority of claims. For example, claims examiners will take note of your every word in a telephone interview, and use anything you say against you in the future. It is important that you have a lawyer to help you through the claims process, so you do not disqualify yourself as soon as you have just begun.
Critical Illness Insurance
This type of insurance covers illnesses such as cancer, blindness, Alzheimer’s disease, paralysis, severe burns, etc. Critical illness insurance claims can be difficult to collect if the insurance company denies a claim, often because the policyholder is critically ill and is unable to assist in the investigation and appeal process. If you are being told that your or a loved one’s illness does not qualify for critical illness insurance, we are here to fight for your rights.
Contact Sarah Steinbaum PA Today
If your insurance claim has been denied or unreasonably delayed, or if the benefits offered are less than what you think is fair, call Sarah Steinbaum PA at 305-358-7676 for a free consultation. We’ll take the time to understand your situation, offer an opinion, and let you know how we can help. From our office in Miami, we help clients in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, as well as all across South Florida and statewide.