insurance disputes

People and businesses purchase insurance to protect assets when losses occur. Your home, your car, your business and other valuables that you insure should be covered by an insurance company when you have a valid claim. In fact, the Alabama Insurance Code requires insurers to act in good faith by reasonably paying benefits when a policyholder submits a legitimate claim. That typically means paying claims promptly and in accordance with the terms of the policy. Unfortunately, some insurance companies act in bad faith and refuse to pay legitimate claims which can cause financial harm to the insured. This is why you need an insurance claim lawyer in Huntsville you can trust to protect your rights.

morris king hodge team in front of office building

The attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., have successfully represented many business clients and individuals against unfair insurance companies. For several years, attorney David Hodge has been recognized by Alabama Super Lawyers as a top-rated insurance coverage lawyer. Best Lawyers of America has also recognized Mr. Hodge as a leading lawyer for business disputes.

If you believe your insurance claim was wrongfully denied or delayed, contact our Huntsville, Alabama insurance litigation attorneys for a free evaluation. Call us today at 256-677-4376.

Business Insurance Claims

Attorney David HodgeMorris, King & Hodge, P.C., handle insurance disputes on behalf of businesses, as well as individuals. Attorney David Hodge has litigated a wide variety of insurance disputes, business disputes, and related fraud claims in both federal and state courts. We pursue claims for the policyholder under commercial and business lines for Commercial General Liability and Commercial Property Coverage. For personal lines, we litigate claims for life insurance, accidental death policies, automobile and homeowner’s insurance.

  • Claims Against Brokers — If a business or individual policyholder’s claim is denied, one avenue for recovery may be a claim against the insurance broker. Businesses rely on insurance brokers to determine the appropriate types and amounts of insurance coverage they should carry and place that coverage with a particular carrier. If a policyholder lacks coverage for a claim made against it, the policyholder may have a claim against the broker if the broker was responsible for the lack of coverage as a result of negligence or wrongdoing.
  • Business Insurance Disputes — As a business owner, you may have purchased what you believed to be sufficient commercial property insurance coverage to protect your business only to have your insurance carrier deny or substantially underestimate the value of your claim. For any business, substantial property damage or disruption of the business can be devastating. Whether it is a major commercial lines insurer or another insurance group, Mr. Hodge understands the tactics that insurance companies use to delay and deny claims. We represent businesses in insurance disputes involving commercial property and liability policies, business interruption loss claims, lost inventory and equipment, and other commercial losses.

We help bring insurance claims on behalf of policyholders and beneficiaries against insurance companies. Mr. Hodge has experience in complex litigation and understands the needs of business clients. We are prepared to invest the time and resources necessary to handle complex commercial insurance disputes from beginning to end.

Individual Insurance Claims

Unfortunately, insurance companies often refuse to pay full claims, even to their own customers. You have a right to expect reasonable and prompt handling of your claim. An insurance company may try to offer you an inadequate settlement that will not cover your expenses. An experienced Alabama insurance litigation lawyer can represent and advise you on how to enforce insurance contracts.

A dispute about the terms and scope of insurance coverage may lead to litigation if the issue cannot be resolved without filing a lawsuit. Insurance litigation typically involves the interpretation of the language of an insurance policy.

A policyholder may bring a lawsuit against their own insurance provider for recovery if the policyholder believes the insurance company owes them money and the insurance company has denied a claim. Examples of lawsuits involving insurance claims for individuals include uninsured motorist claims, life insurance claims, fire loss claims, and homeowners’ insurance claims.

Types of Insurance Claims

1. Breach of Contract

An insurance policy is a contract between the policyholder and the company. The policyholder pays premiums and the insurance company assumes the risk of protecting the insured against the risk of loss if an event covered by the policy, such as a car accident or fire, occurs.  On a breach of contract claim, the policyholder may recover the benefits they are entitled to under the insurance policy.

2. Insurance Bad Faith

Insurance bad faith occurs when insurance companies unreasonably delay, deny or fail to investigate a valid claim. Insurance bad faith can involve any type of policy. The terms of individual insurance policies vary widely, but whatever the terms are, insurers are obligated to fulfill them. If you have been a victim of bad faith, you may be entitled to recover money in addition to the withheld policy benefits.  For a bad faith claim in Alabama, you can receive mental anguish damages caused by the insurer’s bad faith and punitive damages.  The purpose of punitive damages is to deter wrongful conduct and to punish those who may profit from such conduct.

Insurance companies cannot intentionally fail to investigate a claim, and they are prohibited from taking unreasonable delays in processing claims. They are not permitted to deny claims without justification to try to force a settlement for an unreasonably small sum of money. An insurance company may turn down a claim for a valid reason. But if an insurance company knowingly denies a claim without a legitimate reason, the insurer may be engaging in bad faith insurance practices. The victims of bad faith insurance usually have no recourse other than to take legal action against the insurance company. Insurance bad faith law is complex. It is important to have a knowledgeable insurance dispute attorney review the terms of your insurance policy and offer you guidance.

The following examples may be helpful in understanding what constitutes insurance litigation for individuals:

A storm damages a house, and the insurance company offers inadequate compensation or refuses to pay. A storm damages a house, and the insurance company offers inadequate compensation or refuses to pay.
A house is burglarized and valuables are stolen. A house is burglarized and valuables are stolen. The insurance company denies the claim.
A house is destroyed by fire. A house is destroyed by fire, but the insurance company denies the homeowner’s insurance claim, arguing without basis that the homeowner committed arson.
A person sustains an injury and makes a health insurance claim and the policy is subsequently cancelled. A person sustains an injury and makes a health insurance claim and the policy is subsequently cancelled.

How Do You Know if You Have a Case?

You paid your premiums on time, but when you filed a claim, the insurance company refused to pay. Insurance issues are often highly complex and technical. As a policyholder, you know you have been mistreated, but you may be uncertain what recourse you have or whether you have grounds for insurance litigation. You cannot trust the insurance company to deal fairly with you in the situation.

A knowledgeable insurance coverage dispute attorney can review the terms of your insurance policy and offer you an informed opinion about whether you have a case.

How Can the Insurance Dispute Attorneys Help?

attorney at desk on phone

Our attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., offer a free case review of your insurance dispute and will advise you of your legal options. We are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies. We try to resolve insurance disputes without going to court, but we are prepared to go to court if necessary. If you find yourself in a dispute with an insurance company, you need a knowledgeable lawyer who you can turn to for trusted guidance.

You would probably rather avoid a lawsuit, but you were promised benefits that have not been provided after you made a claim. Our insurance claim lawyers serve clients in North Alabama. To schedule a free case review, fill out our online form or call 256-274-8130.