DON’T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT
THIS CASE SHOWS THE TRUE COLORS OF INSURANCE COMPANIES
We get some pretty interesting claims and cases across our desks at the Whisler Law Firm.
Unfortunately, when I say interesting, I don’t often mean it in a positive way. That’s because when it comes to dealing with insurance companies, as many of our cases do, they make the process interesting by trying to weasel their way out of adequate payouts or coverage by any means necessary — even lying.
About a year ago, we took a case revolving around severe hurricane damage to our client’s home. The client had hurricane insurance and was initially told that the repairs to their roof were covered under their policy in this scenario. So they put in the money to entirely replace their roof, as was deemed necessary. Then, our client was suddenly informed that the insurance company would no longer be covering the cost of the damage under the guise that the roof was old and should have been replaced prior to the hurricane.
This is when Whisler Law Firm came in. Our first move was to ask when the insurance company had last done an inspection of our client’s roof, and they replied that it was roughly six months prior. We quickly pointed out that at no time during that inspection or the six months after did the insurance company make any claim that the roof was old. They simply continued to collect their premiums and only raised the concern when it came time for them to provide coverage. But they still refused to back down and compensate our client. So we took them to court, and that’s when things got really interesting.
We persuaded an employee of the insurance company, under oath, to admit that even though he had initially been advised to agree there was obvious hurricane damage they would cover, once the company learned the entire roof would need to be replaced, his advisors ordered him to remove their original recommendation from their records and deny it had been made. Although lying is something we suspect by insurance companies frequently, rarely do they openly admit to doing it. We were fortunate that this employee was willing to speak out against his supervisors. Without that confession, we may not have won our case, and that’s because insurance companies are experts at hiding information.
Insurance companies hide behind a rule of privilege that came about years ago. A big case resulted in the conclusion that files and records created in reaction to a claim are “privileged information,” but insurance companies have taken that to mean they aren’t required to provide any documentation related to a claim. So when records are changed and information is withheld, without a lawyer to help you get the case in front of a judge and have those records subpoenaed, the insurance companies often get away with hiding the truth. They cower behind a veil of secrecy because they know the information they possess can make your case and break theirs.
This double standard of expecting the client’s information but refusing to share their own is unjust and unfair. That’s why we fight tooth and nail to get everything in front of a judge. Insurance companies will never volunteer information, which is why it’s so important for you to keep a record of all your interactions and communication with them. Then, come to us to help you legally get them to do the same.
Insurance companies never want to pay you what they owe you and will stop at nothing to keep from doing so. This case is proof of that. But if your insurance policy is clear and your claim is just, we can often find a way to help. We offer free consultations on the adequacy of your insurance policies and are always eager to hear more about your case. Just give our office a call.
– Josh Whisler