I have often heard the question, “why should I hire an attorney or adjuster to help me with my claim?” This may refer to homeowners, vehicle, commercial, life insurance, or any other type of first party claim. A first party claim is made against your own insurer. My advice as a South Florida insurance claims attorney is that it is not wise to pursue a claim against an insurance company on your own. This applies even the when the claim seems simple. As a Florida insurance attorney I know there is nothing simple about making claims against insurers.
The reason one should not pursue a claim without assistance is because most insurance companies have adopted the Mckinsey model. Mckinsey & Company is a consulting firm for Fortune 500 companies. In the early 1990’s Mckinsey was hired by Allstate insurance company and it developed a strategy to increase profits. The strategy called for denial, delay, defending, and undervaluing claims. This strategy worked quite well as Allstate doubled its profits in 2007 to around 4.6 billion. It should be noted that this was after the terrible hurricane season of 2005. It has become apparent that many insurance companies have followed suit and incorporated the Mckinsey model. This has had a devastating effect on many industries and on almost all claimants.
Before the 1990’s, insurance companies, for the most part, had a good faith approach to resolving claims. Therefore, many policy holders believe that their insurance company is working under an old standard. They believe that since their claim is genuine there is no reason for an insurance company to behave in an untrustworthy fashion. Of course, there are still insurance companies that still work in good faith and for the benefit of their insured. However, it is not wise to make this assumption. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you hire an attorney or public adjuster to assist you with your claim.
The greatest complaint we hear against hiring an attorney is the cost. Most attorneys in these types of cases take a contingency fee. This means they take a percentage of the final recovery and usually amounts to 20% to 40%. Of course, this seems to be a tremendous amount. However, it should be noted that an attorney or public adjuster increases the value of your claim threefold.
Still, if you feel that you can work on the claim on your own, our firm will soon provide a system to do this. We will provide our clients with instructions and forms to pursue their own claims. It should be noted that this will be at your own risk. The forms will be provided for a minimal fee and we will also provide consulting services for a nominal fee as well. You can always retain us at any time during duress the process and we will take over the file.
We expect that all the forms and instruction for property damage claims and homeowner’s claims will be available in both English and Spanish by the middle of December. Fort Lauderdale homeowner’s insurance attorneys are available 24/7 to assist you and can be reached at 305.764.9907 or 1.888.413.8353