Property insurance is insurance that covers damage to homes, automobiles, businesses, and other real and personal property. Property insurance protects a person or business with an interest in physical property against its loss or the loss of its income-producing abilities. A form of property insurance that many people have is homeowners insurance, and especially in New York City, rental insurance.
A person who has a property damage claim often suffers great hardship, including the loss of income and the loss or use of important property. In addition, there is a sentimental value that we attach to certain property that can be irreplaceable.
When a Loss Occurs
When a home or property loss occurs, the last thing most people want to do is fight with their insurance company about the denial of their claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies commonly do deny claims, and in that case, an experienced New York property insurance attorney may be needed to vindicate your rights.
Insurance companies will often challenge whether the cause of the property damage falls within the scope of coverage or will give a low estimate of the dollar amount of damage. It is necessary in those cases to have an attorney who is familiar with the relevant legal principles in New York in order to overturn the denial.
Property insurance claims and lawsuits can also be complex. For instance, when a building or structure is involved, the use of architects, engineers, or other construction experts may be required to analyze the cause of the property damage or the amount of loss. It is essential in such cases to have a property insurance attorney who knows how to work with experts and has examined them at trial.
In addition, the legal interpretations of insurance policy language may be at issue, and it is important to have an attorney with knowledge of New York insurance law.
For instance, sometimes there will be more than one cause of property damage, with one being a covered risk and the other not covered under the policy. New York courts have typically applied the “efficient proximate cause rule,” which is that if a loss is caused by both covered and non-covered perils, there is coverage if the covered peril is the predominant cause of the loss or damage.
What You Can Do
If you suffer a property loss, you should take photographs of the damage, gather receipts and other ownership documents, and make sure you keep a written record of your communications with the insurance company. If your claim is denied, you should consider obtaining legal assistance.
It may seem wrong that you have to fight your insurance company to cover a loss you have suffered, but unfortunately, it is often the case. Whether you have an attorney with the knowledge, skill, and tenacity to go up against the insurance company can make all the difference in the success or failure of your case.
If you have suffered from the denial of a property insurance or homeowners insurance claim, you can call New Jersey and New York Insurance Attorney Eric Dinnocenzo at (212)933-1675 for a free consultation.