New Jersey apartment owners involved in disputes with insurance companies may experience delays in repairing or rebuilding property damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Delays in insurance claim payouts may also result in a lengthy interruption in business and may affect the income of commercial property owners.
Insurance companies must be held accountable when an insurer fails to pay covered claims, thus damaging the interests of the property owner. A New Jersey Hurricane Sandy apartment building damage attorney at Doyle LLP can assist apartment owners in recovering full payment for covered storm damage claims and can help clients determine if they have a right to additional damages resulting from inappropriate actions of insurers.
Insurance Companies Responsible for Losses
Insurance contracts outline the relationship between the insurer and apartment owners, dictating how property damage and business interruption claims must be processed and paid after a storm occurs. The express terms of the insurance contract govern the relationship between parties, but there are also implied contractual terms imposed by law on insurance companies that significantly expand the rights of covered apartment owners.
The law recognizes that an apartment owner pays premiums in reliance on the insurer keeping its promise to pay if a hurricane causes damage that necessitates rebuilding or repairing structural damage to commercial spaces. The damages to an apartment building can far exceed policy limits and can be significantly more expensive than the initial cost of fixing structural damage caused by the hurricane when an insurer:
- Delays in paying claims
- Unfairly undervalues claims, or
- Fails to pay out claims
A New Jersey building that sustained exterior or roof damage during Hurricane Sandy, for example, may decline in value, may be uninhabitable for residents causing an interruption in income, and may sustain further damage if repairs are delayed because of an insurance dispute.
To protect the rights of policyholders, insured property owners may bring bad faith claims against insurance companies failing to provide full promised coverage for storm damage. A New Jersey Hurricane Sandy apartment building damage lawyer should be consulted to assist apartment owners in making a bad faith claim when an insurer has engaged in unreasonable claims-handling behavior.
Insurance Bad Faith Claims for Apartment Owners
Insurance bad faith claims arise from an implied obligation of good faith and fair dealing inherent in every insurance contract. If an apartment sustains covered damage and an insurer delays unreasonably; refuses to provide for repairs that will meet code requirements and comply with safety rules; or denies legitimate claims, the insurer is said to be in breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
An experienced litigator can file a bad faith claim against an insurance company and, upon proving the insurer acted unreasonably, the insurer can become responsible for damages in excess of policy limits. The insurer may be obligated to pay:
- The amount of the covered claim
- Damages caused by the delay or denial, including economic loss, emotional distress and attorney fees
- Punitive damages in cases of malice, fraud or oppression
An experienced litigator at Doyle LLP can go to court to advocate for clients, giving insured apartment owners a chance to recover full compensation for all financial losses.
Although Hurricane Sandy caused an estimated $65 billion in losses, apartment owners in New Jersey are still waiting for insurance claims to be approved. Property owners whose apartment buildings were damaged by Hurricane Sandy should speak with a legal advocate who can help them resolve their insurance disputes. Call a New Jersey Hurricane Sandy apartment building damage lawyer today at (888) 571-1001 or complete our contact form to arrange a free consultation.