Hurricane Sandy building insurance disputes have led to delays in repairs to commercial structures, resulting in financial hardship for many commercial property owners in New Jersey. Insured policyholders who have not received payment of covered claims arising from Hurricane Sandy should consider seeking assistance in resolving insurance disputes from a New Jersey Hurricane Sandy building damage lawyer at Doyle LLP.
Insurance Disputes Cost Policyholders
Commercial property owners with both property insurance policies and business interruption policies have a contractual right to have insurance claims paid in full, in a timely manner and without undue delay. Despite the fact New Jersey was one of the states hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy, many insurers have not yet paid out covered claims to building owners.
New Jersey Hurricane Sandy building insurance disputes may arise when:
- An insurer refuses to pay covered claims
- An insurer undervalues the cost of repairs
- An insurer insists on repairs rather than replacement of a badly damaged structure or an insurer undervalues the cost of replacement
- An insurer and policyholder are not able to agree on the covered losses caused by business interruption
An insurance dispute, including a delay in payment or denial of a legitimate claim, can result in further damage to the structural integrity of commercial buildings and can cause significant hardship for building owners. Insurance companies, by law, must be held responsible if their actions in handling claims cause damage to policyholders.
Bad Faith Actions Can Be Used to Hold Insurers Accountable
Insurance policies are contractual agreements and traditionally plaintiffs in breach-of-contract cases are entitled to receive only damages equal to the amount of what the insurance company should have paid for a claim that is inappropriately handled.
The law, however, provides added protections to insured policyholders in recognition of the fact that an insurance dispute and unfair claim delay or denial can cause significant financial loss in excess of the covered property damage. Insured property owners who experience an unfair delay, or whose insurers undervalue or reuse to process claims can thus receive compensation for:
- The actual value of covered property damage and business interruption claims that the insurer should have paid
- Damages resulting from delay tactics or unfair claim denials including compensation for attorneys’ fees, emotional distress and economic losses
- Punitive damages in cases where the insurer’s actions indicate malice, oppression or fraud
These additional damages can be obtained through a bad faith claim made with the help of a New Jersey Hurricane Sandy building damage lawyer. Bad faith claims arise from the fact that every contract of insurance has an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing imposed by law. This requires an insurer to be reasonable in handling claims and creates a cause of action in situations where an insurer behaves inappropriately in claims processing or payouts.
Getting Legal Help
At Doyle LLP, our experienced litigators have a long track record of helping clients resolve disputes with insurers so that claims are paid fully and fairly. To schedule a free evaluation and learn how we can help you, call today at (888) 571-1001 or complete our contact form.