What Does a Residential Insurance Policy Cover?

Posted on October 5, 2020


Hayden Haskins | author

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ICHQ | Site Author

For homeowners, residential property claims usually follow devastating events, such as severe flood, wind, or fire damage. But for the insurance company, such claims are largely business as usual. Additionally, most insurance companies have in-house lawyers who are determined to find loopholes which enable adjusters to deny claims.

A dedicated New Orleans insurance dispute lawyer cures this imbalance. Most homeowners would never dream of negotiating a large business deal without legal representation. And, the mere presence of a lawyer with a solid reputation often keeps insurance companies honest. These qualities could make a big difference to your family.

Law/Ordinance Provisions

Building codes often change over time. Frequently, these amended codes require homeowners to make structural changes to their homes. Generally, the insurance company must pay for such improvements, up to a percentage of the policy limits.

Replacement Claims

Insurance companies bear the complete financial loss. They cannot use depreciation or market forces to reduce payments. If a house was insured for $200,000 and the house was a total loss, the insurance company must normally pay $200,000. Things like market gluts and property age are irrelevant.

Partial loss payments follow this same rule. To determine the proper amount of loss, many attorneys partner with property inspectors and other professionals. These individuals often reach different conclusions from insurance adjusters. 

On a related note, insurance companies must account for uneven repairs. If part of the basement floods, the insurance company cannot replace part of the carpet and walk away. Normally, the company must either replace all the carpet or compensate the homeowner for the house’s diminished market value.

Additional Living Expenses

Both law/ordinance and replacement claims often require families to move temporarily. In addition to direct housing costs, the insurance company must also pay indirect costs, such as transportation and moving expenses. 

The temporary home must be a reasonable replacement. A family of four cannot reasonably live in a single hotel room for a month. Additionally, to determine moving and other expenses, insurance companies often rely on outdated, generic cost tables as opposed to the actual expense incurred.

Your residential property claim is very important to you and almost meaningless to the insurance company. For a confidential consultation with an experienced property casualty insurance lawyer in New Orleans, contact Insurance Claim HQ. We routinely handle matters in Orleans Parish and nearby jurisdictions.