When something bad happens and damages your home, you can be left feeling quite upset. Things can be even worse if the damage is so bad that you have to leave your home. The only source of comfort you might have is the assurance that your homeowners’ insurance will cover the cost of repairs.
This is why it can be especially distressing if your insurance company wrongfully denies your claim or refuses to pay the full amount you are owed. In these situations, it is important that you not lose hope. You can take legal action to collect the money you need and deserve. This is what one homeowner did, and he was recently awarded $1.3 million.
The situation started with a burglary in the man’s home. The burglar evidently broke in and then tried to erase any video surveillance that may have been recorded by leaving the bathtub faucet on and flooding the home. There was no video surveillance to begin with, but the water caused more than $100,000 in damage.
A police report was filed and the man and his five kids had to move out of the house so repairs could be performed.
The man’s troubles had only just begun, unfortunately. According to reports, his insurance company started a fraud investigation, despite having no evidence of fraud, and then refused to cover the proper repairs. Instead, the company only paid for minimal work.
The homeowner filed a lawsuit, and the case went to trial where a jury awarded the man $1.3 million. The $300,000 awarded was for compensatory damages and $1 million was for punitive damages resulting from bad faith practices by the company.
This case serves as a good example of how effective it can be to hold an insurance company accountable when they engage in wrongful denials or delays. Instead of just paying what a policy covers, insurance companies may try to shortchange homeowners in an effort to protect their bottom line. As this case illustrates, that can be a costly mistake.
If you feel you are the victim of bad faith insurance practices, then investigating your legal options with an attorney can prove to be a valuable decision.