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Severe Weather Causes Not Only Property Damage But Also Insurance Coverage Disputes

By Attorney Christopher L. Strohbehn

Serious weather often causes significant amounts of property damage to unlucky homeowners throughout Wisconsin. Severe thunderstorms, blizzards, tornadoes, flooding, water and hail often cause expensive losses to homeowners and put them at odds with the same insurance carriers that those families have paid to protect them in case of these damages. This severe weather will strike regardless of where you live, and is no surprise to anyone living in Wisconsin, whether it be Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Madison, Waukesha or anywhere else within the state.

Unfortunately, the surprise often comes when families are trying to piece together their lives in the aftermath of this severe weather, when it comes time to dealing with their insurance companies.

There are many issues that arise for people when they are dealing with property damage claims with their insurance company. Too many that can be completely addressed in this commentary. That being said, some issues tend to recur within the context of insurance coverage dispute with the insurance company.   These disputes often turn on the interpretation of complex and ambiguous language.

For example, one common dispute is when homeowners and insurers come at odds over the replacement value of lost belongings or property. It is not unusual for insurers to seek to pay less than what the homeowners believe they are entitled to under the policy.  Policies may require that the claims be arbitrated before neutral parties and involved hiring appraisers for the lost property.  When homeowners' claim for loss becomes an insurance coverage dispute, it becomes an adversary proceeding where counsel may have to be consulted.  

In the event you as a homeowner find yourself in the situation where you are fighting with your insurance company over a property damage claim and you believe you are not being treated fairly, then seek experienced counsel in order to review your policy, losses, claim and guide you through your insurance coverage dispute with your insurance company.

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