It is reassuring for many Australians to know that they have insurance to cover them in case of illness, accident, loss, or any other misfortune. Yet, when it comes time to make a claim, it can be shocking to discover that your insurer rejects or disputes your claim, or only pays your claim partially when you consider it should be paid in full.
In theory, insurance companies should be open and honest and do their best to honour genuine claims, especially when their customers fall on hard times. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Natural disasters like bushfires and flooding as well as unprecedented events like the recent global pandemic created situations where large numbers of insureds were seeking compensation. This has caused premiums to increase, as insurers strive to recoup costs. Unfortunately, however, as a result, this can mean that fair claims may be denied when they should not be.
Why Are Insurance Claims Denied?
At Maguire & McInerney, we find that there are several reasons for claims to be denied or compensation to be reduced. One reason can be difficulties in the preparation of the claim, which can reduce or impact upon the likelihood of approval. For instance, vital information can be left out of a claim form.
Sometimes important information is accidentally omitted, where, for example, the claimant simply does not have the necessary experience to properly submit all relevant details of the claim. Unfortunately, investigators or assessors will have no hesitation in rejecting claims in such circumstances. Claims can also be partially or fully denied because claimants are underinsured, or where claimants have not understood the fine print associated with their policy. Sometimes policies can be ambiguous, which leads to disputes.
In other instances, insurance claims can be delayed or rejected on questionable grounds. This can be due to errors made either by the claimant or the insurer or due to a lack of assistance from the insurer. In our experience, the level of expertise shown by assessors and by general insurance staff can often be below par. Assessors and other insurance staff often fail to provide appropriate assistance to claimants.
Why Having An Experienced Insurance Lawyer is So Important
Insurance law is an incredibly complex and ever-evolving area of the law, which brings new challenges when it comes to representing clients who wish to fight an insurer. In such scenarios, you need a competent insurance lawyer who has a considerable understanding of the relevant insurance legislation, coupled with extensive experience in representing clients fighting insurers. And at Maguire and McInerney Lawyers we always seek to obtain a resolution of insurance claims as quickly as possible.
Looking For Experienced Insurance Lawyers in Wollongong?
Maguire & McInerney have extensive experience dealing with disputed claims, denied claims, or cases where the insurer suggests a claim is fraudulent. We have represented clients in significant life insurance matters and disability insurance claims, as well as in general insurance matters. In all of those circumstances, it is crucially important to obtain the services of experienced, skilful lawyers in protecting your interests.
We regularly advise on insurance disputes in the following areas:-
- Life insurance
- Accident policies
- Disability insurance
- Motor vehicle insurance
- Home insurance
- Commercial insurance
- Business insurance
- Building insurance
- Construction insurance
- Warranty insurance issues
- Travel insurance claims
- Fire and burglary claims
Mark McDonald led the fight against the insurance industry concerning refusal to pay insurance claims when the Illawarra was inundated by massive storms in 1998. We took on the biggest insurers in the country and eventually obtained resolution and payment for virtually all storm-affected homeowners throughout the Illawarra.
If you have an insurance claim that has been denied or you feel like you are being treated unjustly by your insurer when seeking a claim, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Our insurance lawyers will help you understand your policy and review and assess the merits of the claim. If we feel you could strengthen your case, we will advise you as to necessary evidence, whether that be photos, videos, a witness, or an industry expert.
If you need advice on an insurance law issue, or to learn more about our services, get in touch with our top insurance solicitors, Mark McDonald, Natasha Hewlett or Brendan Pearce today. We operate in Wollongong and the wider Illawarra.