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Denied claims, need for counsel: who do insurers really protect?

Business owners in Minnesota and throughout the country understand fully well the need to properly insure their investments against risks and liabilities. They view the costs associated with insurance outlays as fundamentally necessary for their enterprises, and the money they pay insurers is made in good-faith reliance that those entities will duly honor their contractual obligations when lawfully called upon to do so.

That reasonable assessment is sometimes undermined by a bad-faith response from an insurance company to a legitimate claim of loss. As is often noted by commentators on the insurance industry, the ultimate fealty of an insurer is not toward the policyholders who faithfully and timely make payments to it. Rather, and unsurprisingly, it is to itself.

That disconnect can result in a great deal of stress to a business owner that has suffered an insurable loss and yet confronts a denied property claim from an insurer.

Strong and proven representation from an insurance recovery attorney with deep experience in insurance bad-faith claims can protect a policyholder's rights and fully promote the legal interests of a business.

A recent story from an adjoining state readily attests to that. A property insurance company that refused to pay damages to insured restaurant owners in Iowa whose premises were destroyed in a fire was taken to trial in a breach of contract suit. The company lost and paid the policyholders in full.

Notwithstanding that equitable result, though, the story contains a cautionary element. The restaurant owners later brought a claim against the insurer for bad-faith damages, based on its initial failure to properly investigate and honor their claim.

The judge overseeing the matter found for the insurer in the second round of litigation, noting centrally that the claim should have been made in tandem with the contractual breach charge during the preceding trial.

Both those results underscore the need for knowledgeable and aggressive representation in any insurance-related dispute. A proven insurance recovery law firm can fully protect policyholders, while simultaneously being aware of and acting with dispatch in response to time constraints.

Source: Mason City Globe Gazette, "MC restaurant owners lose bad faith damages suit," Mary Pieper, Jan. 29, 2014

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