One of the most prominent defenses we are seeing today from insurance carriers is the “we didn’t know we did anything wrong defense”. As stupid as it sounds on paper it is equally as stupid when you say it but, somehow someway judges are occasionally buying it. From my perspective I wonder when the world shifted in a manner that now requires the homeowners to oversee the insurance companies investigation and monitor their work and advise them when they are not doing the right thing. I guess I missed that. Homeowners do not or understand what these investigations entail. They rely on their insurer who is supposed to work in the homeowners best interest as the party that knows what it is doing. It has become very important that if your claim is denied, tell the insurance company you dont agree and why. If your claim is covered but you dont agree with the repairs proposed, tell your insurance company you dont agree and want some other repair technique performed. Next, ask for a second opinion whether the claim is denied or covered. You as the insured dont usually have the ability to pull a geotechnical engineer out of your rolodex so make the insurance company do it. Finally, always out these issues in writing. Whatever the issue is, put it on paper. Even if you speak to the adjuster on the phone about something follow it up with a fax later. Just a simple letter saying please allow this letter to confirm that we spoke today and I told you that I had concerns will go a long ways. Help your lawyer by laying the groundwork and document what the issues are that you have and that you tried to work them out before you hired counsel. You would be amazed how much stronger that makes a case to have that in the file.

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