Law Offices of Lawrence Mann
259 Oak Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
855-592-7664 (toll free)

Natural Disasters

Natural Disasters

There are many similarities between homeowners insurance and business policies and insurance problems from firestorms, hurricanes and floods.  Insurance companies often take advantage of insureds after a disaster regarding their real and personal property losses.  Insurance carriers use reconstruction estimating software and out of area contractors to provide low ball reconstruction estimates.  Carriers frequently underpay personal property losses.  In addition, many insureds are underinsured and do not have enough insurance coverage to compensate their loss.  In fact, many California homeowner insurance companies in State mandated notices warn homeowner insureds that 60% of California homeowners are underinsured against total loss of their homes. 

Some of these insurance problems involve the potential for bad faith lawsuits (breach of the implied promise in every insurance policy of good faith and fair dealing), that provide more damages in addition to insurance policy benefits:  extra-contractual damages; consequential damages as a result of non-payment of benefits; emotional distress suffered; attorneys fees for recovery of benefits; punitive damages to punish or make an example of wrongful insurance company conduct.

Because an insured should not have to pay attorneys fees out of the insurance benefits to which the insureds are entitled, we at the Law Offices of Lawrence Mann and try to explore creative ways to obtain attorneys fees recovery for our clients and handling these cases. 

One creative way we help natural disaster victims with our attorneys fees is to not take our contingency fee until the insured receives the amount of any written offer to settle prior to our representation.

If the insured believes or learns they may be underinsured, the insured should telephone us immediately and not talk to any insurance company representatives, including the insurance agent.  California law protects insureds whose agents made promises of insurance coverage not contained in the written policy  (such as in the event of a total loss, the agent promises the insured will have sufficient insurance coverage to entirely rebuild as is).  However, absent such a promise, it is more difficult for the insured to recover if underinsured.  The agent’s awareness of property improvements but negligently not increasing coverage as a result, can make for more coverage. 

If you have questions, please telephone attorney Lawrence Mann at 415-552-7707.

If you have a natural disaster insurance claim, you should consult with an insurance attorney early in the claim