James T. Nyeste Attorney at Law CoverageLaw.com
Having a claim denied does not mean that the insurance company is cleared of its responsibility to you. Rather, it can signal the beginning of a process of appeals that can lead to a settlement offer from your insurer. Careful preparation and a willingness to admit that you may need professional assistance can mean the difference between further denials or a successful appeal.
When appealing your insurer's decision, give yourself the advantage by preparing for the worst-case scenario. This advice is also important before filing a claim, but can still be one of the most effective ways to win your appeal. Whether the claim ends up in a lengthy appeal process or is accepted after a well-written letter of appeal, you'll never regret spending time making your case stronger.
Make sure that you keep all receipts or other documentation related to your claim. If your insurer has denied coverage for a medical procedure, it can be beneficial to have copies of the pertinent parts of your medical file on hand. If you've received a startlingly low settlement offer after an accident, start digging for evidence that your vehicle is worth more than has been offered. Used car publications can be a wonderful resource in this situation, as can photos of the damage to the vehicle or a quote for repairs from a licensed mechanic.
You may be surprised by the number of people you know who have had similar experiences. While you can't expect your claim to go exactly like a friend's claim situation, there's a chance that they may have come up against similar stumbling blocks in their claims. When getting in touch with your network, remember that friends who work in industries related to your claim may have dealt with insurance companies for similar issues.
If you've been denied coverage for an important surgery, don't take the insurance company's word that this surgery isn't covered. If your brother-in-law happens to be a doctor, or your college roommate spent a few years working as a receptionist at a clinic, you can ask them if they've seen similar claims get accepted. They may be able to recommend a different strategy to take with your insurer, or they may have knowledge of tactics that others have successfully used.
Never underestimate the effect that hiring a Chicago insurance attorney can have when making an appeal. If you haven't contacted a professional, your insurer may believe that you aren't going to try very hard to make them pay out the money that you're entitled to. When you have an experienced lawyer on your side, the insurance company will be forced to reassess your willingness to fight.
When you've found an attorney with a good track record defending claims like yours, you may discover that your insurer is suddenly more willing to negotiate a settlement. The benefits of having an experienced insurance attorney in Chicago are twofold: first, you'll be demonstrating that you're not giving up; second, your attorney can be an invaluable guide when navigating the appeals process.
Remember, you don't need a huge firm to successfully appeal a denied claim. A smaller, industry specialized firm dedicated to defending insurance claims may have the expertise you need to get the settlement you're entitled to, as opposed to a larger firm that is responsible for many types of legal appeals.