Keep or Obtain a Copy of Your Insurance Policy
Your house is broken into and property is stolen. Or, a fire breaks out and damages your home and its contents. Or, you wake up to find the car you left in the street the night before totaled by a hit and run driver. You think, “boy I am glad I have insurance”, but you know nothing about your coverage. And, you’ve lost your policy, or it was destroyed with everything else. Or, you have your policy, but you have no clue what it means. … As Thomas Paine wrote “these are the times that try men’s souls”.
They are also the times when you need to consult an attorney. Trying to represent yourself by making an insurance claim without the advice of a lawyer, and without your insurance policy, or a good understanding of the meaning of your policy if you have it, is like trying to play poker where the other players know all your cards and you know nothing of theirs.
The first thing an attorney will do in trying to help you with an insurance claim is seek a copy of your insurance policy. It will set forth your rights and responsibilities in making a claim. It will set out what property is covered, as well as the types of losses that are excluded. So if you have your policy you should bring it to your first meeting with your attorney. If your copy of the policy was destroyed, it can never hurt to ask the insurance company for a copy when you first report a loss. In most states your request for a copy must be honored and a copy promptly given to you.