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"We expect insurance companies to stand ...
"We expect insurance companies to stand behind us when disaster strikes, but far too often we see insurance carriers deny, delay and underpay legitimate claims," says Phillip Sanov, a Houston attorney and the head of the Lanier Law Firm Bad Faith Insurance Practice Group.
Insurance companies, increasingly focused on their bottom lines and appeasing shareholders, will try to cut corners when it comes to claims, Sanov says.
"It's not necessarily the individual (claims adjuster) who comes out and has his feet on the ground," he says.
"He has to answer to two or three levels above him and do what he's instructed to by the corporate office somewhere.
It's a trickle-down effect."
Underpaying claims happens as often as it does because many policyholders have little understanding of the nuances of their coverage.
There are also emotional considerations.
After snow crashes through a roof or gale-force winds shatter windows, many homeowners just want to deal with the emergency at hand, avoid a prolonged battle and cut their losses.
"Insurance companies know that nine out of 10 policyholders are just going to give up and say, 'It's not worth it, I don't want to fight anymore,'" Sanov says.
"A week before a storm hits (if you know it's coming), go take pictures of your walls and your roof," Sanov
"It does become more of a fight," Sanov
"You hate to talk in those terms, but policyholders are fighting with their insurance company.
As claims mount and each adjuster is given a bottom line to preserve, the problems multiply and become greater and greater all the time.
It is hard, in the position I'm in, to say anything in defense of them, given the way I've seen policyholders treated."
For those concerned that countering a claim will be costly, Sanov
says most attorneys and public adjusters work on a contingency basis.
Phillip Sanov | 360 Advocacy
The Lanier Law Firm
Houston, TX | 713.659.5200
works in all areas of civil litigation with a primary focus on the firm's commercial and personal injury litigation cases involving bad faith insurance claims, commercial disputes and car crash injuries.
team have extensive experience representing policyholder clients focused on insurance law, including insurance claim presentation, business income loss claims, coverage disputes, bad faith failure to pay issues, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and first-party insurance litigation.
was actively involved in the Hurricane Ike litigation and interviewed extensively by the Houston Chronicle
and What's Up radio about insurance disputes and claims.
also has substantial experience representing clients in personal injury, criminal defense and family law.
Before joining The Lanier Law Firm, Mr. Sanov was co-founder and president of a litigation support technology company that focused on database document management and courtroom presentations.
Mr. Sanov is a member of the State Bar of Texas, College of the State Bar of Texas, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, and Houston Bar Association.
Attorneys at The Lanier Law Firm
Phillip N. Sanov
Phillip N. Sanov
Phillip N. Sanov is an associate in the commercial litigation and personal injury litigation areas at The Lanier Law Firm.
Contact - The Lanier Law Firm
Phillip N. Sanov
Phillip N. ...
Phillip N. SanovPhillip N. Sanov is an associate in the Commercial Litigation and Personal Injury Litigation areas of The Lanier Law Firm.