What Kind of Experts are Used in Property Insurance Cases?
When we think of expert witnesses, we most often think of those that may be involved in personal injury cases, or criminal cases. But expert witnesses play a large part in homeowners’ insurance claims as well. It is important for every property damage insurance attorney and their clients, to know what kinds of experts they have at their disposal, should a lawsuit have to be filed.
Many experts in various fields are often used in property damage insurance claims, even though these experts are not insurance experts. For example, a meteorologist, or a fire damage expert, may have no actual knowledge of insurance-related issues—but they can be vital when trying to prove the cause of damage, and whether damage is caused by an excluded or included (covered) cause under the policy.
An arborist, or someone who is an expert in trees and foliage, can be used to testify as to whether a tree branch that fell through your roof did so because of a storm, or because it was rotted, and never maintained.
In cases where there is a loss of business operations, a business valuation or expert or a forensics expert can testify as to how much damage your business has sustained, or how much income that you may have lost due to closure of your business because of an insurable loss.
These experts can be pretty specific—there are even experts to testify as to the value of horses, used for riding, sport, or show.
Insurance Related Experts
Regulatory experts, and experts in insurance policy and governmental operations can be vital in testifying about the “inner workings” of government regulation. Because insurance is such a highly regulated industry, often experts are needed to testify as to the kinds of things that the government allows insurance companies to do, and things that insurance companies are forbidden from doing.
Claims handling experts can be vital in showing that your claim was mishandled. In cases where an insurance company acts in bad faith, this expert can testify as to what kinds of claims are normally approved, what kind are denied, and what reasonable time frames are for an insurance company to do what it needs to do to evaluate a claim.
In cases where the value of property is in question, expert appraisers can be vital. Of course, the type of expert needed will depend on what is damaged, and thus in need of appraisal.
Whether a construction expert is needed to evaluate damage to the structure of your property itself, or a more specialized expert is needed to appraise the value of antiques, an appraiser is vital in cases where you and the insurance company differ about the value of the damages sustained.
Make sure that your attorney is prepared with the evidence and testimony you need to help you in your homeowners’ insurance case. Contact the Miami property damage insurance attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today for help.