Insurance Overview

Insurance Overview

Based in Pittsburgh, Scott Pavelle has represented people just like you throughout Western Pennsylvania in insurance-related matters, including cases dealing with fire and homeowners insurance. If you feel that you have been unfairly denied benefits or inadequately covered on your fire, home, or other insurance policies, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Insurance Coverage and First Party Claims

With many years of experience championing clients against insurance companies, Scott understands that recovering from a disastrous event, such as a fire or severe storm, is difficult and stressful, especially when your insurance company is not dealing fairly with you.

Scott focuses on issues involving first-party insurance, people like you who have losses–such as fire or storm damage–against their own insurance company. After you’ve made a claim–even just a statement about your losses–your insurance company should provide information–such as full disclosure of all benefits, coverage, and time limits–to help you recoup your losses. The same principles of disclosure and fairness apply to all aspects of your claim until your claim is resolved. If your insurance company skirts these obligations, they may be liable for further damages for bad faith. Please read the insurance bad faith and insurance agent negligence pages for more information if you think your insurance company is not dealing with you fairly.

Insurance policies and claims can be very complex, and all too often, many people settle for less than they are entitled because they do not understand their own policy and its benefits. Also, dealing with large insurance companies and dismissive agents can be frustrating and demeaning, causing people to give up the fight and accept what is offered just to move on with their lives.

In some situations, you may assume that your insurance company is on your side, not suspecting that they would understate and/or undervalue your claim. One cold, hard fact about insurance: These companies do not make money paying off claims. They make money collecting premiums. They may recommend contractors who don’t make repairs fully or properly, or use sub-standard materials. Some less-than-honest insurance companies and/or agents may deliberately take your statements–written and verbal–out of context to minimize their costs. Scott takes the time to explain relevant issues and common mistakes you might make, while efficiently getting to the heart of the matter. This knowledgeable and supportive representation give you the fortitude to face your insurance companies confidently and firmly so that you receive the maximum recoverable funds to rebuild your life.

Fire and Homeowners Insurance

Fire damage is the most common peril that is covered by homeowners insurance. Policies typically cover fire damage and should pay for all related property issues, including resulting smoke, water and utility damage; however insurance companies may attempt to undervalue the full extent of damage to limit what they have to pay.

Other perils covered by most policies include, but are not limited to:

  • Windstorm or hail
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Damage from vehicles and aircraft
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Glass breakage

Covered items usually include your home or business–“the building” or “the dwelling”–other structures (such as a garage or shed), and furnishings and equipment inside the damaged structure. Generally your policy covers loss of use, which pays for reasonable additional living costs while your home is uninhabitable and loss of business income. Many policies also offer additional coverage for items such as damage to trees and shrubs and debris removal. Scott can help you understand these additional coverages and work through your claim to receive the maximum amount under your policy.