The first thing to remember is that it’s important to always keep a copy of your insurance contract—it will make the process much easier when it comes to challenging a bad faith insurance company on its unfair actions. If you don’t already have one, request one as soon as you can and keep a copy where it will be safe (and where you can remember you’ve stored it).
It’s important to remember that insurance policies are written by the insurance company, with their interests in mind, and their highest interest is not paying out a lot of money on claims. You need to be aware of what your rights are and how you can challenge the insurance company’s determination.
For example, if your property has been subject to catastrophic damage (say, from a fire, flood or hurricane), you have the right to conduct your own evaluation of the value (and loss) of your property. What’s more, the evaluation can be done on a contingency basis, with the fee coming from what is recovered rather than something that has to be paid out at the time.