First things first – A “release” is a legally binding document that releases your insurance company from liability contingent on you accepting their settlement offer.

After a release is signed, no further claim for the damages or claims released may be made. For example, many property insurance settlement releases include language forfeiting a policyholder’s right to pursue any and all other claims. This includes newly discovered or previously unknown damages. This means that if a policyholder signs a settlement release containing this type of language, they will be unable to pursue another claim for previously undiscovered damages or bad faith. Some releases even include provisions preventing any future claims of any type, even if unrelated to the event or occurrence reported to the insurance company. The following is an example of what language forfeiting any and all future claims may look like:

The Insureds hereby fully acquit, release, and forever discharge (INSURANCE COMPANY) and its principals, administrators, heirs, executors, managers, successors, assigns, employees, agents, subsidiaries, officers, partners, partnerships, firms, directors, stockholders, attorneys, adjusters, servants, insurers, affiliates, contractors, and representatives of and from any and all actions, causes of action, rights, benefits, proceeds, costs, expenses, claims, fee claims, interest claims, losses, repair costs and expenses, mitigation costs and expenses, remediation costs and expenses, damages, or demands of whatever name or nature, including any and all contractual and extra-contractual claims, claimed in, relating to, or arising out of the subject matter of Claim Number XXXX.

Before signing a release offered by your insurance company, it’s essential to confirm that you are not waiving any rights under your insurance contract. This is why it’s vital to contact an experienced property insurance attorney to walk you through the minutia of legalize woven into these insurance settlement releases.

Thought of the day: I found that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. – Denzel Washington