If outside forces harm your house, your homeowner’s insurance coverage should offer dependable protection. When an insurer rejects your claim, you could feel helpless and exposed.
You can always contest your claim denial if you want to learn more and have second thoughts about it. Depending on the conditions of your insurance and the kind of damage to your home, you can bargain with them.
Here are a few tips from our friends at Legal Grit, based in Florida.
Understand why your claim was denied
Your insurance provider will send you an official letter informing you of the denial of your claim. The particular terminology in your policy that supports the claim denial is explained in this letter.
Read the letter attentively, then contrast their justification with how you perceive your policy. You can do nothing more if your claim is legitimately denied, such as because the premium wasn’t paid or the type of loss (peril) is expressly excluded from your coverage.
If, after contrasting their explanation with your understanding, you still feel that your property damage should be covered, talk to the claims adjuster for your insurance company and your agent immediately to discuss your divergent opinions.
Contact the insurance provider
The best way to start is by challenging the denial of your claim with the actual insurance company. If they made a clear decision, this could appear daunting. However, it’s worth getting in touch if you see any inconsistencies in the policy that make you doubt the denial.
Request a meeting with a senior individual, such as the claims manager, to discuss your issues. To support your claim, it’s a good idea to have all your images and supporting documentation available, such as estimates and damage reports from independent specialists.
If you choose to appeal the decision and ask that an insurance adjuster looks into the claim, you will have to give this information.
File an appeal
You will need to make a formal appeal if communicating your stance to the claims adjuster for your insurance company isn’t yielding any positive results.
If your claim is rejected, the clock begins to run out on your opportunity to do this. Your homeowner’s insurance policy outlines the appeals procedure you must follow.
A formal appeal request causes the refused claim to be reviewed. Include as much proof and data as possible in your appeal to support the claim that your damages should be compensated. Your chances of getting more than a cursory assessment of your refused claim are better the more organized you are when presenting this information.
Consult property insurance claims professional
Even if the claim has already been denied, the best course of action for a homeowner who has had an insured property loss is to see a licensed public insurance adjuster.
A public adjuster can negotiate the highest payment permitted by the provisions of your homeowner’s insurance policy, confirm your coverage, and document and appraise your losses. The more a public adjuster can do to assist you in recovering, the earlier you call them.
Find a qualified lawyer with experience in property insurance claims if you’ve already come to the stage where you must sue your insurance provider. Ask for references from those with a proven track record of successfully resolving property insurance claims, not just those knowledgeable about property law.
File a formal complaint
Even though the insurance industry is heavily regulated, conflicts over property claims and bad-faith litigation are commonplace in state courts across the country.
Your insurance company must handle your property claim correctly and according to its merit as long as you are a policyholder in good standing. That is, your premiums are paid. You have the option of a formal complaint with your state’s insurance commissioner if the handling of your claim falls short of this minimal standard.
How to avoid getting your insurance claim denied
If your policy does not cover the damage, that is one of the main reasons your home’s insurance claim can be rejected. Depending on your insurance coverage, this can also encompass floods or earthquakes. Fortunately, a few easy strategies exist to avoid denying an insurance claim.
Here’s how to keep your insurance claim from being rejected:
- Make sure to complete the claim deadline. After your home sustains damage, you have a set amount of time to file your claim. If you file a lawsuit timely, even if you are lawfully entitled to insurance reimbursement, your claim may be accepted.
- Submit material that is detailed and clear. Ensure you offer enough assessments, images, and paperwork to support your claim. Try to react as soon as possible if your insurance provider asks a question or requests more details in the response.
- Timely payment of premiums To prevent a loss in coverage, it’s crucial to ensure your insurance premiums are paid on time. If you have a mortgage, your monthly housing payment may include an automated payment for your homeowner’s insurance.
- All house additions should be disclosed to your insurance company. If you’ve changed the structure of your home or made an addition, you should inform your insurance company because if the value of your property increases. As a result, your present insurance limits need to be improved.
- Keep up with the upkeep. Home insurance typically does not cover damage brought on by the neglect of your house. Your insurance provider may contribute to the cost of house repairs if a storm damages your roof. Keep track of your receipts to create a paper trail of your routine maintenance work.
It can be debilitating to have your homeowner’s insurance claim denied, which is awful.
Study your insurance policy to know what is and isn’t covered in a hurricane, accident, or another disaster.
Remember that an insurer may deny your claim even if you know the scope of your insurance coverage.
When that occurs, you could challenge the refusal or, if your circumstances warrant it, consider suing the insurer. If you’re still unhappy, consider other possibilities, such as comparing house insurance quotes.