If you spend an arm and a leg on homeowner’s insurance, then it is not wrong to believe that you will be covered if something goes wrong. But, imagine that you file your claim and then the insurance company denies it after you have been devastated by the loss of personal items, and your most cherished invest: your home. A denied claim will definitely make your life much more difficult, especially if you don’t have the proper resources to pay for the repairs on your own. Here are some tips that can help you if you have received a denied claim from your insurance carrier.
You should always be aware that your insurance company is a business, and they want to make money. They don’t necessarily like to give away money if they don’t have to, and can make a habit out of denying claims to loyal customers because they don’t want to pay for the expensive bill.
The first thing to do after being denied compensation is to review your claim. An insurance claim can be hard to follow due to the verbiage that is used throughout. If you can get past the wording and get down to the nitty-gritty, you can find out why you were denied. These details should be clearly outlined in your policy. If they aren’t, you shouldn’t throw away the claim. Instead, pick up the phone and call your insurer, as they are legally obligated to explain why you were denied.
After that has been completed, you need to know your policy inside and out. Insurance companies are very thorough when writing their policies, and they want to make sure that they have a valid contract that highlights your rights and when you will be given or denied compensation. If you were denied, always go back and review your policy.
After you have your policy in front of you, focus on these key points: reviewing your rights and understanding the policy maximums. You need to review your rights in order to know if your claim was denied unjustly or with probable cause. Also, understand the maximums of your specific policy. Your insurance company may have accidentally limited your coverage to an amount lower than what they were legally required to pay. Thoroughly understanding your policy is vital to getting your claim approved. If you catch a mistake that was caused by the insurance company, you can usually appeal their decision or take them to court.
Next, you will want to gather details about the loss. If there is a discrepancy with your claim and you feel like it was denied unjustly, you will have to prove your case. This means you need to gather evidence to support it. You should take pictures of the damage, show records of purchases made to protect your home, document conversations you’ve had with the insurance company, request an individual appraisal if there is a disagreement, know the facts of the damage (extent of damage, dates, who was involved, and any post disaster steps you took to prevent further damage), have a witness speak on your behalf, and lastly, show evidence that you are a responsible homeowner and that the incident was not caused due to negligence on your behalf.
The last thing you will want to do if you feel like you were unjustly denied without probable reason is to file an appeal. This isn’t a guarantee that the decision will be changed but it is worth a try! Keep in mind that insurance is state regulated, so your ability to appeal will be greatly influenced by the state you reside within. You will want to make sure that you have written and photo documentation of the damages, and any documentation of inspections and/or maintenance done to the property. If you’re still denied, the only thing left to do is take the company to court or a private arbitrator. This is something to highly consider if you lost an expensive property. If you decide to do this, make sure to hire a good lawyer to support you. They may be expensive, but it will be a small fee compared to the cost of repairing your expensive investment on your own.