After disaster strikes your home or business in the form of a fire, flood, vandalism, or theft, the worst news may come when you receive notice that the insurance company has denied your property damage claim. You believe you did everything right and you have insurance for a reason, so what went wrong?
Unfortunately, many property damage claims are denied each year because of technicalities, sneaky insurance tactics, and even bad faith insurance practices. If your claim was denied or even if you plan to file one in the future, you should arm yourself with the information needed to ensure your insurance company does not treat you unfairly.
Common Reasons for Property Claim Denials
When the insurance company denies your claim, they must give you a valid reason why. In general, there are a few common reasons for property damage claim denials:
Not filing on time. If you don’t notify the insurance company immediately of the incident, they may try to deny your claim for not following time-sensitive requirements for filing and documenting the damage.
Not paying your premiums. The insurance company may claim that you did not pay the necessary premium in time in order to kickstart your related policy coverage.
False statements or questionable claims. The insurance adjuster who arrives to investigate the damage may find that the claim does not match the actual damage to your property.
Insufficient documentation of the damage. The insurance company may find that there is not enough evidence to show the entirety of the damage; this is why it is incredibly important to document everything before trying to repair it.
Exclusions in your policy. The insurance company may try to use a vague or broad phrase within your policy as a means to exclude the damage from coverage.
Not taking sufficient preventative measures. As a property owner, you have a responsibility to protect the property and mitigate further loss; the insurance company may claim you failed to take reasonable steps you should have to reduce the damage.
Tactics Used By Insurance Companies
Now, it’s important to remember that insurance companies are, first and foremost, businesses. This means that their number one goal is to maximize their profits, which they do by going to any means necessary to deny claims or reduce the value of them.
While it’s possible that the damage is simply not covered in your policy, we know from experience that insurance companies will attempt to find any reason to deny even valid claims. Insurance adjusters are notorious for using very sneaky tactics to do this, such as:
Causing unreasonable delays
Using your own statement against you
Confusing you (the policyholder) with the fine print
Tips for Avoiding Denials
With that said, there are some ways that you can help protect your rights as a policyholder and avoid denials:
Notify your insurer immediately of any loss or damage. Make sure to understand the requirements for notifying your insurance company and filing a claim.
Pay your due premiums on time.
Know what your policy covers and excludes and obtain adequate coverage if available. An insurance attorney can review your policy to determine what the extent of your coverage is and whether you should add more.
Following any type of damage or disaster, take all reasonable steps to protect the property and to reduce further loss.
Document all damage. This includes taking photos and witness statements, and file a detailed claim with this evidence to your insurer.
Ultimately, hiring an attorney to represent from the very start of the claims process is your best bet at receiving the maximum amount possible for your property damage through your insurance policy.
Helping Property Owners Recover Rightful Compensation
The insurance company’s denial is not the last word on the matter. If your claim was denied for any reason at all, it’s crucial that you reach out to an insurance attorney who can look at the details of your specific case to determine whether you are entitled to compensation from the insurance company.
At the Law Offices of John D. Ameen, our legal team is dedicated to helping policyholders pursue the compensation they need to make their home or business whole again. We provide each client with the quality and personalized service that they deserve. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your call and get you scheduled with a free consultation.
Contact the Law Offices of John D. Ameen at (800) 953-2858 to get started on your case!