#1: You Were Not Timely
Every insurance policy has a time limit in which you must file a claim. The time limit may be specific, such as 30 or 60 days. It may also be more general and use the word timeliness. If you take too long to file, your insurance company can use this to deny the claim.
#2: The Paperwork Was Incorrect
Your insurance company will require evidence to prove your claim. This evidence includes things such as:
- Proof of ownership
- Proof of property value
- Photos and videos of the damages
- Proof that you’ve maintained your home
- Cost estimates of damage
- Cost estimates of repairs
Homeowners provide this evidence through various forms, which can be difficult to understand or take a lot of time to complete. Missing a form or not providing enough information on any given form can be all that is needed to deny a claim.
#3: You Failed to Mitigate Further Damages
If your property suffers damage, you are required to do what is possible to keep further damage from occurring. For example, if a hurricane rips part of the roof off your house, you are required to cover the hole as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. When mitigating further damages, make sure that the fixes are temporary, such as using a tarp or piece of plywood. The insurer will want to see the damage when they inspect your home.
#4: Your Policy Has Exclusions
A homeowners policy does not cover everything. For example, most policies do not include flood damages, which is why homeowners in Florida often get flood insurance in addition to their homeowners insurance. However, flooding isn’t the only exclusion. You need to know what is covered and what isn’t before receiving damages. That way, you can determine if you need additional coverage.
Unfortunately, insurance companies may try to use exclusions to their advantage, claiming that the damage was due to an uncovered event, when it was not.
#5: You Failed to Tell Your Insurance Company About Your Property
Homeowners must be honest about their property when getting insurance. For example, stating that you have smoke detectors when you do not could lead to a denial for a fire claim. Things to be sure you tell your insurance company include:
- Using the property or portion of the property as a rental
- Conducting business out of the home
- Adding a pool or trampoline
- Using the property as a daycare
Although it is common for insurance companies to deny a claim, it is not always right. If you feel that you’ve been wrongfully denied, there are things you can do.
- Contact your insurance company to determine why they issued a denial. It may be something as simple as needing more evidence or fixing some paperwork.
- Ask the insurer to review the claim. Having another set of eyes look at the claim may be enough to get you the settlement you deserve.
- Hire a public adjuster. A public adjuster, like Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting, LLC, will represent you during the appeal process. Studies have found that having a public adjuster can often increase a homeowner’s claim payout because they know what is needed to receive maximum compensation.
Remember, an insurance company is a for-profit business. If they can find a legal way to deny your claim, they are going to do it. Having someone on your side that understands how insurance claims and appeals work can mean the difference between receiving money to repair your home and dealing with damages on your own. If your claim has been denied, give us a call today. We’d be happy to help.