As a homeowner you probably feel a sense of relief knowing that you have homeowners insurance. These policies should protect you from storm damage and other kinds of losses that are covered under your policy. However, when the time comes for you to file a claim, you may find that your insurance company is anything but accommodating. Insurance companies are in the business of making a profit, after all.
With that in mind, you might find yourself wondering why insurance companies oftentimes deny homeowners’ claims. Here are just some of the most common reasons for claim denials:
- Inadequate information: Remember, your insurance company is going to look for reasons to deny your claim. So, you should be as detailed as possible when submitting your claim. Clearly identify and describe the damage that has been caused to your home and submit a complete inventory of all valuables that have been lost. If you don’t, then your claim may be denied.
- Delayed claim filings: If your property has been damaged, then you should carefully read your policy to make sure that you understand and abide by its terms. One provision in your policy that can have tremendous implications is the filing timeline. If you submit your claim after that timeframe has run, then your claim will be denied, and you may be cut off from the recovery that you need.
- Premium payment issues: Insurance companies expect that your premiums will be paid on time. If they’re not, then you could be left with a gap in coverage. If your home is damaged during that gap period, then your claim is going to be denied.
- Disagreements over damages: Insurance companies also want to make sure that when they do pay out claims, they’re paying as little as possible. That’s why when you submit your claim the insurance company is probably going to have an adjuster pay you a visit. This individual is going to conduct his or her own assessment of the damage to determine how much they think your claim is worth. Keep in mind that an adjuster is also going to take the maintenance and wear and tear of your home into consideration and use those factors to diminish the value of your claim.
- Third-party negligence: Your insurance company is probably going to try to shift the liability for your home’s damage, too. They may try to point the finger at faulty construction, for example, so that they are not on the hook for paying your losses. In these instances, you may need an expert on your side who can give a competent opinion as to the actual cause of your property’s damage.
- Deductible issues: Sometimes insurance companies argue that the extent of your property damage doesn’t exceed your deductible. In this kind of scenario, the insurance company is going to argue that it’s not required to pay anything towards your losses.
Know how to deal with challenging insurance companies
Many insurance companies delay, deny, or underpay claims simply because they think that they can, and that the policyholder won’t fight. But you can aggressively push back against your insurance company to ensure that you’re receiving the compensation owed to you under your policy. This often requires you to gather and persuasively present evidence, as well as engage in skilled negotiation, but it’s not a process that you have to navigate on your own. If you’d like to reduce the risk of your claim being denied, or you want to challenge a denied claim, then you may want to speak with an experienced legal professional who can help you build your case.