As a homeowner, you trust that your insurance company will be there to help you when you need it the most. However, what happens if you file a claim, and it is denied? It can be frustrating and confusing to face a situation like this.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your interests and make sure that you receive the coverage that you deserve. If your homeowners’ claim was denied, contact my law firm to get legal help. As an insurance attorney at The Summary Law Firm, I can help you determine why your claim was denied and whether you can appeal the denial. With an office in St Louis, Missouri, I help clients navigate the appeals process throughout the Metro St. Louis area including St. Louis County and St. Charles, Missouri as well as St. Clair County and Madison County, Illinois.
Reasons a Homeowners Claim May Be Denied
When disaster strikes your home, your first instinct is likely to file a homeowners’ insurance claim to cover the damages. Unfortunately, not all claims are approved. There are several reasons why an insurance company may deny a claim, including but not limited to:
- The event that caused damage is not covered. It’s essential to know what your policy covers and what is excluded. Typical events that are covered include natural disasters like hurricanes, fires, and floods. If your damages were caused by something not covered by your insurance policy, then your claim will likely be denied. Reading through your policy and clarifying any questions with your insurance agent can eliminate any misunderstandings.
- The claim is not complete. Filing a homeowners’ insurance claim requires filling out many forms and providing significant documentation, including photographs and written documentation. If you fail to complete all the necessary paperwork or provide incomplete information, your claim is likely to be denied. It is essential to follow the insurance company’s instructions and provide thorough documentation of the damages.
- The claim contains inaccurate information. Your claim will be denied if the details of the damage are inaccurate. Insurance companies are always verifying and cross-referencing information to validate claims. Mistakes in the valuation of the extent of the damage or failing to mention the damage caused by the disaster can cause the claim to be denied. It is crucial to check your facts and ensure that everything mentioned in your claim is accurate and verified.
- You failed to file the claim soon enough. Insurance companies require that you report the damage to them within a specific time frame. If you delay filing a claim, the insurance company will reject it because it is hard to verify the extent of the damage accurately. Ensure you report any damages immediately and within the specified time frame.
- The damage was caused by normal wear and tear. Insurance companies do not cover damages that are a result of normal wear and tear. If your pipes burst because of old age or your roof started leaking due to general wear and tear, your claim will be denied. Regular maintenance of your home can help reduce the chances that damages are caused by normal wear and tear.
- You failed to make temporary repairs after the damage. In case of an emergency, you are required to make temporary repairs to prevent further damage from occurring. Failure to do this will lead to the denial of the claim because the insurance company can argue that you failed to take reasonable steps to prevent further damages after the event.
When your homeowners’ claim is denied, the insurance company will typically explain why it rejected your claim. If the denial letter does not contain the reason for the denial, contact the insurance company to clarify why it denied your claim.
Steps to Take After Receiving a Denial
The first step when your claim is denied is to carefully read the denial letter from your insurance company. This letter must provide a detailed explanation of why your claim was denied, and what steps you can take to appeal the decision. If you have any questions or concerns about the denial, make sure to contact your insurance company’s claims department.
It is also a good idea to review your policy to make sure that you understand what is covered and what is not. Your policy will outline the specific terms and conditions that apply to your claim, and it will help you determine whether the denial was justified. If you are unsure about your coverage or have questions about your policy, speak with your insurance agent or contact an insurance attorney.
Filing an Appeal
If you believe that your claim was unfairly denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeals process varies depending on your insurance company, but it typically involves sending a written request for reconsideration (sometimes called a “rebuttal letter”) to your insurance company’s appeals department. In this letter, you need to provide detailed information about why you believe the denial was wrong, and include any relevant supporting documentation (such as photographs, estimates, or medical records).
It is important to note that the appeals process can be lengthy and complex, and it is helpful to have an experienced attorney on your side. An attorney can help you understand your rights and legal options and can represent you during the appeals process.
Fight for Your Rights
If your homeowners’ claim is denied, it can be a stressful and frustrating experience. However, there are steps you can take to protect your interests and ensure that you receive the coverage you deserve. Do not hesitate to contact my law firm – The Summary Law Firm – to get legal guidance. I am here to fight for your rights and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your claim. Schedule a consultation today.