Property owners usually purchase a property insurance policy to protect their property from natural calamities, such as fire, floods, earthquakes, etc. This way, in case their property gets damaged, they won’t have to worry about fixing the damages from their own pockets.
Unfortunately, sometimes, claims can be denied for a number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons for claim denial include not filing on time, non-payment of premiums, false statements, insufficient documentation of the damage, etc. Claim denial can be very frustrating for the property owner because a property insurance policy is supposed to provide you with a fallback plan in case of damages. Once you find out that your claim is denied, you need to find ways to go about it. First thing first, you need to speak with an insurance dispute attorney from Johnsons & Williams, PA to discuss with you how you can go about the case. The attorney will communicate with your insurance provider on your behalf and gather the evidence necessary to obtain your claim.
With that said, let’s look at the steps one can take if their claims are denied.
- Know what’s covered under your policy
Sometimes, claim payment disputes can be due to confusion about what is covered and what is not covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy. Before you get irked about a claim denial or payment, it is good to review your homeowners’ insurance policy and see if the damage in dispute is covered and what the dollar limits for your coverage are. Knowing what you are entitled to under your policy can help boost your argument in you are right.
- Review your claim
The next crucial step you need to take is to understand why your claim was denied. Usually, if your claim is denied, your insurance company will send you a written letter that explains the reasons for your claim denial. If you don’t understand their reasons for your claim denial, don’t be afraid to call them and ask for clarification.
Document everything that the insurance company or the adjuster tells you. Keep a record of dates, whom you spoke to, and what they said. Once you have a clear understanding of the position of your insurance company, you need to prepare documents that will help you prove your case.
- Document your losses
Sometimes, claims can be denied as a result of insufficient evidence of your loss. That’s why you need to document your loss. Take pictures of the damages from different angles. In addition to that, describe in writing, the time, date, and circumstances surrounding the damage. Request the adjuster to review them. You can also go ahead and ask an independent contractor to give you a written estimate of the cost of damages. Having damage reports can also help you with your case.
- Request for an at-home visit, if necessary
If there is a disagreement over the extent of damage to your property, you can ask the insurance company or adjuster to inspect your property again. If you have received second opinions from an independent contractor or other professionals such as a roof inspector or plumber, you can bring these professionals to meet with the insurance company or adjuster. It is good to get everyone on the same page. Determining the extent of damage can boost your argument.
- Prove that you are a responsible homeowner
Sometimes, a property insurance claim can be denied because the damages are as a result of the homeowner’s negligence. So if you want to appeal your denied claim, you will have to produce enough evidence that proves that you have done everything in your power to prevent damages to your property. Of course, this is where the details you gather concerning the circumstance of the damage to your property come in. you can also show records that show your property was up-to-code and even receipts of your fire alarms and/or security systems.
- File an appeal
At this point, if you haven’t reached a solution yet, you can file an appeal. You can do this directly with your insurance company and ask them to review your claim again. Remember that you can only do that within the timeline of the appeal. Include a written explanation of all the evidence and documentation you have collected to support your claim.
If you want to dispute a less settlement offer or denial, you should begin by writing a letter to your adjuster. Explain to him or her your point of view, including the evidence you have prepared that supports your case.
Ask for a response within a specified period of time. You can also send a copy of your letter and any other necessary documents to your adjuster’s supervisor. Even if you are irritated inside, it is advisable to remain polite. You can only handle this case when you are calm and sober.
- File a complaint
If your insurance company will not budge, you need to file a complaint with the department of insurance in your state. They will investigate the case. At this point, you can seek the services of an insurance dispute attorney. He or she can help evaluate legal recourse options and represent you in further efforts in solving your dispute.
Being denied your insurance claim can be sad and stressful, especially if your property gets severely damaged and you were hoping that your insurance company would cover the damages. This is where you will need an experienced insurance dispute lawyer to help you fight for your denied claim.
However, it is also upon you to be wise when choosing a property insurance company. Make sure that you choose a company that has few cases of claim denial. This can help you reduce the chances of your insurance claim being denied. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that your property is adequately protected.