If you have recently had your homeowners insurance claim denied, it can be difficult to know what to do next. The good news is that the process of appealing an insurance claim denial can be much easier than you think, with many successful results. This article will help you understand your rights as an insurance policyholder and how to appeal a homeowners insurance claim denial effectively and successfully so that you get the coverage you deserve and are entitled to under your policy.
Your policy might cover it
Home insurance claims can be tricky and sometimes turn out differently than you expect. Homeowners insurance claim denied? Here are a few important questions to ask yourself before your give up on what you might think is a lost cause. Is my policy actually telling me that they won’t cover it? Or am I just assuming they won’t? Most homeowners insurance claims go smoothly, so there’s no harm in finding out. If you assume a claim will be denied, then chances are you will see it as such even if that isn’t true. If homeowners insurance claim denied is preventing you from living comfortably in your home or pursuing other options for rebuilding, then find out if there really is something that can be done about it. Does my policy include replacement cost coverage? Many policies don’t include full replacement cost coverage (the actual amount of money needed to rebuild or repair) unless you purchase an additional rider for extra coverage. Without full replacement cost coverage, filing a homeowners insurance claim may not make sense financially—and when money becomes tight, spending thousands of dollars on repairing something when you could buy a new one at half the price may seem ludicrous. So check with your agent first!
Take notes about what happened
If you’ve been denied for coverage by your homeowners insurance company, it’s a good idea to make some notes about what happened and why. Keep track of who said what and when, as well as any other details that might be important in understanding what went wrong. If possible, look up and keep copies of any documentation you give to your insurance company during your claim process—including forms and receipts—so you have a record of what happened. You may need these documents later on if you have an appeal or try to resolve an issue with your insurer outside of court. Taking notes now will help you remember everything later. It also gives you a starting point should you decide to pursue legal action against your insurer.
Check for coverage gaps
If your claim was denied, it’s likely that there is something missing from your policy. Whether you didn’t have enough coverage or failed to purchase a specific type of policy, it’s always best to check with your insurer first to see if they will go back and amend your current coverage. You might be pleasantly surprised! If they are unwilling to help, then I suggest that you move on to option two.
Sometimes we overlook insurance policies when we are shopping around for new home insurances. For example, flood insurance isn’t required by law like homeowners insurance is so many people choose not to get it. Other times we make an assumption about our existing policies only to find out later that these assumptions were wrong. It’s important to understand what each type of homeowner insurance covers and where you may need more protection. Make sure you talk with your agent or company representative as soon as possible if you feel like some sort of coverage gap exists in your current policy as well.
Consider your options
Homeowners insurance claim denied? Don’t panic! Getting a homeowners insurance claim denied is common and happens to 1 in 4 homeowners each year. Just because your claim was denied doesn’t mean that you have to accept it without a fight. There are certain steps you can take to appeal your claim with your insurer and possibly even get it approved if you do so correctly. Before you contact them, however, make sure that you have all of your documentation together; there’s no sense in making an official appeal if they don’t have any paperwork from you and yours is incomplete or incorrect. Once you have everything ready, call your agent and ask for an explanation as to why your claim was denied. If he or she gives you one, be sure to write it down for future reference. If not, ask for one before proceeding further with an appeal. Your next step will depend on whether or not your agent gave you a reason for denial but either way you should proceed cautiously when speaking with him or her about appealing their decision.
Determine who’s responsible
In your homeowner’s insurance policy, you should have a description of what’s covered and what isn’t. If you or your guests accidentally cause damage to someone else’s belongings (and it’s not labeled as excluded), then that would be covered by your homeowners insurance claim denied. After taking a good look at your policy, if there is no clear answer on who’s responsible for paying, try contacting all relevant parties to see who will agree to take responsibility for fixing the problem. Ultimately, only an expert in insurance claims can tell you what kind of options are available in your case; however, you can begin working through these processes with better knowledge on how to properly handle a homeowners insurance claim denied. The important thing to remember is that everyone has a right to their own opinion. However, if two people disagree about who’s responsible for something, it’s usually up to them to work out a solution themselves. If they can’t do so amicably, they may need outside help from authorities like law enforcement or mediators. That being said, sometimes mediation doesn’t work out and legal action becomes necessary – when such situations arise, our experienced personal injury attorneys can provide critical assistance in making sure that your rights are protected. Our team understands insurance claims law inside and out – we know exactly what needs to happen after a homeowners insurance claim denied has been issued against you or someone close to you.