No homeowner thinks that they will be denied when they make a claim on their homeowners insurance. But denials are more common than most people think, and unfortunately, too many homeowners discover this after they have been denied. Making more than one claim can flag you as being a high-risk individual, and even negatively affect your chances of being able to get coverage in the future. If you have been denied a claim on your homeowners insurance, you do have options.
Reviewing Your Policy
The first thing any homeowner should do following the denial of a claim is to review their policy. Doing this will tell you what is and isn’t covered, which may provide you with clues as to why your claim may have been denied by your insurance company. Of special interest when reviewing your policy should be the exclusions, as these indicate what your company does not provide coverage for.
Appealing a Denied Claim
Appealing your denied claim is definitely an option that is available to you. But this step should only be taken if you believe your claim was denied without a good reason. Appealing directly to your insurance company is one way to do this. You can contact your insurance company, and they will provide you with the details you need in order to file an appeal.
Of course, just because you appeal a denied claim doesn’t mean that your appeal will be approved. However, it’s better than not making any move at all to rectify the matter if you feel you were unjustly denied.
In order to appeal your claim as effectively as possible, you will need to ensure that you have enough evidence to support the fact that your claim is valid. This will include making sure that you have both written and photo documentation of the damages to your home or property. The more damage photos you have, the better.
In addition, it will only help your case to have documentation from any company who may have inspected the damages, as well as any company who visited your home with the purpose of conducting maintenance on your damaged property. Proving you are not at fault for damages will mean ensuring that you can show that everything in and around your home adhered to current codes.
What to Expect From the Appeals Process
How long and complicated the appeal of a denied claim will be will ultimately depend on the reason why your insurance company denied your claim. When you’ve been denied, you will receive documentation which should detail the reasons for denial. Comparing this document to your policy may reveal that your insurance company made a mistake, in which case a call to your company to request a reversal of the decision may be necessary.
A common reason that homeowners insurance claims are denied is because the homeowner waited too long to file the claim. But even this can be subject to error. For example, if you waited too long to file due to an inability to reach your property following some kind of incident, then your company may change its decision to deny you.
If the Company Won’t Cooperate
Should it happen that your insurance company will not cooperate with you, even if your appeal is valid, then it may be time to contact the department of insurance for your state. This agency can provide a slew of information about what your rights as a homeowner are. They will also investigate your claim if you file a complaint with them. In addition, your state’s department of insurance may also provide you with assistance about the next steps to take if your insurance company is unwilling to cooperate with you.
Guest author Carly Jorge writes on a variety of topics related to the insurance industry, including helping consumers understand and compare home owners insurance quotes.