When a disaster, such as a flood or a fire, causes damage to your home or business, it can be utterly devastating. But what can be even more devastating is learning that your claim has been denied. Here are 6 common reasons as to why your property insurance claim has been denied, and what you can do to help prevent this from happening.
1. You didn’t file your claim within the allotted amount of time.
In your insurance policy, you will be required to notify your insurance company promptly concerning any loss. You will also be required to file and document your claim within a certain given period of time. If you fail to do so, you may forfeit your ability to bring your claim – and thus your claim may be denied.
2. You failed to pay your premiums on time.
If you expect your insurance company to do what you want it to do, you must also do what is expected of you in return. This includes paying your premium payments on time. If you fail to do so, your claim may be denied.
3. Your claim seems fishy – or at least questionable.
Insurance companies utilize their own adjusters in order to investigate your claim after the fact. But if they find anything that seems remotely suspicious concerning your original application for coverage, or for your specific claim, they may choose to deny it.
4. You have failed to adequately document the damage.
After a disaster occurs that causes damage to your property, you (as the property owner) are required to prove your claim to the insurance company – they will not work to prove it for you. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you obtain enough documentation of the damage. This may include doing things such as taking a large amount of pictures.
5. The very cause of your damages is excluded from what your policy protects.
No one insurance policy covers everything; every property insurance policy has its own set of exclusions for what is not covered. If the cause of your damages is not covered under your policy, your claim will be denied.
6. You failed to take adequate measures to reduce further damage after the damage has occurred.
Once you experience property loss, it is your job as the policyholder to prevent further loss when possible. This means that you are required to take any reasonable measures to reduce the extent of your loss. If you fail to do so, your claim can be denied.
Tips for Preventing Your Claim from Being Denied
While no one thing is sure to guarantee that your claim won’t be denied, there are certain things that you can do that boost your odds of receiving a payout:
- Notify your insurance company of the losses you’ve incurred as soon as possible;
- Always pay your premiums on time;
- Understand your policy coverage (and purchase coverage that is reasonable);
- Take all reasonable steps to mitigate damages after you’ve incurred a loss of property; and
- Take photos and document all damages along with a detailed itemized claim.
PALUMBO LAW Helps Those in Rhode Island with their Fire Damage Claims
Property damage claims can be very overwhelming – especially when you’re not familiar with exactly how they work. That’s why consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced property insurance attorney can help.
At PALUMBO LAW, our experienced Rhode Island Property Insurance lawyers work strategically to help our clients to get what they deserve. We have deep experience working with insurance companies and understand how to deal with them. If you have been illegally contacted by an adjuster, restoration company, or contractor during the first 24-hours after you regain control of your property, if you are planning on filing a fire damage claim, or if you have already filed your claim and been denied, we can help. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us today!