Property insurance is designed to protect our homes, businesses and property in worst-case scenarios. We all hope we never need to use it, but when natural disasters, fires and other property issues occur, we file a claim against the appropriate insurance policy. In a perfect world, your insurance company approves the claim and pays promptly. In reality, you may open an envelope to find your property insurance claim was denied.
If your property insurance claim was denied, you have options. Here are the steps you should take to get your claim paid in full.
Step 1: Find Out Why Your Claim Was Denied
Your denial letter should say why your claim was denied. The language may be vague or in insurance jargon, though, so if you’re uncertain as to exactly why your claim was denied, contact the insurance company. Talk to as many people as you need to get a clear and specific answer as to why your claim was denied.
Step 2: Review Your Policy
Your property insurance might claim that your damage isn’t covered under your policy. After you get more specific information from your insurance company, review the language in your policy. It is possible that the language in the policy is ambiguous, or that your insurance company is interpreting it narrowly. If you’re not sure what your policy covers, consider contacting an experienced insurance attorney. Many firms, like Danahy & Murray, specialize in cases like these and offer free consultations.
Step 3: File an Appeal
If you think your claim was denied unfairly after reviewing the insurance company’s reasons for denial and your coverage, file an appeal. You may need to support it with additional documentation, such as more pictures of the damage or itemized receipts from your repairs. File the appeal in writing and keep copies of everything you send to your insurance company.
Depending on the size of your claim, you may want to obtain an independent appraisal. These can cost $200 or more, so it only makes sense for claims that are large enough to justify the cost. Include the appraisal report in your appeal.
Step 4: Contact an Attorney
If your insurance company denies your appeal, then the next step may be legal recourse. If you haven’t already contacted an experienced insurance attorney, now is the time to do so. Your attorney will need copies of all the paperwork you’ve filed and a copy of your policy. Once the attorney has reviewed your claim documents, they will advise you on the best course of action for getting the compensation you deserve.
Dealing with insurance companies can be daunting and exhausting, and they often put profits before people. An attorney can advise you at any point in the claims process, and it’s often better to consult one sooner rather than later. If your property damage insurance claim was denied or not addressed fairly, call a Danahy & Murray attorney today at 1-855-969-5100.