After a disaster such as a fire, major plumbing leak, or windstorm occurs to your business, perhaps the worst news is finding out your claim has been denied. Here are some of the most common reasons for claim denials, and tips to prevent this possibility in the future:
Not Filing Your Claim On Time
Your insurance policy will require you notify them promptly of any loss. If you take too long to file a claim, your chances of being content with your payment go down. Policies typically contain time-sensitive requirements for filing a claim and documenting damage.
Not Paying Your Premiums
Keeping up with your premium payments is especially important. A carrier will require you pay your premium on time; and, if you don’t, you run the risk of property damage occurring when your policy is lapsed due to non-payment.
False or Misleading Statements
Once a damaging event has occurred on your property, your insurance company will send its own adjuster to investigate your claim. If they find anything suspicious or questionable with the claim, they may deny it.
Insufficient Documentation of Damage
One of your responsibilities as a property owner once you file a property damage claim is to prove the damages and/or losses to the insurance company. Insufficient documentation of damage to your property and/or the lack of a complete inventory of valuables on or in your property prior to the loss won’t help your case. It is important to accurately document the damage done to your property in a detailed manner by taking photographs in the aftermath to submit to help prove your claim.
Exclusion Language / Claim Type Not Included in Coverage
Every property insurance policy comes with its exclusions. No insurance policy covers the entire structure and everything in it, nor does it provide coverage against every possible source of damage. Common policy “exclusions” can include earthquakes, floods, or other risks. If the cause of your property damage is excluded from coverage in your policy, then your claim will be denied.
Failure to Mitigate
Following a property loss, the policyholder must protect his or her property from further damage to mitigate the loss. Leaving the property exposed to additional loss and failing to take reasonable steps to reduce the extent of the loss could be grounds for a claim denial.
It’s Someone Else’s Fault / Policyholder Negligence
If someone else’s negligence caused your property damage, your insurance company isn’t responsible—and your policy doesn’t apply.
Wear and Tear
When a premises owner acquires an insurance policy, the property owner is required to keep up with regular, expected maintenance and repairs, and the insurance carrier’s coverage will be there if an unexpected loss occurs. The insurer expects the homeowner to prevent damage. Wear and tear exclusions keep insurers from being liable in situations where the damage is actually due to the insured’s failure to repair, replace, or maintain aspects of the property that need work.
Lawyers For Property Damage Insurance Claim Denials
If your property damage claim is being denied, delayed or underpaid, hiring an insurance lawyer will make a big difference in the success of your claim. The insurance company has a team of its own lawyers working to help them avoid paying you. You need a team of experienced lawyers working for you, too. Raizner Law will aggressively ensure you get the money you are owed by the insurance company. Our team of attorneys has decades of experience representing individual and business insurance policy holders facing insurance claim denials.