When you purchased homeowner's insurance, you carefully researched several insurance providers and policies. You read the documents carefully, making sure that there were no hidden “gotchas.” You selected the policy that was best for your home, trusting that it would provide adequate coverage in the event of an emergency. Now an emergency has occurred, and your insurance claim has been denied. What should you do?
Many homeowners have filed a claim with their provider only to have it denied for seemingly no good reason. No one expects it to happen to them: After all, what is the point of buying homeowner’s insurance if it won’t cover your damages? If your home insurance claim has been denied, take a look at this post to figure out your next steps.
Figure out why the claim was denied
There are several reasons why an insurance provider may deny a claim. Some of these reasons are valid; others are not. First, determine whether your insurer was reasonable in denying your claim. It may be that your policy does not cover the damage, or that the damage occurred outside of your period of coverage. There may have been some mistake on your part, such as not filing on time, not paying your premiums or not sufficiently documenting the damage.
If you feel confident that your claim is legitimate, it is possible that your provider has acted in bad faith by wrongfully denying it. This occurs when an insurer does not honor its contractual obligation to pay a valid insurance claim. Some examples of bad faith denials include failing to adequately investigate a claim, delaying the response to a claim for an unreasonable amount of time or otherwise behaving negligently.
Make your response
Contact your insurance company to discuss your claim’s denial. You can request that they review your claim again or reexamine the damage. Claims adjusters are human, and can sometimes make mistakes. Your insurance provider may also give you instructions on how to formally file a claim dispute.
If you have reviewed your policy, contacted your provider and still had your claim denied, it is time to contact an attorney. If you believe that your insurer has acted in bad faith, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to recoup the insurance payment to which you are entitled. Locate a Colorado-based lawyer who specializes in insurance law and schedule a consultation.