Filing a home insurance claim can seem like a daunting, draining process. Maybe after you filed your claim you felt like you ran a marathon – exhausted but proud of yourself for a job well done. You dusted off your hands and went on with your life. But then you get the bad news – your home insurance claim has been denied. Now you feel like someone hit you with a very heavy object. The big question reverberating through your mind might be, why was my home insurance claim denied? There are a variety of reasons that an insurance company might deny a claim, and we’ll go over six of them below.
1. Not filing the claim quickly.
You can’t dilly-dally about filing your claim. Your policy most likely stipulates that you have to tell the insurance company about losses right away – there are deadlines for filing claims. Make sure you understand any relevant timeframes that apply to your policy and respect them. Ask questions of the person helping you with your claim so you understand what your next steps are and what you need to do.
Taking a home inventory can help you put together your claim. A home inventory is basically a list of all your belongings. If you have that list at the ready, you’ll know exactly what’s been lost and it will be easier to create a detailed, orderly claim.
2. The loss isn’t covered by your policy.
Home insurance comes with many exclusions or losses that simply aren’t covered by your insurance. For example, floods are common home insurance exclusions – you have to purchase flood insurance separately. If you don’t have flood insurance and you file a claim for flooding or surface water damage, your claim will be denied. Likewise with any other losses that are excluded. Anyways, the moral is familiarize yourself with your policy so that you understand all of the exclusions. You don’t want to accidentally file a claim for something you don’t have coverage for and then be disappointed. If you have any questions about your coverage and what is or isn’t covered, be sure to check with your agent.
3. You didn’t take steps to protect your property from additional damage.
As the homeowner, it’s down to you to reduce the chances of additional harm coming to your house following a loss. This is usually a policy requirement. Basically, you’re trying to make sure that the situation doesn’t get any worse. For example, protecting your home could mean spreading tarps over damaged areas of the house to prevent rain or water from wreaking further havoc.
4. Not paying your insurance bill.
If you don’t pay your home insurance premium promptly, that could be a problem. Paying your premiums on time is kind of a big deal because it’s generally a good idea to pay the insurance company.
5. The claim is less than your deductible.
Your deductible is the amount you agree to pay if you have a claim – you pay your bit and the insurance company pays theirs. (Maybe you have a deductible of $1,000.) If the claim is for less than that amount, you’re probably the one who’s going to have to cover the expense.
Having a home insurance claim be denied can be stressful. Make sure you read through your home insurance policy carefully so you know about any time restraints for filing claims and any exclusions in your coverage. Keep detailed records of the loss to your home to give the insurance company. Otherwise, if you file the claim promptly, the loss is covered, and you’ve paid the insurance company on time, you should be good to go.
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