What Should You Do If Your Fire Claim Was Denied?
The insurance claims process can be complicated and frustrating. Fire claims are especially daunting, since you are dealing with a significant emotional toll while trying to objectively document physical losses.
When dealing with such a situation, the last thing you need is to have your claim denied. While there are certain instances when a fire claim can be legitimately denied, there are plenty of times when a claim was mishandled or unfairly rejected.
If you feel your claim denial was unjustified, there are several steps you can take.
Read the Denial Letter
The first thing you will want to do is review the formal denial letter sent by your insurance company. This will specify the reasons your claim was denied, and you can compare these reasons with your actual policy.
Speak With Your Adjuster
If you feel your claim should have been covered after reviewing your policy, your next course of action is to speak with your adjuster. He/she/they should be willing to explain, in detail, why your claim was denied and which parts of your policy were used in reaching the decision.
Calmly offer your own reasoning and understanding of the policy, and request that the decision be reversed based on this information. Cite specific areas of the policy that promise the coverage that was denied.
File an Appeal
In the event that you are unable to secure a reversal of the claims decision through your insurance adjuster, it is time to file an appeal. Your homeowners insurance policy will outline the specific steps needed to file an appeal, as well as the deadline for filing.
Keep in mind that insurance companies are reviewing hundreds of appeals at any given moment. Include as much supporting documentation as you can and present it in a relevant, organized manner. The more time you can save the review committee, the more time they will have to spend investigating your claim.
Seek Legal Advice
If you have consistently paid your premiums, filed all necessary paperwork, met all deadlines, and have a policy that promises coverage, it is realistic for you to expect a settlement from your insurance company. A claim that was unexpectedly denied despite a valid loss and your complete cooperation may signify a bad faith claim.
An experienced insurance attorney can help review your claim and determine if it was mishandled in any way. If this is the case, you have the right to file suit against the insurance company and seek damages.
David Roth Represents Policyholders
The Roth Group has years of experience dealing with insurance claims and unfair denials. Policyholders in good standing should not have to fight for a fair settlement, especially when they are dealing with such a traumatic event as losing a home. If your claim was partly or completely denied, please call our office or go online to schedule a free evaluation.