If your homeowner’s insurance claim has been denied, you might be wondering whether you should seek the assistance of an insurance claims lawyer, like Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC While it might be necessary to seek the counsel of an insurance claims lawyer like Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, claims can sometimes get denied for simple reasons that can be easily remedied. What are some common reasons why homeowner’s insurance claims get denied? Here are 10:
- The damage isn’t covered by your policy. Read your policy carefully before making your claim. Some kinds of damages, like flooding or earthquake damage may not be covered by your policy. Damage caused by pests or by normal wear and tear may also not be covered. However, if your policy covers you for damages, and your claims are still being denied, you may have the right to fight back. Don’t understand your policy or its fine print? That’s common. Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC can read over your policy and help you understand whether your claim is being wrongly denied. In most instances that they are consulted, Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC finds the insurance company should have covered something they did not or failed to pay a sufficient amount for the coverage they did afford.
- You waited too long to make a claim. You may only have a limited amount of time to file your claim. If you waited too long to report damage, your claim can be denied. However, sometimes natural disasters might themselves result in delays or may impede your ability to make a claim on time. If your claim is being denied because you missed a deadline, consider speaking to Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC, insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who may be able to assist you with appealing your denied claim if you missed the deadline due to circumstances outside your control. Often, there is no discernable prejudice to the insurance company and frequently, substantial compliance may be enough even if you exceed the time allowed for in the policy. Generally, insurance disputes are contract disputes which typically have a five year period from the date of the loss to file a lawsuit. With hurricane claims, there can be a requirement that it be reported within two years of the event. In some instances, you have damage but no reason to have discovered it until much later which does not necessarily mean it is not covered.
- The damage doesn’t exceed the deductible. Every policy has a deductible you must pay out of pocket before your coverage comes into effect. If your damage is less than your deductible, you’ll be required to pay for the damages out of pocket. Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC’s lawyers have seen an incredible number of claims from Hurricane Irma (and otherwise) that the insurance provider claimed the insured was under deductible; it many of those claims they obtained significant amounts for the insured well into the six figures for individual homeowners.
- You missed a payment on your policy. If you missed a payment or were late on a payment on your premiums, your coverage can lapse. If this happens and then your home is damaged, your insurance company may be able to deny your claim. However, sometimes companies may not have properly posted a payment or someone’s records are wrong. Other times, you have a period of time to cure the missed payment. Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC are insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who can assist you if a dispute arises.
- You didn’t update the insurance company about changes in circumstances. Did you move to another apartment or buy a new home? Did you purchase expensive new items but failed to add a rider to protect these items? If your circumstances changed, your insurance company may be able to deny you coverage.
- You failed to provide sufficient information about the damages. Insurance adjusters will need as much information as possible in order to pay your claim. The insurance company may send an adjuster to assess the damage, but it may be your responsibility to provide your insurance company with reasonable items they request. If you fail to provide things requested, your claim could be denied. Having trouble gathering the documents to prove a claim or to satisfy adjusters? Or do you feel that adjusters are delaying your claim by asking for more and more information? Contact the Fort Lauderdale, Florida insurance claims lawyers at Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC today. We can review your correspondence with insurance adjusters and help you recover the amounts you may deserve under your policy and the law.
- Mistakes in your claim. Insurance companies take steps to protect themselves from fraud. Any mistakes in your claim form or errors could trigger a fraud investigation. Try your best to get everything right the first time and take steps to correct any errors. Do not claim damages paid for in a prior claim that were never repaired or replaced or seek areas of your home that are unrelated to the current loss. Although trying to get everything fixed up when making a claim, seeking things you are not entitled to or misrepresenting anything can lead to you potentially giving your insurance company a chance to deny the entire claim and not just the portions you should not have claimed. Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC are insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who may be able to assist you if there were mistakes in your initial claim. We can speak to insurance adjusters and correspond with the insurance company if your claim is being investigated for fraud and help resolve and/or expedite the process. If the carrier is not acting reasonably or timely, we may be able to file suit on your behalf and seek our attorney fees and costs from the insurance company with no out of pocket expense for attorney fees or costs by you.
- You failed to mitigate additional damage. Hole in your roof? Shattered window? It is your responsibility to protect your home from suffering additional damage while you wait for contractors to repair the damage. If you later try to make a claim for water damage because you left the roof without a tarp for two weeks, your insurance company might deny your claim. Always take steps to mitigate any damage. This might mean repairing a window before your insurance money comes through, or might mean putting a tarp on your roof while you wait for contractors to repair the damage. Act reasonably and do the best you can to protect your home from further damage. If you have a water loss, you may need to have it properly dried out promptly to avoid much bigger headaches and widespread mold. Be diligent.
- Your insurance company made a mistake. Sometimes insurance companies make mistakes. If you think your homeowner’s insurance claim was wrongfully denied and you cannot resolve the issue by speaking to the company or to insurance adjusters, consider speaking to Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC in Fort Lauderdale, Florida today. Sometimes providing proper documentation can solve the problem.
- Your insurance company is acting in bad faith. Sometimes insurance companies wrongfully put their bottom lines above their responsibilities to their clients. We feel we see this way too often and it is upsetting. If you believe your claim has been wrongfully denied, or if you believe that your insurance company is taking too long to settle your claim, you may have certain rights under the law. Contact Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC today to learn more.
Homeowner’s insurance claims might be denied for a number of valid reasons. Sometimes it is easy to fight a claim decision by providing additional information and if not using the courts. Sometimes policyholders may not fully understand what is or isn’t covered by the policy. In other cases, insurance companies may deny a claim wrongfully and homeowners have a right to fight back. Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC are Fort Lauderdale, Florida insurance claims lawyers who may be able to help you if you believe your homeowner’s insurance claim is being wrongfully denied or delayed.