Let’s have a look at some of the most common reasons your claim may be denied by your property insurance provider.
1. You didn’t get the proper instructions from your insurer
Claims may be denied if you do something that is against the proper protocol, things that may impede your insurance provider’s investigation of the claim. Your provider needs to give you the exact directions appropriate to the type of coverage you wish to claim in order for your claim to be processed.
2. You waited too long to file a claim
This goes hand in hand with getting the proper instructions from your provider. You need to contact them as soon as possible to ensure the property damage doesn’t get worse. If you wait too long to file a claim for a damaged fence, and that fence eventually falls on top of your vehicle, you will be deemed negligent and your claim will be denied.
3. You were dishonest
Your claim will be cross-checked against your initial insurance application to see if any new information pops up when you file a claim.
If you, for example, fail to inform your provider that you use your home as a business, and you need to claim for something that happened in your home office or to a client, your claim will be denied.
If it’s discovered that you falsified information in any way, your claim will be denied, and your policy will be (gasp!) rescinded.
4. Your claim exceeds your coverage
Items like antiques, collectibles or jewlery require ‘specialty coverage’. Without that specialty coverage, these possession types will only be insured up to a particular amount, if it’s included on your policy at all.
So, if your sneaker collection worth $10,000 were to burn up in a fire, your policy may only cover you for $1,500 worth of reimbursement, if anything. It’s important to talk to your provider if you have any questions about insuring collectibles.
5. Your claim isn’t above your deductible
Different perils can have different deductible levels. For example, Wind & Hail damage may have a higher deductible than Smoke & Fire. If the damage doesn’t exceed your deductible your claim will be denied. Read over your policy so you’re not making refutable claims.
6. Your claim is a specified exclusion
Homeowners may believe that any type of damage is covered by your home insurance policy, but that isn’t always the case. There are specifically ‘named perils’ that receive coverage, and others that do not.
There’s an exclusion clause on your homeowner’s policy that will outline everything excluded from coverage. Classic examples are Flood & Earthquake coverages. Additional coverage must be added to your policy if you require it.
7. You’re late on payments
Paying your premiums late puts you in poor standing with your insurance provider. Your claim may be denied at their discretion.
What can you do to avoid a denied claim?
To summarize the information above, make sure your claim goes through by:
- Notifying your provider as soon as possible if anything on your property gets damaged
- Listening carefully to their directions to ensure your claim is processed properly and the investigation can go ahead without hassle
- Knowing your specified perils and exclusions
- Attempting to mitigate any property damage you encounter by protecting it after a loss (you’ll gain a reputation as a responsible property owner)
- Documenting everything so you can provide an itemized claim