Did you experience a fire in your home—the one place where you’re supposed to feel safe and secure? After this, the only thing that you want to do is get things back to normal. However, it can be difficult to get back on your feet when your insurance company has denied your claim. Even though you pay your premiums every month and you’ve never missed a deadline, remember that your insurer runs a business and they’re not going to pay you unless they have to. Stay mindful of the following reasons why the insurance companies could deny your claim.
1. Lack of Documentation
One reason why the insurance companies could deny a fire claim is because of a lack of documentation. If you’re not able to provide them with proof of what property was damaged and how much you paid for it, they may deny your request for recompense. To make sure that your claim goes smoothly, you should do your best to cooperate with your insurance company and provide as many details about the damage to your property as possible. Creating records of large purchases is imperative.
2. No Proper Knowledge of Belongings
No one expects to lose their home in a fire. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepared. Keep a detailed list of your belongings (especially the valuable ones) in a safe place—for instance, on your personal Google Drive account or somewhere else in the cloud—and include as many receipts or proof of purchases in your documentation, as well. If you do experience a house fire, provide this information, along with photos and video recordings of the damage, to your claims representative.
3. Misrepresenting Your Home to the Insurance Companies
When you’ve experienced a house fire, you’ve probably lost more than can be proven by an insurance adjuster. While an adjuster may be able to put a monetary value on a flat screen TV, the value of your old photo albums, antique dishes, and family heirlooms aren’t as easy to measure. However, you should never let the things you’ve lost in the fire impair your judgement. By inflating the truth and claiming that you lost more than can be proven, you could jeopardize your entire claim.
4. Witness Statements
While insurance companies are meant to protect your interests, they generally care more about their own. They will interview everyone from public adjusters that evaluated the damage to your property to the police and firemen that first arrived on scene to make sure that they don’t find any inconsistencies in your claim. If they can prove that the damages you’ve reported are not consistent with what witnesses saw, they can deny your claim in its entirety and even charge you with insurance fraud.
5. Suspicion of Arson
Part of your insurance companies’ investigation into your claim includes discovering the source of the fire. If the fire department and police officials were not able to locate the source of the fire, your insurer may suspect arson. In addition to statements taken from government agencies, they will launch their own investigation in an attempt to avoid paying your claim. When they find the fire was an accident, they have no choice but to pay the claim.
Once the insurance companies accept responsibility for your claim, the next difficult task is repairing your home. Contacting a licensed contractor to assess the damage can help you create a plan to reclaim your home..