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It's Not Gone With the Wind: What to Do If Your Homeowner's Claim Is Denied

If you live in Florida, chances are you've experienced firsthand some type of severe weather, whether strong winds, hail, tornadoes, rain, lightning or flooding. When you're a property owner, sometimes it seems as if Mother Nature is bent on damaging your home. In fact, a quarter of all insurance claims are from wind damage.
If severe weather has forced you to make a homeowner's insurance claim, you naturally expect your insurance company to cover the claim. After all, you've been paying your premiums every year. Florida homeowner's pay the highest annual premium in the country—around $2,055—so it's only fair your insurance company does what they're supposed to do.
But sometimes they don’t, and then you’re left with costly bills. Here is some helpful information about why your insurance company may deny your claim and what to do about it.

Why Claims Are Denied

When your insurance company denies your claim, you may feel frustrated and outraged. However, sometimes the company has legitimate reasons. Here are a few:
  • Exclusions. Most homeowner’s insurance policies are a special form, meaning they cover everything under the sun except for a list of exclusions, or perils they do not cover. The most common exclusions are earthquake, flood, nuclear hazard, war, neglect and government action. So if your loss was due to a named exclusion, you're probably out of luck.
  • Too Many Claims. Believe it or not, if your insurance company decides you've made too many claims within a short period of time, they will deny a new claim or terminate your policy.
  • Premium Non-payment. If you fail to pay your premium or are late in paying within a certain time frame, your policy may get cancelled. Until you make a payment to catch up, your insurer will deny any claims.
Sometimes there may be no clear, legitimate reason for a denied claim. Perhaps an adjustor made an honest mistake. Insurance companies don't want to pay out unless they have to, and occasionally fraud is at play. Most big insurance companies expect you to not pursue a claim and just give up.

What You Can Do

Fortunately, you do not have to accept that your claim was denied. Take the time to educate yourself regarding the claim and your policy. While full of technical terms and industry language, claims and policies will detail why a claim was denied and what your policy covers and excludes. You may discover a simple filing error or coverage amount mistake was the cause of denial.
If you decide you have a case and you feel ambitious and confident enough, start preparing to file an appeal with your insurance company. To do so, you must gather sufficient evidence to support your appeal:
  • Find witnesses who can testify on your behalf, like neighbors and contractors.
  • Take lots of photos of the damage.
  • Record all the relevant information, such as the date and details of the damage, what steps you took afterwards and who was involved.
  • Keep track of all the conversations you had with your insurance company.
If your claim is still denied, consider filing a complaint with your state insurance department.

Hire a Public Adjuster

When all else fails or you do not feel equipped to deal with an appeals process, hire a public adjuster to tackle your denied claim for you. Unlike that insurance adjuster that surveyed the damage to your home and made some notes, a public adjuster does not work for your insurance company. Many times they can reverse a claim denial or even re-open an old claim and help get additional funds for extra expenses like debris removal, costs for permits and cleaning.
Despite occasional weather mishaps, Florida is a great state to live and work in. If your homeowner's insurance claim is denied, let The People's Choice Public Adjuster work for you and help get the payout you need.

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