Dealing with the aftermath of property loss can be stressful. Opening an insurance claim on your own can be a tedious process, especially if the insurance company denies your claim. Nevertheless, you timely reported the loss, provided the requested documentation, and complied with scheduled inspections. So why was your claim denied?
Why Insurance Companies Deny Claims
Ultimately, insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Therefore, it is in their best interest to deny claims. Their reasoning may be for “wear and tear,” that the damages are “long-term”, “pre-exist the policy period”, or are “due to foot traffic and thermal expansion and contraction” – none of which are covered in your insurance policy. They may state that the covered damages do not exceed your policy’s deductible amount, and therefore, offer no payment to repair the damages. Or they may make lowball settlement offers in hopes of concluding the claims process for less than the damages are worth, in hopes that you may not know you have additional options. Pro tip: DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, sign a settlement release without the representation of a professional public adjuster or attorney!
What Should I Do Next?
The insurance company is required to provide an explanation for their denial of the claim. If you disagree with the reasoning behind the denial, or if you want a professional to review the denial to determine your rights, you should contact a property damage lawyer who can further assist you by reading the policy and determining whether the loss is covered by your insurance policy. A property damage attorney will attempt to negotiate with the insurance company prior to filing a lawsuit, if one is necessary. A re-inspection may take place, and as such, it is best to be cooperative with the insurance company’s requests and your attorney’s recommendations.
If you encounter property damage and your insurance claim has been denied or underpaid, contact Gelber Law Group, P.A., your experienced South Florida Property Damage Lawyers, to assist you for a free consultation at 954-320-0100.