Can I Dispute a Homeowners Insurance Claim Denial?

If you own a home, then you have a homeowners insurance policy on it – the bank won't finance the deal for you unless you have a policy in place at the time of sale.

Homeowners insurance is there to protect your home and your belongings from damage and theft. Life is unpredictable, and things can go wrong at any time; just ask the people in Louisiana about their experience with Hurricane Ida.

No one ever sees disaster coming, and that's why we have homeowners insurance to protect our property against the risk of loss.

While insurance is there to protect you, the insurer is running a business. If they feel your claim isn't valid, they will do everything to throw it out and deny your payment.

If you recently experienced an insurer denying you a payout for your claim, you're probably feeling angry and frustrated, wondering what your legal options are against the insurer.

If the insurer denies your claim, take the following steps to dispute the judgment.


Review Your Policy

Start with reviewing the terms and conditions of your homeowner's insurance policy. Verify the terms and conditions of filing a claim and the coverage amounts. If your policy does cover the claim amount, note the amount in your coverage limits.

A standard home insurance policy won't cover you for everything. Typically, flood damage and earthquakes require a separate policy.

Get Clarification

After you finish the review, call your insurer or insurance broker for clarification on your findings. If you're dealing with the insurer and not a broker, it's a good idea to ask to speak directly to the claims manager.

Ask them the specifics on why they denied your claim. If the insurer low-balled your claim, ask the manager how they came to the reimbursement figure.

If the manager can't give you a reasonable explanation, ask them to send another adjuster out to review the claim.

Lodge an Appeal

If the insurer gives you no joy, it's time to take further action. You can appeal the decision through your insurer, but this process may take some time. Check the appeal window with your insurer before filing your appeal.

The appeal request requires you to include the following documentation.

  • The details of the incident causing damage to your property.
  • Any steps you took before the damage occurred to reduce the possibility of the event occurring.
  • A witness statement about the incident.
  • Any proof showing you did your best to prevent the incident from occurring.

Submit the appeal with your paperwork, and the insurer should institute a review of your claim. Ensuring you submit an organized appeal form with all the relevant evidence gets the insurer to take a closer look at the claim.

This process may take weeks or months, and it's up to you to check in periodically with your insurer until you receive an outcome.

Contact the State Department of Insurance

If your insurer is messing you around with the appeals process or denying your claim after your appeal, your next option is to lodge a claim with the State Department of Insurance.

Some states may offer you legal support for mediation between you and your insurer without the need to hire an attorney. The State Department of Insurance is a government institution led by a public official acting as the insurance commissioner.

The State Department of Insurance commissioner has the power to mediate between you and the insurer, helping your process your claim and get the result you want. The commissioner ensures the insurer is playing on the right side of the law with your claim denial.

Consult with an Attorney

If you're not getting any luck from your insurer or the State Department of Insurance, it's time to take legal action. If you feel you have a case, consult with an attorney who specializes in insurance cases.

Many law firms specializing in homeowners insurance claims will offer you a free consultation. During the meeting, the lawyer will determine if you have a case.

If the lawyer does feel you have a case and you are undergoing financial hardships, they may take the case without you needing to pay them upfront. If the attorney feels it's an open-and-shut case, they'll recover their fee from the settlement.

The Bottom Line – Work with Florida Public Adjusters

It's critical to understand the terms of your homeowner's insurance policy when you take it out on the purchase of your home. However, it's a good idea to review the policy details and examine your cover.

If you feel the insurer isn't living up to their end of the bargain, contact the claims manager and find out why they denied your claim.

If you think you deserve a payment, consider your legal options after consulting with the State Department of Insurance. Florida Public Adjusters will file and process your claim on your behalf, ensuring you get the best payout possible from your insurer.

United Claim Clinic Mission Statement

At United Claim Clinic our number one mission is to educate consumers about the insurance claim process. Sometimes we can equip people with the knowledge to navigate a claim by themselves. For more complicated claims, we are here to be an advocate for the insured to see that the carrier fulfills their obligation to get your property and life back to normal.