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Written by Andy Gurczak

August 10, 2022

Fire Damage Insurance Claim Is Denied

What to Do if Your Fire Damage Claim Was Denied

Of course, having a fire in your home can be terrifying for the homeowners and their families. Certainly, the amount of damage to the home and the personal property lost is devastating. Moreover, seeing soot, smoke and burned walls will traumatize the entire family. Certainly, as the property owner, you will file a fire insurance claim with your homeowners’ insurance company. However, what do you do if all or part of your fire damage claim was denied?

When Do Insurance Companies Deny Fire Claims?

When insurance companies deny fire claims in whole or part, state insurance laws require them to send a denial letter. Consequently, the denial letter must give the specific reasons for the insurance claim denial.

In reality, there are several reasons an insurance company denies a fire loss claim for a home or business:

Late Filing of a Claim

Typically, your insurance policy requires the homeowner to notify the insurance company of a loss within a specified time. Therefore, if you didn’t file a claim with the company or tell your insurance agent within the specified time, the company may deny the claim.

Non-payment of Premium

The homeowner must make premium payments on time to keep the homeowners’ policy in effect. As a result, if the homeowners do not pay the premium, state law requires the insurance company to notify the homeowner in writing of the cancellation of the policy. Additionally, the letter must state the homeowner can reinstate the policy if the homeowner pays the late premium by a certain date.
Therefore, if the homeowner doesn’t make that payment, the policy remains canceled.

Undisclosed Improvements

Likewise, the carrier could deny or reduce your claim if you made improvements to your home but did not tell the company or your insurance agent. For instance, you may have put a large addition to your home three years ago. Consequently, the addition raised the value of your home from $400,000 to $500,000, a 25% increase.
If a fire seriously damaged your home, including the addition, the claims adjuster might reduce the payment of your claim up to 25%. That is because your policy covered a home now worth $500,000. However, last year, you bought an insurance policy covering a home worth only $400,000. Therefore, had you disclosed the addition to your insurance agent, the carrier would have increased your premium for coverage for a $500,000 house.

Misrepresentation in the Proof of Loss

Sometimes, a homeowner may inflate the value of damaged property, or just outright lies about the quantity of damaged property. If he gets caught, the company will deny all or part of a claim.

Insufficient Documents

The claims adjuster who handles your claim will ask you for documentation to support your damage claim. Consequently, if you have no receipts for the purchase of televisions, laptops, installation of carpeting and drapes, etc., the company has no way to verify the amount of claimed damages. Moreover, if you didn’t take pictures of damaged furniture or appliances before contractors removed them, how will you prove you even owned them?

Therefore, What Should You Do if the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim?

As stated above, when the insurance company denies your claim, the denial letter will state the specific reasons. With this in mind, get out your policy and compare the language in the letter to your policy. Do you understand the reasons for the denial? What does your policy say regarding the reasons the company can deny a claim?
Indeed, you can call the insurance company and ask to speak to the claims adjuster’s supervisor. In fact, you may get her to reconsider the denial.
Moreover, most companies have an internal appeal process. Consequently, you can gather all records, photos, notes of correspondence, and notes on conversations with the adjuster to present to the company for their review.
If that doesn’t get you a good result, you can send a complaint to the state insurance commissioner. Then, they will request a response from the insurance company and then review the claim.
Unfortunately, if a final decision by the state insurance department does not satisfy you, your last resort may be to hire an attorney to sue your insurance carrier. However, depending on the size of your claim, that may not be economically worthwhile.

If You Need a Public Adjuster to Help You Because Your Fire Damage Insurance Claim Is Denied, Call AllCity Adjusting

To sum up, we are a family-owned claims company with five decades of combined adjusting experience. Consequently, if there’s one thing we understand, it’s that you need 100% of your claim value.
Certainly, having fire damage your home means you have already gone through a tumultuous event. Indeed, you have probably put a lot of work into determining the amount of the loss. Additionally, you have filed a damage claim and proof of loss. Moreover, you provided the carrier with supporting documents and photos of your damaged property.
But your fire damage insurance claim was denied in whole or part and you’re not sure what to do next.
Therefore, hire AllCity Adjusting as your public adjuster. We are experts in all types of property damage claims. AllCity has handled fire damage claims hundreds of times. We can review the damage to your property, including the fire department’s water damage.
In addition, we’ll review your claim and proof of loss and prepare a report that accurately and completely sets forth your losses.
Firstly, we’ll meet with the company adjuster and tell them where they’re wrong. Secondly, if that doesn’t work, we’ll help you appeal to the insurance carrier. We’ll organize damage evidence, repair estimates and replacement cost evidence for their review.
Lastly, if that does not work, we will help you draft a comprehensive complaint letter to the insurance commissioner. If the insurance company is acting in bad faith, we will let the state know.
In conclusion, don’t get fooled, get the company that gets you more. Call us today at 844.692.3587 or visit our website to find an office near you.

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At AllCity Adjusting we help residential and commercial clients alike get the claims support they need. Moreover, we have over 50 years of combined experience helping get our clients the max settlement time and time again. If your claim has been low balled or denied entirely we can help increase your maximum settlement. Call us today for a FREE consultation. Experience the AllCity difference.

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