Hurricanes are among the most destructive natural disasters. As an insured property owner, you pay insurance premiums each year to make sure you’re protected if your home or business is impacted.
But what if your insurance company denies your claim? In most cases, property owners should be covered from some, or all the damage caused by a hurricane. However, there are some common reasons that a claim could be denied:
All property insurance policies have exclusions. That’s why it is important to read the fine print before you suffer a loss and more importantly during the claims process. Some insurance companies will use questionable interpretations of a policy exclusion to deliberately try and deny claims that should be paid. This is unethical, but unfortunately does sometimes occur.
One common example: with homes that are near the coast, insurers will disregard storm surges and not consider the damage that the wind had already caused to weaken the foundation of your home. In other cases, the insurance company’s adjuster will under-estimate the damage that has been caused, as well as the cost to restore your property to its pre-loss condition.
Location / Cause / Local Laws
Some claim denials can be a result of the insurance company’s interpretation of factors such as:
- Location of your property in relation to the path of the storm, (coastal or inland)
- Cause of the damage: Wind, rain brought by wind or other sources of water in your home like falling objects
- Laws that are specific to your state can impact your claim’s status
Insurance companies will try to settle your claim as quickly as possible, especially during high-claim seasons like after a hurricane. Policies can be confusing and misleading to the untrained eye. Insurance companies quoting exclusions are not always on the right track.
In some cases, property owners will accept what they are being told by the insurance company’s adjuster, as they are deemed more knowledgeable and experienced. This is why it’s beneficial to have an experienced public adjuster on your side to look out for your best interests.
Have questions about your property insurance claim? Feel free to contact Stark Loss for more information about how a Public Adjuster can help.