You count on your home insurance to cover you. That’s what makes a claim denial so confusing.
Find out why insurance companies deny roofing claims and what steps you should take if your roof insurance claim is denied.
Depending on where you live, the average cost to repair a roof ranges anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. Most homeowners don’t have this kind of money lying around, so chances are, you’ll rely on your homeowner’s insurance to cover the cost in the event your roof is damaged.
Which means that, if your roof insurance claim is denied, it can cause you and your family major financial (and emotional) distress.
The good news is that your home insurance carrier doesn’t have to have the last word. Even if your claim is undervalued or denied, you do have some options.
Here are some reasons why roof insurance claims are denied and the steps you need to take if it happens to you.
Common Reasons Why Roof Claims Are Denied
Homeowners insurance is crucial, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all policy that will provide 100% reimbursement for everything that goes wrong with your home.
Your insurance policy will dictate exactly what is covered (and what is not). Here are five of the most common reasons why roof insurance claims are denied.
1. Not Meeting Your Deductible
Your insurance deductible is the amount you are responsible for paying.
For example, if your deductible is $1,000 and your roof sustains $50,000 worth of damage, your insurance company will deduct that $1,000 and reimburse you $49,000.
In Florida, it’s common for most insurance policies to have two deductibles: one amount for hurricane and windstorm damage and a different amount for everything else that’s covered by your policy.
Your insurance policy can operate to protect the cost of some home repairs, but it is important to know what coverage you are entitled to, and what deductibles apply. Property insurance law is highly complex and specialized area of law and you should contact an attorney to help you navigate any potential claim.
2. Insufficient Coverage
Just like every policy has a deductible, every home insurance policy also has limits on what they will cover.
Your coverage limit depends on several factors, such as the amount you pay in premiums, your insurance carrier, the type of insurance, and your location.
If you file a claim for $100,000 worth of damage when your policy limit is $50,000, you might not receive an outright denial, but you certainly won’t get more than the limit on your policy.
3. Non-Covered Issues
There are different types of home insurance policies and each of them cover a different number of “named perils” (i.e. things that can suddenly damage your home).
HO1 & HO2 policies will cover specific named perils based on the policy verbiage. HO3 policies offer broad coverage on any peril unless specifically excluded on the policy.
So if a tree falls through your roof but “falling objects” isn’t covered by your insurance policy, expect your roof insurance claim to be denied.
However, insurance policies can be very difficult to understand unless you have an extensive background in insurance (or insurance law). If you have received a claim denial, have an insurance attorney look over your policy to be sure the denial is legitimate.
Insurance companies are notorious for creating (and using) as many loopholes as they can to get out of paying you the full amount of your claim.
4. Your Roof Is Too Old
Believe it or not, having a roof that’s “past its prime” can result in your roof insurance claim being denied.
Most insurance companies have an age limit on the roofs they will cover. This is typically around 15-20 years, but differs from carrier to carrier.
If your damage resulted from wind, hail, or a named storm, however, have a licensed roofing contractor verify this with an inspection. You could have a legitimate insurance claim regardless of the age of your roof.
5. Someone Else Is Liable
Most homeowners policies exclude negligence and intentional acts unless the insured has additional coverage. So, if a visitor or service professional damages your property, you will have to check both of your insurance policies to verify the extent of your coverage.
What to Do If Your Claim Is Denied or Underpaid
If your homeowner’s insurance claim is denied or underpaid for any reason at all, here are the steps you should take.
1. Contact an Attorney
Before you do anything else, contact an insurance claims attorney to review you insurance policy, denial letter, and claim details.
In many cases, an attorney is less expensive than a public claims adjuster and has also has the legal experience to help in your fight against the insurance company lawyers.
An attorney is also the only one who can give you advice on what you should do next. Many insurance claims attorneys offer a free consultation, so it makes sense to find out if you have a case and explore your options for pursuing it.
A Sunshine State Law Firm Attorney will carefully review your entire insurance policy, claim denial letter, related claim documents, and estimates. There’s a chance the insurance adjuster could have made a mistake and made a wrongful denial.
2. Gather Evidence
Gather any documents/evidence that supports your roof insurance claim.
For example, if your insurance company is falsely claiming that roof damage was caused by your negligence or a pre-existing deficiency, collect any evidence that supports your position, such as an inspection report, and give it to your attorney.
Roof Insurance Claim Denied? Let Us Help!
You purchased homeowners insurance so that you could have the assurance that sudden and catastrophic damage wouldn’t have to ruin your financial status.
If your roof insurance claim was denied or underpaid, an experienced insurance claims attorney can help you get the money you need for your repairs.
At Sunshine State Law Firm, we treat each insurance claim as if they were our own and we’ll stand by you at each step of the way to make sure that you receive the support and benefits you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll evaluate your information and help you decide on your next course of action.