It’s late summer and some wild weather leads to roof damage. You call a roofer and they say you have storm damage and need to replace the roof. You have a homeowners insurance policy, so you file a claim, already thinking about what color shingles you should pick.
Soon enough, you hear back. Your claim has been underpaid or even denied.
So what happened in this (hypothetical) scenario? The insurance companies say that they pay all legitimate claims as quickly as possible, but it’s hard to believe that when water is dripping into your home.
In circumstances such as this one, even when your claim is denied or underpaid, it is your responsibility to protect your home.
Why Do Insurance Companies Refuse To Pay Claims?
A claim denial or underpayment can be frustrating, especially when you have to live in a damaged home.
Your insurance policy is a protection, of course, but insurance companies need to make a profit in order to stay in business. Their entire focus is on maximizing their income while minimizing risk and expenses.
In all fairness, the insurance company is not usually trying to hurt you and they can typically be negotiated with to settle on an agreement that makes everyone happy.
But it’s very difficult to get to this point without an attorney.
If you have had an insurance claim denied or underpaid, a homeowners insurance attorney should be one of your first calls. Having an attorney on your side can be the difference between your homeowner’s insurance paying the full value of your claim or having it be denied or underpaid.
These insurance companies are not always operating in bad faith. In fact, many times, there are just several hoops to jump through in order to correctly make a claim.
Having a professional homeowner’s insurance attorney on your side through this process can maximize your claim recovery potential.
What Can You Do When Your Insurance Company Refuses to Pay?
If you receive word that your insurance company is denying or underpaying your homeowners claim, you don’t have to accept their decision.
Your homeowners insurance policy is in place so that, if a sudden and accidental loss occurs to your residence, you can be made whole and restore your home to its pre-loss condition.
Calling a homeowners insurance attorney is your best chance to maximize your claim recovery and assist you with the claim investigation process, such as executing a proof of loss or giving a recorded statement.
Many claims are denied or underpaid due to a lack of informational evidence, so gathering the right documentation will be critical in the insurance company’s investigation of your claim.
Next, do what you can to prevent any further damage (without affecting the original evidence to your claim). You certainly don’t want the damage to become worse. Also, protecting your property from further damage is a condition in your policy.
Once you have those steps in place, your attorney can fight on your behalf to maximize your claim recovery. The insurance companies will typically throw out a low-ball offer to see if you’ll accept. Patience, diligence, and a quality attorney will make all the difference in your receipt of a proper claim settlement.
Insurance companies don’t want you to retain a homeowners insurance attorney because the likelihood of them having to pay a higher amount increases significantly.
Roof Insurance Claims
Some of the most common homeowners insurance claims are roof-related.
Your roof takes a lot of heat (literally) and protects your family well. If something happens to your roof and you call your insurance company, they may try to find a way to make the damage sound like it was not covered in your policy. They may use phrases like “wear and tear,” “age and deterioration,” “non-covered occurrence,” or “incorrect installation.”
When investigating your claim, insurance companies send out their adjuster to inspect the damage. The inspector hired by the insurance company may have a tendency to look for reasons to deny your claim.
If the damage is obvious, recommendations will be made to make repairs as cost effectively as possible. That is not in your best interest.
If you are dealing with roof damage or any damage to your home, please remember that the insurance company’s decision is not the final word on your situation. You have recourse to defend your position after paying the premiums on your homeowners policy.
Most importantly, if your insurance company does offer you a payment on your claim, make sure it is enough to repair the damage correctly. Many roofers will take whatever money the insurance companies will pay, without a thought to the details needed to secure your damage completely and fix it thoroughly.
Your homeowners insurance policy is there to protect your home from unforeseen and accidental damage. These policies do pay appropriately when defended properly. Having a homeowners insurance attorney on your side maximizes your opportunity for claim approval or an increased settlement offer.
The insurance companies don’t particularly love insurance lawyers, but that is to your benefit.
How to Find A Homeowners Insurance Attorney
We take insurance claims very seriously.
Your home protects you and your family from the elements in the most basic and necessary ways. When something affects the integrity of your house, your homeowners insurance policy should be there to help.
If your insurance company denies or underpays your claim, call us today for a free consultation. If nothing else, we can guide you in the best practices for attempting to maximize your claim recovery.
Protect your investment, your family, and yourself.