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How Can You Fight a Homeowners Insurance Claim Denial in Oklahoma?

— February 25, 2022

If your lawyer discovers that your claim was wrongfully denied, you have good grounds to file a bad faith lawsuit.

Homeowners insurance is meant to protect your home against all sorts of perils, but when a legitimate claim is denied you’ll be left without the money you so badly need for the repair bills. You may feel powerless, but you are not. All you need is a good Oklahoma homeowners insurance claim denial lawyer to remind your insurer of its duty towards you. 

The moment you sign the insurance policy, it becomes a binding contract. You have a duty to pay your premium in a timely manner, while the insurer has a duty to cover all the damages caused by an insured risk. If the insurer wrongfully denies your claim, that is a breach of contract and you have the right to sue them for acting in bad faith.

Common insurance claim denial reasons in Oklahoma

When an insurance company is trying to avoid its legal obligation to pay you damages, one of the most common reasons invoked is lack of coverage. In other words, you thought your home was protected against a certain type of damage, but the insurance company says no, this particular type of risk is not included in your policy. In some cases this is true and perhaps you should have paid more attention to the fine print. 

However, this lack of coverage can be conveniently invoked whenever it suits them. Nationwide, the most common type of homeowners insurance claims concern wind damage. As anybody knows, high winds usually come with torrential downpours. When you present your claim you will legitimately include all the damages caused by the rain coming in through the torn roof. Yet, do not be surprised if the insurance adjuster tells you that your standard insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Useless to tell them there was no flooding, only the rain associated with the wind. This is not actually lack of coverage, but a blatant misinterpretation of the facts and an experienced insurance claims denial lawyer in Oklahoma City can easily prepare a bad faith lawsuit.

Image of a home leveled by a tornado, surrounded by debris.
EF4 tornado damage in Lee County, Alabama, on March 3rd, 2019. Public domain image by the U.S. National Weather Service, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Another common pretext used to deny a legitimate claim is filing errors. The company might claim you did not submit the required documents to prove your damages were caused by an insured risk. Truth is insurers are very creative when it comes to inventing more and more documents that you need to submit. If your house was badly damaged and you’ll be asking for a lot of money, it would be wise to involve a knowledgeable insurance claims lawyer from the very beginning to avoid unnecessary delays.

What can you do if your home insurance claim was denied?

Receiving a letter of denial can be disheartening, but you should know this is not the end of it. You have the right to appeal their decision. Sometimes, all it takes is submitting yet more documents to substantiate your claim. Or you can get a tough lawyer to handle the negotiations for you. 

If your lawyer discovers that your claim was wrongfully denied, you have good grounds to file a bad faith lawsuit. At this point, you will be surprised that the company is suddenly willing to settle. That’s because there have been legal precedents in Oklahoma when insurers caught using dishonest practices were ordered to pay 6-figure punitive damages. 

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