The company might deny your claim arguing you lack coverage, which may or may not be true.
Most homeowners in Pennsylvania have at least standard home insurance to cover the damages caused by unplanned and unintentional events. What happens if your insurer denies your homeowners insurance claim? Or offers you just a pitiful amount of money as compensation? For many, such an unexpected turn of events spells financial ruin. The first thing you need to know is that the insurer’s decision is not final. You have the right to appeal the decision, but you will need a very good Pennsylvania homeowners insurance claim denial lawyer to help you with the legal wrangling and to negotiate with the insurer.
Why was my homeowners insurance claim denied?
The official reason is whatever they wrote down in the denial letter, if they did, as sometimes they turn your claim down without offering an explanation. There are indeed cases when a claim denial is justified. If the insured exaggerates or misrepresents the facts, that may constitute insurance fraud and the company is well within its rights to deny such claims.
However, you need to look at the big picture. Insurance companies are big business in the US and they make huge profits each year. The simple formula for profit is collecting a lot of money in premiums and paying out as little as possible in damages.
When your house is damaged by a storm or by fire, don’t expect them to cover your losses without putting up a fight. If you have substantial losses, the smart thing to do would be to talk to an experienced homeowners insurance claims lawyer in Philadelphia before submitting any claim.
Problems with homeowners insurance claims in Pennsylvania
Here are the most common problems you may be confronted with:
For starters, the company may try to delay your claim by failing to acknowledge receipt of your claim or by failing to make a proper investigation. If they don’t pick up your call or don’t answer your emails, take it as a warning sign and contact a tough insurance claims lawyer as soon as possible. If they do not acknowledge or investigate your claim in a timely manner, you can sue them for bad faith.
The company might present you with an offer far below your repair costs. Take it or leave it. Leave it and call your lawyer right away. The company is basically trying to see if they can get away with it. Many times they can if the insured is desperate enough.
The company might deny your claim arguing you lack coverage, which may or may not be true. For instance, flooding is not covered under standard homeowners insurance. However, in many cases the insurance adjuster may try to misrepresent the cause of the damages to your property. If your house was damaged during a storm, they might try to pass it off as flooding.
Whatever your problem is, keep in mind that the insurer’s decision is not final. Your lawyer will help you appeal the decision. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to take out the big guns. If your claim was unreasonably delayed or denied you can file a lawsuit against the insurer and accuse them of acting in bad faith. If you win, you may be awarded punitive damages, on top of the compensation you were entitled to.