In insurance-speak, “loss” is anything of monetary value lost during an accident. The term extends to all kinds of insurance and is the basis for collecting compensation.
The value of the loss or causes of the damage is what your insurance company will dispute in a claim. Your property can endure several kinds of accidents, including:
- Natural Disasters
These types of loss can be further broken down. No matter the kind of loss or claim, rest assured the insurance company will find a way to deny it.
Why Does Insurance Deny My Claim for Total Loss?
The simple answer is money. Insurance companies are businesses and businesses exist to make money. Therefore, it’s not in the best interest of the insurance company to give out money for every claim. Even if they do pay you something, the insurance company won’t want to pay you as much as they could.
When you file a property claim with your insurance company, an adjuster or an engineer will come to your property to inspect any damage.
That adjuster will find a loophole in the damage that gives your insurance company a way out of paying or at least gives your insurance company a way to pay less. It would be best if you had a property claims attorney early in the claims process.
Does My Policy Cover My Property Damage?
A common reason for claim denial by insurance companies lies in your policy coverage.
Home insurance itself does not cover a lot. It’s barebones protection most mortgage companies require homebuyers to have. Think of it like minimum liability insurance for your car.
However, unlike an auto lender, most mortgage companies don’t require you to purchase full-comprehensive insurance. Homeowners insurance policies offer add-ons like:
- Hurricane Insurance
- Tornado Insurance
- Termite Insurance
- Frozen Pipe Insurance
Any damage you can imagine happening to your house has an additional policy for sale. Depending on where you live, these policies can be expensive.
For example, hurricane insurance can be pricey if you live in New Orleans or Miami. Tornado insurance can carry a hefty premium in Tulsa or Fort Worth. Whatever the disaster may be, you need to make sure your homeowner’s policy covers it.
If you believe your policy covers for a specific type of damage and the insurance company denies your claim, it’s time to call an attorney.
How Can An Insurance Claim Attorney Help Me?
If you have a disputed insurance claim, you’re going to need help pushing back against your insurance company, which means you’ll need to find an attorney who has experience dealing with adjusters, bad faith claims, and the general malfeasance of the insurance industry.
A property claims attorney has experience negotiating with insurance company lawyers and is well-versed in the tricks these companies use in court. Generally, you need to retain an attorney focusing on property claims right after the damage happens.
If an adjuster gets to the damage first and makes a case for the insurance company, your claim appeal will be much more difficult. Your lawyer can step in before the adjuster to make sure you have a set of eyes working in your best interest during an inspection. If you wait too long, you should still reach out to an attorney to see what they can do to help.
Don’t wait to call a property claims lawyer until after your claim denial. Call Scott, Vicknair, Hair & Checki, LLC at 504-684-5200 to make sure you have an advocate on your side.
Types of Insurance Loss
There are numerous types of insurance loss your property can suffer from. Here is a list of property insurance loss we’ve seen here at Scott, Vicknair, Hair & Checki, LLC:
Hurricane damage and flood damage are two different things in the eyes of an insurance company. Even though a hurricane can cause a flood, your hurricane insurance may not cover flooding in your house. You need to make sure you have no lapses in your policy in the event of a hurricane. Learn more about hurricane loss here.
Inverse condemnation is when private property is damaged by government negligence or damaged while under public use. The most common example of this is when a dam breaks or is mismanaged, leading to massive floods. The governing body over the property must be proven negligent to prove inverse condemnation. Learn more about inverse condemnation here.
Regular storms and hurricanes are different types of loss to an insurance company. If it was a hurricane that damaged your home instead of a tropical storm, the insurance company might not cover that kind of loss. If you know a terrible storm is brewing in your area, make sure your homeowner’s insurance covers that kind of damage. Find out more about storm loss here.
Flood insurance is one of the most popular add-ons to regular home insurance. Floods frequently happen in flat areas or near coasts. The damage floods can do range far beyond your home. Floods can infect the water supply, cause mass electrocutions and drown cars. Make sure your flood policy has no lapses in coverage and read more about it here.
It doesn’t need to be cold for hail to occur. Falling ice rocks can cause severe damage to your roof and car. Especially in the case of your roof, you’ll need an expert to assess the damage. Hail damage isn’t always spelled out in a homeowner’s insurance policy, so it’s essential to read yours before bad storms occur. Read more about loss from hail damage here.
Loss from wind damage can come from hurricanes, tropical storms, and tornadoes. If you hold policies for any of these kinds of insurance, you are entitled to compensation for wind damage. Don’t make any repairs on these damages until you’ve called your insurance company and an attorney. Learn more about loss from wind damage here.
Water damage doesn’t come from floods and rain exclusively. Busted pipes and a leaky roof can cause catastrophic damage to the structure of your home. As we’ve discussed, flood insurance covers damage from floods only. Water-related accidents in your home are included in your homeowner’s policy. Find out more about water damage loss here.
Tornado damages to your home are the least of your worries after a storm. You’ll need to relocate, which involves a whole load of new expenses. Your tornado insurance should cover these expenses, but your insurance company will find ways to deny the claim. Learn more about loss from Tornado damage here.
Wildfires have become ever-present in California and the west coast. The blazes can level hundreds of miles of residential property. Wildfire insurance should cover relocation costs and other damages associated with the fires. Insurance companies will be on the defensive against these claims from the get-go, so don’t waste time calling an attorney. Learn more about fire loss here.
Earthquakes happen without warning, so homeowners in high-risk areas need to be proactive to protect their home. Even if you don’t have earthquake-specific insurance, an attorney can help you find coverage in other parts of a homeowner’s policy. Find more about loss from earthquake damage here.
Sinkholes are terrifying geological occurrences where giant holes open in the ground. These holes swallow everything around it, including homes. Insurance companies will offer sinkhole policies in states with dense limestone terrain like Florida. Many factors go into a sinkhole claim, so don’t handle them alone. Learn more about sinkhole loss here.
Your insurance agent is supposed to act in your best interest. In cases where your agent drops the ball on your claim or filing in a reasonable amount of time, the agent has acted negligently. There would be recourse for you if this negligence caused you to lose potential compensation. Find out more about agent negligence here.
Theft and Vandalism
Homeowners insurance policies typically cover theft and vandalism, but adjusters will always find a reason to deny this claim. Companies will look for something the homeowner did that made their home vulnerable to theft. You’re owed what is in your policy, so always call an attorney if your plan won’t cover stolen property. Find out more about theft loss here.
Art is a highly valuable commodity that is a target for theft. Many pieces are investments which can cost a buyer thousands of dollars if damaged or destroyed. Any expensive piece of art should have an insurance policy on it in case of disaster. If your art loss claim is denied, call an attorney right away. Learn more about art loss here.
Fire & Smoke Damage Claim
Fires in the house can be started in several ways. Insurance companies are reluctant to cover these damages because the owner was not “careful enough” in preventing the fire. Then comes smoke damage, which can damage walls and air ducts. Both should be covered in homeowner’s insurance policies, but we often see those claims denied. Find out more about fire loss here.
Mold can be a death knell for a property. Mold can be hazardous to health, damage structure, and devalue the home. Mold forms from exposure to humidity and isn’t always covered by homeowner’s insurance. Some exclusions exist in these policies, so always review before filing a claim. Sometimes insurance companies will claim there is a “mold exclusion” even though that is not really the case. An experienced property loss attorney can figure out whether the insurance company is telling the truth. Find out more about mold loss here.
Share Your Insurance Denial Experience With Scott, Vicknair, Hair & Checki, LLC
If you had a property insurance claim denied or underpaid because of a loss in your home, you need an attorney on your side.
Don’t wait around for the insurance company – stop dragging your feet. Call Scott, Vicknair, Hair & Checki, LLC today for a free consultation on your property loss. We will fight to make sure you are adequately compensated for the claim.
Call (504) 493-7519 today.