• Welcome to Before the ClaimLearn how to successfully file an insurance claim while avoiding common mistakes and insurer tricks that keep you from recieving the benefits you paid for.
  • Before the Claim Article: 6 Common Mistakes People Make Common Mistakes People Make Before Filing A Homeowner’s Insurance Claim
  • Before the Claim: Did You Know:
The most frequent causes of homeowner’s claimsThe most frequent causes of homeowner’s claims are wind, hail, and water damage.
  • Before the Claim: Frequently Asked QuestionsWhen should I file my homeowner’s insurance claim?
  • Before the Claim: Article:
4 Tactics Homeowner’s Insurance
Companies Use4 Tactics Homeowner’s Insurance Companies Use to Deny Your Claim
  • Before the Claim: Did You Know: In any given year, approximately 7 percent of insured homeowner’s filed a claim.In any given year, approximately 7 percent of insured homeowner’s filed a claim.
  • After the ClaimAlready filed an insurance claim? Are the insurers giving you the run around? Avoid common mistakes and learn the tricks the insurer use to keep you from receiving the benefits you paid for. Learn how to get through the red tape and get what you are owed with less hassle! Learn More!
  • Before the Claim: Did You Know: In terms of dollars, jewelry was 
the top category for claims covered 
by homeowner’s insurance policies.In terms of dollars, jewelry was the top category for claims covered by homeowner’s insurance policies.
  • Before the Claim: Frequently Asked QuestionsHow is my homeowner’s insurance claim going to be evaluated?
  • Before the Claim: Did You Know: The average premium for homeowner’s insurance 
in 2012 was $909The average premium for homeowner’s insurance in 2012 was $909
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4 Tactics Homeowner’s Insurance Companies Use to Deny Your Claim

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In your mind, the homeowner’s insurance policy you purchased is there for the protection of you and your family. In reality, insurance is a business. By denying or delaying your claims, insurance companies make money. Even brief delays in claims payouts can result in millions for insurance companies. They know this, their investors know it, but the only people out of the loop are their customers.

You, millions of American homeowners.

They have a lot of money. Insurance companies have A LOT of lawyers. In some cases, your claims adjuster might even be an attorney. They have a lot of tricks and they know how to use them.

There is a bright side. Homeowners can defend themselves. All it takes is a little work. Each home and each homeowner’s insurance policy is different. You need to know the basics of your policy, in the event you have to file a claim.

In the meantime, be aware of these common tactics homeowner’s insurance companies use to deny claims from their own customers.

1: Claiming Damage Was Caused by Another Source

Homeowner’s insurance policies are unbelievably specific. The biggest trick used to deny homeowner’s insurance claims relate to finding the source of damage. For example, if you experience structural damage as a result of a storm, an appraiser might claim the damage resulted from termites. Damage from insects is usually considered a replacement cost and is the responsibility of the homeowner.

If this situation happens to you, know that you don’t have to take the insurance company’s final word on the matter. You can seek a second opinion from a Public Appraiser or, if need be, a lawyer.

2: Disputing the Source of Water Damage

Though technically covered by the section above, water damage deserves to be mentioned specifically when discussing homeowner’s insurance policies. In the event of a burst pipe or a similar disaster, homeowner’s insurance should cover the damage. However, the exact source of the water can make the difference whether a claim is paid or not.

For example, home and business owners in New York and New Jersey are actively fighting with insurance companies that claim their homes were destroyed by waves and tidal surges. These homeowners are trying to prove that wind actually destroyed their homes. Of course, flood insurance is available through the federal government and should be considered by all homeowners that live in flood prone areas.

3: Claiming Unpaid Premiums

An insurance policy is a contract. A contract is an agreement between two parties to fulfill certain obligations. The insurance company agrees to pay if certain damages occur. You agree to pay a monthly premium. You think that concept would be simple. Unfortunately, there are a lot of gray areas that trap homeowners.

To put it simply, PAY YOUR INSURANCE PREMIUM.

Everybody falls behind every now and then but your homeowner’s insurance premium should be considered a necessity. If something, anything, happens to your house and you are behind on your premiums, the insurance company can deny your claim. Unpaid premiums are one of the easiest ways for an insurance company to deny your claim.

Sometimes mistakes happen (or you have an incredibly shady insurance company), so you want to keep a thorough record of your paid premiums. You might need evidence the event your insurance company claims unpaid premiums.

4: Disputing Value of Lost Property

When trying to replace lost items, the value of items is going to be disputed. To ease this process, make sure to keep receipts on your more expensive belongings. This should be a part of the documentation you keep related to your homeowner’s insurance policy, along with receipts for paid premiums and a copy of your policy. This process is called the Valuation of Loss and any evidence have to support your claim can result in a higher payout.

Of course, the coverage on lost or damaged property will vary depending on the policy. Some homeowner’s have coverage that replaces lost property in full. Other, more common policies will only pay for the cost of the original item minus depreciation. The pay out and recovery of lost property will greatly depend on the type of property coverage in your homeowner’s insurance policy.