If you have a California homeowners insurance policy, you may have specific coverage for disasters like a house fire. But how do you know if your coverage is enough? Some studies show that up to 80% of fire damage claims in California are denied due to being underinsured. That means you do not have enough insurance to cover those fire-related losses.
After something as devastating as a house fire, the last thing you need is to have your insurance claim denied. Unfortunately, denials are common, and they leave victims in a serious lurch. One of the best ways to avoid a denial is to be aware of the most common reasons they happen, so you can attempt to avoid possible pitfalls.
Common Reasons for Fire Claim Denial
· You are underinsured: Your claim may be denied if your insurance coverage limit is less than the cost of the damage or loss.
· Your belongings are underinsured: Some homeowners do not consider the cost of personal belongings when purchasing insurance. But if the coverage limits are less than the value of the home’s content, your claim could be denied. Make sure you have adequate coverage for your property.
· You missed a payment: If you are behind on your premium payment, the insurance company can deny your claim. Insurance companies are not legally required to pay out a loss claim on a policy that is not in good standing.
· You inflated the value of your damaged or lost property: If an insurance company feels that you are inflating the value of damaged or lost property, they may deny your claim. Avoid this pitfall by keeping a record of valuable property in the home. Take pictures and include valuations.
· You were DIY’ing your electrical system: If the insurance company finds evidence that you were doing electrical work without proper inspections or permits, and the electrical work caused the fire, your claim will be denied. Always get permits or inspections when doing delicate or dangerous home repairs.
If your fire damage claim has been denied, but you believe you are entitled to coverage, let SM Law review your case.