What to do if your homeowner’s insurance claim is denied

“Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home. ”

— J.H. Payne

No one wants their homeowner’s claim to be denied, but it happens. And if it does, follow these 5 steps.

Step 1

Read the denial letter from the insurance company. It should state why your claim was denied.

There are several reasons why a claim may be denied:  the loss did not occur within the policy period; the damaged property was not insured; the cause of the damage was not a covered peril; you did not have an insurable interest; an exclusion applies; or you failed to comply with policy conditions. You should understand the insurance company’s reason for denying the claim, but you don’t have to accept it.

Step 2

Read your homeowner policy, especially any language used by the insurance company in the denial letter. Review the policy period and types of coverage. Look at the maximum amount you are entitled to. See if you agree with the insurance company’s reason for denying the claim.

Step 3

Record the names and dates of everyone you talked to from the insurance company. Write down the substance of each conversation. Note the dates any inspections were done and what was said. Keep all correspondence and written documents from the insurance company.

Step 4

Contact the person who wrote the denial letter if you think the denial was incorrect. Write them a letter and explain why you disagree. Note relevant language from the policy and any past relevant conversations. You may need to provide photos and receipts.

Step 5

You can guess this one. If Steps 1 through 4 don’t resolve your dispute, contact a property damage lawyer. A property damage lawyer will represent your interests and will seek full and fair payment of your claim.

Questions? Contact Me for a free consultation.

Evan Walker

Evan W. Walker is a La Jolla attorney who has practiced law since 2008. He is licensed to practice in California, Connecticut, and Louisiana. His entire practice has been in litigation.

Evan is from a small town outside of New Orleans. He attended law school in New Orleans, which was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina. After evacuating to Houston, Evan graduated in 2008 as part of the ‘Hurricane Katrina Class.’

After graduation, Evan worked for a New Orleans insurance defense firm. He defended insurance companies against Hurricane Katrina lawsuits brought by homeowners and business owners.

In 2010, he and his wife moved to New Haven, Connecticut, so his wife could complete a medical residency at Yale. During the next few years, Evan worked for Travelers Insurance Company defending countless personal injury lawsuits.

In 2014, he moved to San Diego so his wife could complete a medical fellowship at UCSD. He then opened his own firm to represent people after years of defending insurance companies.

Evan is a Featured Faculty at Attorney Credits, a CLE company, and a regular contributor to various podcasts and publications. He has also been interviewed by San Diego television stations about his cases and practice.

Evan spent almost a decade as a defense attorney who defended insurance companies from personal injury and property damage lawsuits. He knows how insurance companies bully people and deny claims. And he knows how to fight them.

Bar Admissions: California Connecticut (inactive) Louisiana (inactive)

Acta Non Verba

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