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 has practiced law throughout California, Connecticut, and Louisiana.

Evan worked for and defended insurance companies during the first 7 years of his practice. Since 2015, he has represented people with personal injury and property damage claims and insurance disputes.

Evan’s practice is devoted to serious personal injury claims and catastrophic property damage claims. Areas of focus include security claims against bars and other businesses, government tort claims, fire and flood claims, and inverse condemnation. On behalf of clients, Evan has fought insurance firms, international companies, cities, bars, and casinos.

Evan regularly shares his expertise with other attorneys by teaching courses on insurance and inverse condemnation. He has taught several continuing legal education courses to Attorney Credits, a nationwide CLE company, and ProLawCLE, another nationwide CLE company. He also contributes to various podcasts and publications.

Associations:

  • Member, State Bar of California
  • Member, San Diego Bar Association
  • Member, Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Member, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
  • Member, La Jolla Bar Association
  • Member, La Jolla Village Merchants Association
  • Member, San Diego Chamber of Commerce