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How to appeal if your homeowner's insurance claim is denied

Insurance companies routinely deny or lowball homeowner's insurance claims for all kinds of reasons, and if you have ever been on the receiving end of such an action, you know just how devastating such news can be. If your homeowner's insurance claim is denied following a burglary, hurricane, flood or another type of weather-related event, the costs associated with the damage can be staggering. While you have a right to appeal the decision, it is essential that you document the damage and closely familiarize yourself with both the policy itself and the specific details of your case.

Preparing to appeal

If you are like many people, you probably do not have the information contained in your homeowner's insurance policy committed to memory. It is important, however, that you come to fully understand it before you go to bat against your insurance provider so you can anticipate any arguments they may make for denying your claim.

Steps to take after the denial

Your insurance company has an obligation to explain why your homeowner's insurance claim was denied, and this type of communication typically comes in the form of a formal letter. If you disagree with the contents of the letter and the provider's reasoning for denying your claim, you can ask for further clarification. Just be sure to closely document all communications with your insurance company along the way along with dates, times and the names of the people with whom you speak.

Filing the appeal

If you are planning to move forward with filing an appeal, find an impartial third party and lay out your argument. Ask the person if he or she identifies any holes or sees any areas that may require further clarification. Use this information when filling out an appeal with your provider, which you must ultimately do. When you file the appeal, ask that the issue be resolved before a specific date. The company does not necessarily have to comply with your request, but it may prove beneficial down the line if you find that you have to pursue legal action against the insurer.

When it comes to homeowner's insurance claims, your chances of a successful outcome may improve when you have as much documentation as possible relating to damage and the value of any lost assets. If your homeowner's insurance claim was denied for reasons you feel are invalid and the aforementioned steps have proven fruitless, you may find it beneficial to speak with an attorney.

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