Living in the Sunshine State means the threat of intense weather is a way of life for most Florida residents, making the proper homeowner’s insurance an imperative part of planning. However, what do you do when a catastrophe strikes and the insurance company denies a claim that you were certain was covered? According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, you have options to explore before blindly accepting the decision.

The first step is to take a deep breath and read over the fine print of your policy to make sure you know what is covered and verify that you made your claim in the time allotted. If the written explanation sent by the company does not clear up confusion, call the provider’s billing office directly and have a representative explain exactly why you were denied. This helps eliminate the possibility of a simple human error or glitch that was overlooked. Be sure to have your policy close by and mark any sections that pertain directly to your claim.

If you are still denied but think the claim should be paid out based on what you see in your policy, write a letter outlining the reasons why you believe the claim should be covered and make a formal request for an internal appeal. Double check that all the information, details and dates that you include are correct. Misinformation can lengthen the process or result in another denial. Document every bit of communication you have with the provider throughout the process. If the claim is once again denied, file a complaint with the State Insurance Board and consider seeking legal counsel to review further options.

This post is solely intended to be educational and should not be mistaken for legal advice.