Why Did the Insurance Company Deny My Fire Claim?

Posted on January 27, 2024


Hayden Haskins | author

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ICHQ | Site Author

When you own a home, a fire can quickly cause devastating losses. Most homeowners maintain insurance coverage to protect them against these losses. However, insurance companies may deny your fire damage claim or not offer a reasonable amount.

While some denials are justified, many are not. Learn more about the reasons insurance companies deny fire claims and how Insurance Claim HQ’s fire damage attorneys serving New Orleans can help you overcome these obstacles.

What Are Common Reasons Insurance Companies Deny Fire Claims?

While you are sifting through your remaining belongings and wondering when your life will return to normal, one of the worst things you can hear is that your house fire insurance claim is denied. Taking proactive steps can help you avoid this problem and increase the likelihood of a successful claim.

Even if you take preventative measures and avoid these common issues, insurance companies sometimes deny valid claims. If that happens to you, contact Insurance Claim HQ.

Exaggerated value of lost insured property

After a fire, some people assume they can say they have more belongings than they do or that the value of their personal property is more than it actually is. To avoid an accusation of exaggerating your claim, keep receipts for major purchases and an inventory of your belongings and home improvements you make. A video recording backed up to the cloud is an excellent form of proof.

Lack of documentation

Fires can cause structural, smoke, and water damage. After the fire and before you begin cleanup, take time to document the damage. Photos and videos are often used as evidence, and you may also ask neighbors and other witnesses for statements.

Detailed records of everything associated with your home can be invaluable evidence to refute many of the reasons insurance companies deny fire claims.

Non-payment of insurance premiums

Paying your premiums on time should eliminate the possibility of insurers denying claims due to non-payment. You may have difficulty fighting a denial if your payments aren’t current.

Suspicion of arson

Unfortunately, some homeowners use arson to commit insurance fraud. They may claim that faulty wiring caused a fire, for instance. Keep a detailed record of all work done to your home, such as electrical repairs. This documentation can protect you if your insurance company or the police suspect arson.

Underinsurance of property

Your home’s value typically determines the amount of coverage you need. However, some policies don’t include comprehensive coverage for replacement costs, particularly after wildfires or natural disasters. Be sure to ask your carrier for detailed information about how they pay in these situations and ensure that your coverage will take care of all related expenses.

In addition, many people don’t update their personal belongings coverage regularly. Keeping an inventory of what you own lets you increase the amount of coverage you purchase when needed.

Was Your House Fire Insurance Claim Denied in Bad Faith?

When you buy a homeowner’s policy and make on-time premium payments, your insurance company has a legal obligation to cover your claim for eligible losses. If these companies act in bad faith, you can pursue legal action.

Many people don’t recognize bad faith tactics, but here are a few insurance companies might use to deny fire claims:

  • Insurance companies should clearly explain their decision if they deny your claim. If they fail to offer justification, particularly if you ask, this may be bad faith.
  • Insurance policy language is often confusing. If companies deliberately misrepresent policy terms to deny your claim, it is bad faith.
  • Your insurance company should assign investigators and adjusters to your claim immediately. Delayed or lax investigations are often bad faith.
  • Incurred damages, policy terms, and liability should determine fair compensation after a fire. Intentionally offering a low settlement is typically considered bad faith.

If you suspect bad faith, document your reasoning. Then, contact Insurance Claim HQ for further information and advice. If your carrier refuses to cooperate through negotiations, we will take your case to trial if necessary.

Contact Insurance Claim HQ if the Insurance Company Denied Your Fire Claim Unfairly

Your whole life is affected if a fire damages or destroys your home. After paying homeowners policy premiums faithfully, you have the right to expect a fair settlement from your insurance company. When carriers deny valid claims, it adds insult to injury. At Insurance Claim HQ, we won’t stand for this injustice. We will fight for your right to reasonable compensation.

Whether you suspect bad faith, question your insurance company’s offer, or just want a second opinion, the award-winning Insurance Claim HQ is available 24/7 to help. Our attorneys have decades of experience with property casualty claims like fire damage, and we will evaluate your case for free. Contact us today by phone, reach out via live chat, or submit our claim evaluation request form online.

Fire Damage Claim FAQs

How can I protect my property after a house fire?

After the fire is entirely extinguished and you contact your insurance company to report the damage, you may take several steps to secure your property from further damage or theft:

  • Use tarps to cover openings, particularly on the roof.
  • Board up broken windows or doors with plywood.
  • If you cannot live in the home, temporarily disconnect utilities and remove valuables.
  • Consider hiring a restoration company to assist you in securing your home.

You may need to do more or less depending on the extent of your damage.

Do you have to rebuild after your house burns down?

Unless your policy states otherwise, you don’t have to rebuild in the same place. However, the payouts may differ according to replacement costs vs. depreciated value. If you choose not to rebuild, you are still responsible for paying the remainder of your mortgage.

Will homeowners insurance pay for debris removal after a fire?

Most insurance companies will cover at least some of the costs to remove debris, but many impose limits. Some carriers consider debris removal an endorsement or additional coverage. Check with your insurer to see how much they will pay.