9 Reasons Homeowners Insurance Claims Are Denied

Year after year, you send that premium payment for your homeowners policy. When accidents happen, you expect the insurance company to cut a check for the full extent of the damage to your home, no matter the amount or what caused it.

It doesn’t always work that way. What you think you’re entitled to under your policy and what the carrier believes they owe you are often two very different dollar figures.

Don’t take it personally. Remember, carriers have to price your coverage based on statistics, probability and risk. They can only pay to the extent a claim is based in cold, hard facts, policy language and evidence. 

If your claim falls under one or more of the criteria below, there’s a good chance it will be reduced or denied altogether. But alas, insurance companies don’t take claims personally, either. We’ll follow with ways to ensure your property is covered properly and recovered adequately.

Why Are Homeowners Insurance Claims Denied?

  • Not Enough Information

  • As the homeowner, it’s your responsibility to file and prove your claim. Insufficient documentation of damage to your property won’t help your case. Neither will a lack of a complete inventory of valuables on or in your property prior to the loss.

  • Taking Too Long to File

  • If you take too long to file the claim, your chances of a satisfactory payment go way down. Policies typically contain time-sensitive requirements for filing the claim and documenting damage.

  • Late Payments

  • If your premium payments are late and result in any lapses in coverage, you run the risk of property damage occurring when your policy is exempt due to non-payment.

  • Threat of Fraud

  • Unfortunately, insurance fraud is a predictable reality. Therefore, your carrier will send their own claims adjuster to investigate almost every claim. Anything that raises questions—whether in the claim or in your initial application—could be game over. If your losses are serious, particularly if the policy covers your business, consider hiring an independent adjuster. 

  • Claim Type Not Included in Coverage

  • No homeowners policy covers the entire house and everything in it, nor does it cover against every possible source of damage or loss. Common policy “exclusions” include earthquakes, floods and water/sewage backup, or other regional risks. 

  • Loss is Close to Your Deductible

  • A typical homeowners policy deductible—the amount you pay before the claim kicks in—is $1,000. If the estimated loss is close enough to your deductible level, carriers will deny the claim, though in that scenario you wouldn’t want to file one. 

  • Perilous Claims May Not Be Covered

  • In insurance speak, “perils” refer to things like fire, theft, lightning and hail. “Occurrences” speak to the actual losses, such as a destroyed kitchen, or soaked carpet and furniture. Lower-end policies only cover a certain number of perils, others cover all of them. 

  • Somebody (or Something Else’s) Fault

  • If it was your contractor’s negligence that collapsed the foundation or your neighbor’s tree that totaled your SUV, your insurance company isn’t responsible—and your policy doesn’t apply. 

  • Excessive Wear

  • Imagine an insurance carrier paying to fix a rusted-out car bumper after an accident. Doesn’t happen. Same goes for an old roof full of worn shingles and leaks. If a claims adjuster finds evidence of poor maintenance or excessive wear-and-tear of your property, chances are the claim will be denied. 

Avoid the Dreaded Denial

  • Document all damage and file a detailed itemized claim to your insurance
  • Notify your carrier as soon as possible (even if in the middle of the night) of any loss and know the time limits for filing a claim
  • Don’t miss a premium payment
  • Know what your policy covers and excludes; obtain adequate coverage for more “perils” if available
  • Do everything possible to maintain the property before an event, and to mitigate the damage until an adjuster assesses the damage

What You Need to Know About Motorcycle Insurance

For motorcycle enthusiasts, a weekend trek with the motorcycle community is many rider’s idea of paradise. Don’t have the right motorcycle insurance? Paradise can quickly turn into something else.

To stay in motorcycle bliss, make sure to protect yourself, your precious bike and others.

Before selecting or renewing motorcycle insurance coverage, here’s what you need to know. First, you need insurance. Most riders are required by law to — at a minimum — to purchase liability coverage.

Motorcycle Liability Coverage: Bodily Injury and Property Damage

For motorcycle liability coverage, there are two different types: bodily injury liability and property damage liability.

Bodily injury liability helps cover costs for others if you cause the accident. It addresses medical costs, loss of income, as well as funeral costs in event of a fatality in an accident.

Property damage liability covers the damage to another motorist’s property.

Minimum liability insurance requirements vary by state. And while the minimum might get you by, only purchasing it could really hurt your financial situation if you’re at fault in an accident. 

Consider additional liability coverage:

  • To protect your financial assets from creditors. If you’re sued, your minimum liability may not cover all the legal costs and claims.
  • To protect your passengers. In some cases, bodily injury liability insurance will cover passengers. But check your coverage. You may need passenger liability coverage if you intend to have a friend or family member hop on the bike with you.
  • To protect yourself from others. Ever been in an accident with someone who didn’t have insurance and they’re at fault? Some states require you to carry uninsured/underinsured coverage. This will help provide coverage for injuries and, in many cases, property damage when a less conscientious rider can’t cover the liability expense.

Finally, some states also require a minimum medical benefit. Your health insurance may qualify, but let’s review the topic further.

Motorcycle Medical Payments Coverage

Required in some states and not available in others, medical payments coverage will pay for medical services — in many cases, up to one year from the accident — if you are injured in an accident. 

It’s not based on fault. It will pay for medical bills for you and, in many cases, a passenger if one or both are hurt while riding your motorcycle.

Medical services covered often include:

  • Hospital stays and visits
  • X-rays
  • Dental expenses
  • Prescription drugs
  • Nursing services

A word of caution for motorcycle medical coverage. While coverage can benefit riders, you should view it as a supplement, not a replacement, for health insurance.

Motorcycle Collision Coverage

Motorcycle collision coverage will cover the costs to repair or replace a bike, minus your deductible, if involved in a collision.

Collision coverage is not required. But if you love your bike, you might as well as treat it as required. One thing that can catch riders by surprise: the replacement value. Make sure to purchase enough coverage to replace your bike in case it’s totaled.

This is especially true of classic or custom motorcycles. Most insurers offer special coverage for these specialty bikes. With these motorcycles, you want to ensure you receive the actual value of the bike if you’re in accident or it’s damaged in some other way.

Which brings us to motorcycle comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive Coverage for Your Motorcycle

Comprehensive coverage will pay the expenses for damage not related to a collision with another car or motorcycle. As with collision coverage, a deductible will apply.

Comprehensive coverage protects you and your bike in situations such as:

  • Theft
  • Fire damage
  • Weather damage
  • Vandalism
  • Animal collisions

Like collision coverage, with comprehensive, you will want enough coverage to pay for the total cost of the bike if you need to replace it.

Other Motorcycle Insurance Considerations

In addition to core motorcycle insurance coverage, insurers can offer options such as roadside assistance, trip interruption and custom parts coverage. 

Furthermore, if you live an area where you can’t make use of your bike year-round, ask about lay-up insurance. If you store your motorcycle in the winter, you pay a reduced insurance premium during those months. 

Finding The Right Motorcycle Insurance Coverage

When it comes to motorcycle insurance coverage, there is plenty to think through. We can work with you to find the right insurer and tailor a policy to get you on the road.

But even before connecting with us, consider doing the following to help reduce your insurance premiums:

  • Maintaining a good driving record with your auto policy
  • Taking a motorcycle safety class
  • Joining a motorcycle riders association
  • Limiting theft and non-use accident risks for your bike by installing an alarm and securing it a garage