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What to Do If Your Hurricane Claim Was Denied

What to Do If Your Hurricane Claim Was Denied

3 Steps to Take After a Denied Claim

Hurricane Ida left thousands of Louisiana residents without power and significant home damages that may take years to recover from. Recent reports estimate that the costs of these damages are upwards of $95 billion nationwide, and over 100,000 insurance claims were filed in the aftermath.

Having an insurance provider deny a claim in these dire circumstances can leave many questioning what their next steps should be. If your Ida claim was denied, read on to learn the three things you should do next to begin your appeals process.

#1. Learn Why You Were Denied

Often when an insurance company denies a claim, you will receive some form of communication detailing why this occurred. If you have not yet received this notice, reach out to your provider to discuss it. Often the issues with your claim are simple fixes, but unclear reasoning for a denied claim could potentially point to insurance bad faith.

Understanding the common reasons for claim denials can help you navigate the process with greater awareness and take appropriate steps to protect your rights. We will explore some of the reasons why hurricane claims are often denied, empowering you to be better prepared and informed:

  • Lack of Sufficient Documentation: One of the primary reasons for claim denials is inadequate documentation of damages. Insurance companies require thorough evidence to substantiate the extent of the damage caused by the hurricane. Failing to provide proper documentation, such as photographs, videos, or expert assessments, can lead to claim denial. It is essential to document all damages in detail and keep records of expenses related to repairs and replacements.
  • Failure to Mitigate Further Damage: Insurance policies typically require policyholders to take reasonable steps to prevent further damage to their property after a hurricane. This may include temporary repairs, securing the premises, or seeking professional assistance. If a homeowner neglects these responsibilities, the insurance company may deny the claim on the grounds of negligence or lack of mitigation efforts.
  • Policy Exclusions and Limitations: Insurance policies often contain exclusions and limitations that specify what types of damages are covered. For instance, certain policies may not cover flood damage or damages caused by specific perils like wind or hail. It is crucial to review your policy carefully to understand its coverage limitations and exclusions, ensuring you have the appropriate coverage for potential hurricane-related damages.
  • Pre-Existing Damage: Insurance companies may deny claims if they suspect that the reported damages existed prior to the hurricane. They may argue that the damages were not caused solely by the hurricane event but were pre-existing or caused by other factors. To counter this argument, homeowners should have pre- and post-storm documentation to demonstrate the new damages caused by the hurricane.
  • Missed Deadlines: Timeliness is crucial when it comes to filing insurance claims. Insurance policies typically have specific deadlines for reporting damages and filing claims. If homeowners fail to meet these deadlines, their claims may be denied. It is important to be aware of the timelines specified in your policy and initiate the claims process promptly.
  • Policy Lapses or Non-Payment: Maintaining timely premium payments is essential to keep your insurance policy active. If you have a history of missed payments or allow your policy to lapse, the insurance company may deny your claim, asserting that you were not covered at the time of the hurricane. It is crucial to stay up to date with premium payments to ensure continuous coverage.

#2. Gather More Evidence

If your claim was denied due to insufficient evidence, take the time to collect documents, images, and an inventory of damages. These may work to strengthen your claim. It may also help if you speak to contractors and get estimates of the cost of repairs or have documentation proving that these repairs have to be made.

Having your hurricane insurance claim denied due to insufficient evidence can be disheartening. However, it doesn’t mean the end of the road for your claim. With proper documentation and a strategic approach, you can strengthen your case and increase the chances of a successful appeal. In this blog post, we will discuss practical steps you can take to collect the necessary evidence and build a compelling case to support your hurricane claim.

  • Document the Damages: After a hurricane, it’s crucial to document all damages to your property thoroughly. Take detailed photographs and videos of the affected areas, highlighting the extent of the destruction. Capture both close-up shots and wider angles to provide a comprehensive view. Document any visible structural damage, roof leaks, water intrusion, and damage to personal belongings.
  • Prepare an Inventory: Create a detailed inventory of damaged or destroyed items within your property. Make a list of furniture, appliances, electronics, valuable possessions, and any other items that have been affected by the hurricane. Include descriptions, approximate values, and purchase receipts if available. This inventory will help substantiate your claim and demonstrate the extent of your losses.
  • Gather Supporting Documents: Collect any relevant documents that support your claim. This may include receipts, invoices, repair estimates, contractor agreements, and any other paperwork related to repairs or replacement of damaged property. These documents will help establish the value of the damages and the costs associated with restoration.
  • Obtain Weather Reports: Obtain official weather reports and documentation from relevant meteorological agencies or reputable sources that confirm the occurrence and severity of the hurricane in your area. These reports can serve as supporting evidence, linking the damages to the specific weather event.
  • Review Your Insurance Policy: Carefully review your insurance policy to understand the coverage and exclusions relevant to your claim. Look for any specific requirements or documentation that your policy may require for hurricane-related claims. This will help you ensure that you meet the necessary criteria and provide the requested information.

#3. Contact an Attorney

Working with an attorney is one of the most effective ways to discover why your claim was denied and what you can do to recover compensation for the damages. They may also be able to fight on your behalf in the courtroom if it turns out that your claim was undervalued, wrongfully denied, or done so in bad faith.

If you are seeking an attorney following a denied Hurricane Ida claim, contact the team at The Chopin Law Firm LLC today. Our attorneys are skilled in hurricane damage claims and are prepared to help you pursue an appeal or lawsuit if need be. Call (504) 475-2429 or fill out this short form to schedule a free consultation.