Maintain Your Home Or Risk Having Your Claim Denied
In many homeowners insurance disputes, the insurance company will deny payment to the homeowner, on the basis that the damage to the home is not covered by the policy. You may wonder how that is possible, but it often happens because of homeowner neglect.
Example of Neglect
Let’s say that there is a tree next to your home. A large branch breaks off and falls on your roof damaging it. You make a homeowners insurance claim. It seems that this is an “easy” case—you had nothing to do with the tree branch falling. This is clearly a random act of god or nature, and thus, your policy should cover damages to your roof.
Or will it? Because in this situation, the insurance company may deny covering you, alleging that the tree that fell may have been sick, old, or just improperly maintained by you.
In other words, they are saying that you neglected to care for the tree (assuming it is on your property), and thus, your neglect is what caused the tree to be fragile, and eventually, to break off and damage your property.
Insurance Company Will Blame You
If you have a loss and try to make an insurance claim the insurance company will look to things that you didn’t do but should have done, that you may not have even thought of.
For example, if your home is damaged in a fire, the insurance company may go so far as to look and see if you had working smoke detectors with batteries in them. If not, they may deny your claim—even if the immediate cause of the fire was out of your control.
There is no one exhaustive list of things to do to maintain a home. However, it should go without saying that you should address potential problems, before they become larger problems. Because of time or expense, often, we don’t do that.
For example, if you see a small leak, fix it. If it isn’t fixed, and now you have a larger flood, or mold damage, or structural compromise to your foundations because of the leak, you have now allowed a small problem to become bigger because of your inaction.
If there are electrical outlets that seem loose, or unstable, they should be fixed before they cause an electrical fire. Rooms should be kept dry, and air conditioning should be run in the summer, to avoid mold.
Even the locks on your doors should be in working order, in the event that you have a theft claim.
You should also regularly service your clothes dryer, as they can cause a fire as well, when lines are not cleaned out.
As you can see, causation, and homeowner neglect, are big areas where insurance companies deny claims. But it may not always be your fault. Get legal help, if you are being blamed for damages to your home that you believe that your insurance policy should cover.
Contact the Miami property damage insurance attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. if you have been denied coverage for a homeowners insurance claim, or you have a dispute with your homeowners insurance company.