5 Warning Signs There May Be an Issue With Your Home Insurance Claim
Are you concerned about your home insurance claim?
Is your insurer dragging it’s feet, delaying your claim, or avoiding paying the amount you are owed?
Sometimes, the insurer is simply doing their due diligence, researching your claim and verifying the facts.
In other cases, these warning signs suggest the insurer is denying your claim or reducing your payout.
Your insurer may be acting in bad faith, deliberately delaying your claim unnecessarily to frustrate you and convince you to take a lower payout.
Here are five warning signs there could be an issue with your insurance claim.
You Haven’t Heard from Your Insurer in a While
Typically, your insurer updates you frequently during the claim process. They may contact you for information, respond with updates, issue advance payments, and keep you in the loop.
If your insurer has suddenly stopped communicating, however, and has not updated your claim in a while, then it could be a sign of an issue with your claim.
States require insurers to respond to your requests in an appropriate length of time. Some states have specific laws – like 14 to 30 days – during which insurers must respond to your claim. Other states require insurers to respond in a “reasonable” length of time. If your insurer hasn’t responded to your claim in a while, it could indicate an issue with your claim.
Contact your insurer and request an update. Keep a record of all communication with your insurer, including the dates and times of the conversation and the topics discussed. When you hang up the phone, follow the call with an email to the person you spoke to and outline what you discussed. Ask them to respond if any of the information you have recapped is incorrect.
Your Insurer Notifies that Your Claim is Being Investigated
Insurance companies lose billions each year to fraud. Insurers investigate claims as part of their normal due diligence process.
A formal “investigation,” however, is not a normal part of a standard home insurance claim. All claims take time for processing, but this processing time is different than an investigation:
- If your insurer tells you your claim is being processed or going through processing, then this is a normal and expected part of the claims process. Your insurer is simply verifying your paperwork and other documentation and proceeding with your claim as normal.
- If your insurer tells you your claim is being investigated, then this may not be a good sign. It could indicate the insurer needs more evidence to verify your claim, for example. Or, it could indicate the insurer believes your claim was not legitimate or that some or all damage is not covered by your policy.
If you have a good insurer and a legitimate claim, then there may be little reason to worry: the insurer might simply be doing their due diligence.
If you have a poorly-rated insurer, however, then there could be a reason to worry. Some insurers investigate claims unnecessarily to slow down the payout process, frustrating homeowners and convincing you to accept a lower payout.
It’s Been 30 Days Since Filing a Claim With No Settlement or Notification
State laws vary. However, most insurers aim to resolve claims within around 30 days. During these 30 days, the insurer looks over your claim, verifies your information, and either approves or denies your claim. If this is a flood claim or a “catastrophe” claim, then that time limit is extended to 90 days.
If it’s been 30 days since filing your claim and you haven’t heard much from your insurer, then it could be a cause for concern. Typically, insurers alert customers within 30 days if their claim has been approved or denied.
Look for a formal letter within a 30 day window. If you haven’t received a formal letter approving or denying your claim, consider reaching out to your insurer or hiring a public adjuster.
Your Insurer is Asking Excessive Questions
Insurance companies investigate claims as a normal part of their job. However, if the insurer is asking an excessive number of questions, it could indicate a problem with your claim – or an insurer acting in bad faith.
Your insurance company should ask three basic questions after a claim:
- What happened to your property? What type of damage occurred to your home?
- How have your home, property, or possessions been damaged?
- What is your proof of these damages?
If the insurance company continues to ask questions beyond the questions above, it could indicate a problem with your claim.
Some insurers ask excessive questions to trip you up, for example, and cast doubt on your claim.
Other insurers ask excessive questions to delay your claim unnecessarily. Both of these are serious issues where your insurer is acting in bad faith.
The Insurance Company Requests a Recorded Statement
Sometimes, your insurer requests a recorded statement as part of the investigation process. The insurer may ask you to sit for a recorded interview with their adjuster or they may ask you to do a sworn statement under oath at a law firm.
During the interview, the insurance company’s adjuster asks questions, and your answers are formally recorded and used for or against your claim.
Generally, insurance experts do not recommend giving a recorded statement to your insurance company. In many cases, it’s a trap. This is the time to seek help and have a licensed adjuster prepare you for the call.
Even if you have a legitimate home insurance claim, your insurer could find reason to deny your claim with a recorded statement. If you misspeak or incorrectly remember something, for example, then your insurer could use that information to deny your claim or reduce your payout.
Solution: Fight Back by Hiring a Public Adjuster
There’s a simple solution for all of these warning signs: fight back by hiring an insurance professional to represent your side of the battle.
A public adjuster represents you – not the insurance company. The public adjuster fights for your best interests, negotiating with your insurer to ensure you receive every penny owed to you.
If your insurer is acting in bad faith, then your public adjuster can call out your insurer. Public adjusters know the tricks insurers use to reduce payouts or deny claims – and they know how to push back on behalf of the policyholder.
Whether your insurer is acting in bad faith or just being slow, you could speed up your claim, increase your payout, and receive the payout you deserve with a good public adjuster.
Get Insurance Claim Help When Necessary
When a home insurance claim goes smoothly, your insurer processes it quickly, approves the paperwork and documentation, and pays you based on the terms of your policy.
In many cases, however, insurance claims don’t go smoothly. Insurers could demand excessive paperwork to reduce your payout, for example, or act in bad faith to delay your claim.
Hire a licensed public adjuster in your area to help. ClaimsMate is a licensed public adjuster company with a proven track record for resolving claims.
If you have a complicated claim and a difficult insurer, then it may be in your best interest to hire a public adjuster. Contact ClaimsMate today for a free consultation.