Top 5 Reasons Why Insurance Companies Might Deny Fire Claims
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are more than 1.3 million residential and commercial fires that take place all across the country each year. They lead to more than 3,500 deaths, over 15,000 injuries, and about $25 billion in damages.
Fortunately, most home and business owners are protected against the damages done by fires thanks to their insurance policies. Insurance companies will often pay to have homes and businesses rebuilt in the immediate aftermath of fires.
But there are some reasons insurance companies deny fire claims. These companies will usually conduct a house fire insurance investigation following a fire, and once that’s done, you may find your fire claim denied by them at which point you’ll need to get a fire insurance claim lawyer involved.
If an insurance company denied a fire claim for you, they may have done it for any number of reasons. Find out what some of the reasons could be below.
1. They Suspect Arson
Every year, there are tens of thousands of fires that are set intentionally. If your insurance company suspects that arson might have caused a fire to start in your home, that could be reason enough for them to deny your claim.
This is one of the top reasons insurance companies deny fire claims. They come down especially hard on those who try to set their own homes or businesses on fire and then file insurance claims.
If you’ve recently filed for bankruptcy or experienced other money issues and your house suddenly catches on fire and burns to the ground, you can rest assured your insurance company is going to raise an eyebrow at this. They’ll launch a full investigation and will refuse to pay out a dime if they think you might be to blame for your house fire.
2. They Find Out You Were Doing Work on Your Home Without the Proper Permits
Anytime you decide to do work in your home, either on your own or with help from a contractor, you need to make sure you pull the proper permits for it. You cannot legally do work in your home if you don’t have permits to do it.
You could face large fines and other penalties if you get caught doing unpermitted work in your home. You could also have a fire claim denied if you experience a fire in your home while doing unpermitted work on it.
Pulling permits for home improvement projects is always a pain in the butt. But you’ll be glad you went through the trouble of doing it if your house ever catches on fire while you’re doing work on it.
3. They Believe Illegal Activities May Have Been Happening in Your Home
Every year, there are dozens of fires that start as a direct result of illegal drug manufacturing. Oftentimes, so-called “meth labs” are to blame for these fires.
If your home ever catches on fire specifically because you’re operating a drug manufacturing lab in it, there is absolutely no chance of an insurance company covering your claim. You’re likely going to get sent to jail and forced to foot the bill for the fire that started because of your actions.
Some of the reasons insurance companies deny fire claims might not seem that fair to people. But this is one that almost everyone will agree on.
4. They Think You May Be Lying About the Value of Everything in Your Home
Following a fire in your home, you’re going to need to create a list of everything that was in it for your insurance company as part of your claim. You’re also going to need to estimate the value of the things that were destroyed in the fire that took place.
This can be very difficult to do. It’s hard enough to put a price tag on things like TVs and other electronics. But it can be even more difficult doing it when you’re trying to calculate the cost of family heirlooms.
If your insurance company believes that you might be inflating the price tags on some of your personal possessions in an effort to get a larger payout, they could very well deny your claim because of that alone. It’s why you need to be as truthful as possible when working your way through this part of a claim.
5. They See That You Have a History of Filing Large Fire-Related Claims
Have you ever filed a fire-related insurance claim in the past? If you have, that could cause some suspicions when your insurance company receives your claim from you.
They might think that you’re trying to pull a fast one on them. And it could result in them taking a very close look at your claim and denying it for the smallest reason.
You’re going to need to make sure that you have your story as straight as you can get it if you’ve ever filed a large insurance claim before. Otherwise, you can almost guarantee that your insurance company is going to push back on it and try to deny your claim.
Regardless of what your situation is, it’s almost always a good idea to have a fire insurance claim lawyer on your side when making a claim. A law firm like Shochet Law Group can assist you in filing a claim and work to get you the payout that you deserve in the end.
These Are Just Some of the Reasons Insurance Companies Deny Fire Claims
As you’ve seen here, there are many reasons insurance companies deny fire claims. These companies will look for any reason they can find to avoid paying more money than they have to.
Do your best to steer clear of getting on your insurance company’s bad side by being truthful when filing a claim. Speak with a lawyer about everything, too, so that you’re able to increase your chances of having your claim approved by your insurance company.
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