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What to Do if Fire Damage Claim is Denied

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Fires cause severe property and financial losses to businesses, which is why you need fire insurance. However, fire damage claims can get complicated and frustrating. Insurance companies can lower your compensation or reject your claim completely, leaving you with out-of-pocket expenses.

There are various reasons insurance companies deny your claim. Below are some of the most common:

  • Questionable claims or false statements
  • Insufficient documentation of the damage
  • Insufficient evidence
  • Missed premium payments
  • Exclusion clauses in your policy

Regardless of the reason, you have the right to re-appeal and demand a second look into your claim. An experienced property damage insurance attorney can help you build a stronger case and assist you through the appeal process.

Here’s a 3-step guide to filing an appeal for a denied fire damage claim.

  1. Review the denial letter

Your insurance provider will send a letter explaining why they rejected your claim. Compare the reasons they listed with the inclusions of your policy. This can be difficult due to the jargon used in the contract, which is why you need the help of an insurance lawyer.

Check if your policy coverage is enough to cover the loss. If it isn’t, there’s no reason for you to file an appeal.

If you confirm that the insurer’s dismissal of your claim is unreasonable, contact your agent or an insurance adjuster to raise your concern. Document every conversation you have with your insurance company, including the date, time, name of the person you spoke with, and what was agreed upon. 

  1. Strengthen your case

The burden proof is on you, so you have to have a strong, solid case to prove your loss from the fire. You can hire a public adjuster to help you explain the loss in detail and identify the clause in your policy clearly stating that the damage should be covered. Include the following details to strengthen your case:

  • Documentation and proof of the damage (e.g., photos)
  • Detailed evidence of the loss (e.g., financial statements)
  • Efforts to have your case reviewed (e.g., communication log with the insurer)
  • Rebuttal to the insurance company’s denial (e.g., policy information showing the loss should be covered)

If your claim remains unnoticed, climb the command ladder. Try to arrange a meeting or conversation with the insurer’s supervisor, manager, all the way to the director. The process may be laborious and time-consuming, but it will be worth it when you finally receive the compensation, especially if the fire damage was large-scale. 

  1. File a complaint

Your last resort is filing a complaint against the insurance company. This will automatically trigger a review of your denied claim. The insurance commissioner will handle your case and will evaluate your complaint and actions taken to get a second look into your claim.

If you do file a complaint, your insurance company might demand you to attend an Examination Under Oath. This legal process requires the legal counsel and representation of an insurance lawyer.

Aggressive Insurance Attorney in Los Angeles

Haffner Lawyers has a team of experienced insurance attorneys who will assist you throughout the process of your appeal. We take an aggressive approach in all our cases, making sure you have a strong case to support your claim. Our lawyers work to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve, enough to help your business recover from the fire.

For a consultation with a property damage insurance lawyer in Los Angeles, give us a call at 213-514-5681.

(This is an attorney advertisement by Joshua Haffner)

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