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Reasons an insurance company may give for denying a claim

Many times, homeowners file an insurance claim thinking their case is pretty straightforward, only to be surprised when the insurance company denies the claim. There are reasons that insurance companies give for denying claims based on damage that the homeowner’s policy covers, including that an exclusion or limitation applies.

In insurance law, an exclusion often allows an insurer to deny coverage when the company determines the damage to the home was caused deliberately, when the policy covers damage from negligent acts only. A limitation is more limited. It may apply only under certain circumstances or for a limited period of time.

The insurance company may also claim that the policy was cancelled before the homeowner made the claim. In general, an insurance company may not cancel a policy unless the homeowner fails to pay the premiums, or has made misrepresentations or committed fraud somehow. However, the terms of the policy last only for a state term period, and the insurance company may decide to discontinue or not renew the policy, as long as it is for a legal reason.

Both the homeowner and insurer must abide by the terms of the policy. This means that if the homeowner’s house is damaged and he or she files a valid claim, the insurance company must offer a fair settlement. Falsely claiming the homeowner violated the policy, or conveniently cancelling the policy illegally, are not legitimate excuses.

Insurance companies usually are large and intimidating, but an attorney experienced in fighting homeowners’ insurance denials can help defend your rights. 

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