Reasons Insurance Companies Deny Fire Claims

You had a fire, but your insurer denied the claim. What gives?!

Few things are as devastating to a family's life as a house fire. Fire can spread at a breakneck speed, destroying and consuming everything in its path. It's not uncommon for people to lose everything they ever worked on in a fire that runs amok. House fires are extremely common, which is why having smoke alarms is a building code issue. If you recently had a fire occur in your home, you probably did the right thing and called your insurance company. They are there to help you cover the damages and help keep your life in order. Unfortunately, not all fire insurance claims are accepted, and the reasons insurance companies deny fire claims might surprise you. Before you assume that all hope is lost, you might want to understand what's going on with your claim and what options you have ahead of you.

Reasons Insurance Companies Deny Fire Claims

If you got a denial letter when you put in your claim, it's normal to be devastated. Understanding why a fire claim could be denied is vital to figuring out your next step. The most common reason why a company might reject the claim is that they believe you may have had something to do with the fire, or they believe that you didn't maintain your home up to a standard that promotes fire safety. Much of this deals with common sense, such as not lighting fireworks in a kitchen. Another common reason why the claim could be denied is a lack of evidence that you tried to contact the authorities. For example, if you had a fire and never called the fire department, many insurers will raise an eyebrow and ask why.
reasons insurance companies deny fire claims

What to Do if Your Claim Is Denied

Do insurance companies deny fire claims? Sometimes, but that doesn't mean you need to accept their denial. If you get denied, you have the right to strengthen your case and file an appeal. You can do this by offering more evidence, such as phone records showing you called the police, witness statements, receipts (if applicable), as well as a written rebuttal. If you find yourself in a position where the denial harmed your income, you can also file a complaint with the state insurance board. Should you get any threatening letters from the company, you may want to hire a lawyer. In some cases, a legal professional can help you get the claim pushed through and also help prevent you from being wrongly charged with insurance fraud. The more you can justify your claim, the better. Having someone else on your team helps.

do insurance companies deny fire claims

What Happens if Your Claim Is Still Denied?

If you have gone through the back-and-forth of insurance denials to no avail, you might have other ways to get the money you need to rebuild your life. If it's clear that you're not getting your claim accepted, you can choose to sue the insurance company. People whose fires were caused by arson or vandalism can also sue the perpetrators if they are caught by police. Calling a lawyer is usually the best move here, especially if the insurance company in question is trying to accuse you of fraud. The worst-case scenario that you may have involves paying out of pocket for the repairs that you have, but that is extremely unlikely as long as the fire wasn't caused by reckless behaviour. Regardless of what happens with your denied claim, it might be a good idea to start looking for a new insurer.