Bad faith insurance denies valid claims
In most cases, if a homeowner has a mortgage, the lender requires a basic amount of insurance coverage to protect the property. Many homeowners extend their protection, especially if they live in areas prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. While West Virginia does not see many damaging earthquakes, there are many other reasons why a homeowner may file a claim for property damage. The last thing a homeowner needs when facing such damage is to deal with bad faith insurance.
In some cases, an insurance company has the right to deny a claim. For example, most claims have time limits, and filing too late can result in a claim denial. Additionally, insurance companies have no obligation to pay a claim on a policy that has lapsed because its owner did not keep up with the premium payments.
When homeowners file their claims after a fire or other property damaging event, they can expect an adjuster to investigate the claim. At that time, the adjuster may notice that information the homeowner included on his or her policy application or in the claim does not add up with what is observed at the scene of the damage. On the other hand, the adjuster may conclude that the homeowner did not take reasonable precautions to prevent further loss after the original damage occurred.
These are only a few of the reasons why an insurance adjuster may rightfully deny a homeowner’s claim. However, in some cases, the homeowner’s claim is reasonable and legitimately within the scope of the policy, yet the company refuses to pay. This is bad faith insurance and is best handled with the assistance of a dedicated West Virginia attorney.
Source: adjustersinternational.com, “Denied! 6 Common Reasons for Denial of a Property Damage Claim“, Accessed on Sept. 9, 2017