Your home or business suffered damage in a hurricane or other major wind event, but the insurance company says you have “pre-existing damage” and is ruling your roof insurance claim will be denied.
What’s going on, and what can you do now?
At The Voss Law Firm, P.C., we have seen firsthand how often insurance companies use any excuse possible to get out of paying a legitimate insurance claim.
The truth - Insurance companies often deny claims to save money.
Many people who have had their roof insurance claim denied by their insurers don’t know that they can appeal the company’s decision and fight back.
You can appeal their claims of pre-existing damage or wear and tear.
However, some insurers will declare a roof insurance claim denied due to “pre-existing damage,” “maintenance,” or “wear and tear.”
What can you do to avoid having your roof insurance claim denied?
Hurricane Insurance Claim or General Roof Insurance Claim Denied Due to Maintenance Issues or Previous (Pre-existing) Damage?
Here’s What You Should Do Next.
Property insurance policies are designed to cover losses from sudden events, such as hurricanes and other large wind events.
However, even if you did sustain some wind-related losses, property insurance companies typically will not cover any losses involving the following.
- Lack of appropriate maintenance
- Issues that existed before you bought your property
- Wear and tear over time
- Damage from lack of temporary repairs after a loss
You may also run into trouble with a claim for hurricane losses or have your roof insurance claim denied if you previously received compensation for a different insurance claim on that part of your house.
For example, you can’t file a claim on a roof you received reimbursement to repair if you didn’t follow through with that maintenance at the time.
If the insurance company believes your hurricane damage was pre-existing and declares your roof insurance claim denied, this may be a legitimate cause for denial.
If the damage was your fault, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to recoup the total amount of your losses.
There are many reasons a hurricane insurance claim may be legitimately denied, and there may be little that a home or business owner can do if the insurance company says their losses fall under a “pre-existing damage” exclusion.
However, if you have read over your policy and believe your claim has been unfairly denied or wrongly blamed on old damages, don’t give up, we’re here to help.
Instead, pursue your questions about the denial with an experienced insurance litigation lawyer and avoid having your roof insurance claim denied.
An attorney can look at your policy, review the decision, and help you understand the reason your claim was denied.
Suppose he or she determines your claim has been unfairly denied. In that case, the attorney can communicate with the insurance company, have an outside expert look at your home, and build a case for you to receive the compensation you and your family deserve.
Hurricane insurance claims are underpaid or unfairly denied more often than most policyholders know, and it’s always worth digging deeper into your rights if you’re unsure.
How to Avoid Having Your Roof Insurance Claim Denied Due to Pre-existing Damages in the Future
Insurance companies generally set out strict rules about pre-existing damage, whether you’re buying insurance for a new home or already have a homeowner’s policy in place.
If you’re concerned or live in a hurricane-prone area, there are a few steps you can take to help avoid having your roof insurance claim denied due to pre-existing damage.
- Review your insurance coverage.
Understand how your insurance policy handles pre-existing damage and maintenance issues, and see what tactics they can use to have your roof insurance claim denied.
Even after reading through your current policy, call your insurer directly to clarify your coverage if you aren’t sure.
- Inspect your property regularly.
If you don’t know there is a potential problem or that you previously sustained a loss, you can’t expect your insurance company to know—or to pay. Always check your properties with regularity.
- Pay special attention to your roof.
It’s easy to miss small leaks or tears that can eventually lead to significant damage.
Roof damage is the main reason for hurricane insurance claims, aside from damages caused by a storm surge.
Hurricane winds can lift shingles, puncture roofing material, and even remove or shift the entire roof.
- Take “before” photos.
Most people end up taking “after” photos of hurricane damage when it happens, but “before” condition photos make it easy to show that damages did not exist before the storm.
Take pictures or shoot a video of your home and property before storm season starts, date the footage, and retain this documentation just in case it’s needed for an insurance claim. If you can add a date stamp of a newspaper to show the date the video was created, it will only help further.
Evidence will help you avoid having your roof insurance claim denied.
- Bring in a professional.
Roofing or repair professionals can not only help you inspect your home for hard-to-spot problems but also repair gaps and holes, secure loose roof shingles or siding, and even install precautions such as hurricane straps.
If you’ve already sustained damage from a hurricane, a professional can also help provide thorough assessments and estimates for insurance purposes.
It is significantly a wise choice to get the help of an insurance litigations lawyer to help you avoid having your roof insurance claim denied. Precautions provide peace-of-mind, but hurricanes and tropical storms can still wreak havoc on your home and cause damage.
If you are denied insurance claim coverage or getting the runaround from your insurer, please call The Voss Law Firm, P.C. at 1-281-549-8911 to set up a free strategy and review session with a skilled insurance claim attorney.