In the event that a person’s home should be damaged due to a natural
disaster or some other type of catastrophe, many people turn to their
homeowners insurance policies for much needed financial support. But what happens if a person
does not file a claim right away? While the specifics will vary from policy
to policy, generally speaking, if a person does not report their claim
in a timely manner, they run the risk of having their claim denied by
It is extremely important for homeowners to read their insurance contracts
thoroughly in order to understand the expectations and requirements that
are placed upon them as the insured. Most insurance policies contain wording
that require the insured to provide prompt or immediate written notice
to the insurance company or one if its agents in the event of a loss.
This time limit can be anywhere from 30 days to a year depending on the
insurer. Waiting too long to file a claim could be used by your insurance
company as grounds to prove that you are not in compliance with a condition
in your homeowners insurance policy, giving them the right to deny your
claim for coverage. But why is this a requirement?
To put it simply, homeowners must be able to prove that the damage to their
home was the result of a covered event and not caused by some other secondary
cause that exceeds the responsibility of the insurance company. If a recent
tornado were to have damaged your roof, it is in your best interest to
file a claim as soon as possible before the damage has time to escalate
into further destruction that can be denied coverage under your policy’s
negligence clause. If an appraiser finds that the damage to your home
could have been prevented by filing a claim more quickly, you may be held
financially responsible for the repairs.
What If the Damage Wasn’t Apparent?
Things can become much more complicated if the damage to a person’s
home is not readily apparent. Say for example a violent
windstorm rocks your area, causing a tree to snap and fall. While you heard a loud
bang and suspect something may have struck your house, when you inspect
the area the morning after, you see no damage other than the fallen tree
in your backyard. Unbeknownst to you, the tree did indeed hit your house,
punching a basketball-sized hole in your roof outside of your view. Eight
weeks after the windstorm, a
thunderstorm causes several hours of torrential rain to pour through your roof, causing
flood damage. Your insurance company proceeds to deny your claim, claiming that your
home’s damage was caused by your failure to repair your roof.
In any case, it is always best to thoroughly investigate all potential
claims as soon as possible after a disaster. These situations can be tricky
and are best handled by an experienced insurance attorney. If you have
been denied coverage due to unapparent damage, or if you believe your
homeowners insurance claim has been wrongfully denied for some other reason,
the Houston homeowners insurance attorney at Dick Law Firm can protect
your rights as a policyholder and demand compensation on your behalf.
Having helped thousands of clients since 2008, we have what it takes to
get the results you need.
Call 833-7RIGHTS or
schedule a no-cost consultation today to get started.