Can You Sue Your Own Homeowners Insurance?
Most home and property owners in Arizona assume their homeowners insurance companies will pay for any property damage, personal injuries or losses suffered in a covered incident. After all, this is why you pay your insurance premiums every month – so that you’re covered in the event of an unexpected accident. Unfortunately, many homeowners insurance claims get wrongfully denied.
If you are facing the dilemma of a denied homeowners insurance claim in Phoenix, Arizona, learn about your legal rights with help from an attorney.
Read Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
First, find out why your homeowners insurance claim was denied. Read the denial letter carefully and compare it to the language and terms in your insurance policy. Your claim might have been denied because of a policy exclusion or another issue, such as a lapse in coverage due to a missed payment. If you need help going over the fine print, understanding the legal language of your policy or determining if the claim denial is valid, reach out to an insurance lawyer.
Keep All Documents and Communications From Your Insurer
Keep every piece of correspondence that you receive from your homeowners insurance company during the claims process. This may include a full copy of your policy, the original claim you sent the insurer, your proof of loss forms and documents, and letters received from the insurance provider.
If the insurer contacts you digitally, keep copies of all emails and communications. Record phone calls with insurance company representatives and claims adjusters or take notes during your conversations.
Request an Internal Case Review
Most homeowners insurance policies allow claimants to request internal reviews of denied claims, also known as administrative appeals. This process takes place within the insurance company itself. The insurance company will assign someone new to review your case and determine if it was wrongfully denied.
During your internal review, you can explain why you are challenging the denial and provide any additional evidence or arguments that may help your case. The insurance company may reverse its initial decision and pay your claim upon further review.
File a Complaint Against Your Insurer
Unfortunately, many administrative appeals are denied by homeowners insurance companies. If your request for an internal review does not result in payment for your losses, the next step is to file a complaint with an external review board.
You can contact the Arizona Department of Insurance to file a consumer complaint for a wrongfully denied insurance claim. The department will review your case and the insurance company’s response. If it believes your insurer is in the wrong or guilty of bad faith, it may order a reversal of the decision and take administrative action against the insurance company.
Sue Your Homeowners Insurance Company for Bad Faith
Insurance bad faith is a tort or civil wrongdoing that occurs when an insurance company breaches its duty to handle a claim in an honest and good faith attempt to resolve the matter according to the language of the policy involved. Bad faith is a relatively common issue among insurance companies, such as insurers who wrongfully deny claims to save money on payouts. If you believe that your homeowners insurance claim was wrongfully denied in an incident of insurance bad faith, contact an attorney for assistance suing your insurance company.
A successful lawsuit for a tort committed against you by your homeowners insurance company could result in financial compensation awarded not only for your original damages but also to penalize the insurance company for mishandling your claim. You may be eligible for compensation for your inconvenience, emotional distress, further property losses, out-of-pocket expenses, travel costs, lost wages and other losses you suffered because of the wrongfully denied claim.
If you suspect your homeowners insurance company of denying your claim without reasonable grounds, excessively delaying claim investigation or your payout, offering for less than the amount you need to repair your home, or any other example of insurance bad faith, call Surrano Law Offices at (602) 264-1077 right away to speak to an attorney about suing your homeowners insurance company.