During my efforts to obtain more information concerning the Colorado wildfire claims adjustment process, I have come upon several stories concerning fire damage claims for homeowners that have been denied. My analysis of this situation, which is given to you below, is based upon the best foundation of all and that is experience, which I offer to you for your review.
FIRST REASON FOR A DENIAL: The named insured’s have failed to pay their premium and they are on a direct payment basis, which means the insured writes the check themselves. For whatever reason, as tragic as it may be, the required premium was not paid. I have however seen situations like this go from a denial, to an acceptance of coverage. Even though the named insured in this situation may be a late payer, if the premium was put into the mail late and did not arrive prior to the fire damage, it is up to the insurance company to determine if coverage for the loss will be applied. I say this because most insurance policies will have a grace period for receipt of payment. If you find yourself in a situation such as this, contact your agent, the adjuster involved and the adjuster’s claim manager and ask for a reconsideration of the denial of coverage.
SECOND REASON FOR A DENIAL: When you purchased your home, or refinanced your home, and were offered the option of purchasing the homeowner insurance suggested by the mortgage company, and you utilized that insurance, the chance exists the mortgage company did not fulfill their part of the contract and paid the premium to the insurance company on time. Once again if you have received a denial, contact your mortgage company and your agent to make sure the payments have been issued to your insurance company on time.
THIRD REASON FOR A DENIAL: If your home has been foreclosed upon by the lending institution and you are still in the home when a fire strikes, the lending institution will only be interested in the Dwelling structure because they would have placed their own insurance on the structure. What I mean by this is your personal property, which usually constitutes a large amount of coverage, is something that your company would still be obligated to pay you for if your homeowner policy was in effect when the damage occurred. So your adjuster should contact you and deal just with the personal property aspect. The Additional Living Expense portion of the policy would be active as well until you were situated in permanent housing.
Once again I hope that questions were answered and that those of you who have suffered loss in the Colorado fires will recover soon and put this ordeal behind you.