What To Do if Homeowners Insurance Company Is Stalling

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ByMark Fitzpatrick
Edited byLukas Velunta
ByMark Fitzpatrick
Edited byLukas Velunta

Updated: May 22, 2024

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If your homeowners insurance company is stalling, document all interactions and persistently follow up, ensuring you understand and fulfill policy requirements. If unresolved, consider filing a formal complaint with your state's insurance department and seek legal advice or the services of a public adjuster. This proactive approach often helps in keeping the process moving.

However, if these efforts don't yield results and the issue remains unresolved, your next step should be to file a formal complaint with your state's insurance department, seek legal advice or hire a public adjuster. These experts can negotiate on your behalf and help navigate the complexities of insurance claims, increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Remember, understanding your rights and options is important in effectively dealing with a stalling insurance company.

Key Takeaways

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Understanding your policy and rights as a homeowner is fundamental to effectively managing insurance claims and resolving disputes.

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Claim delays can be prevented and addressed by persistent and documented communication with your insurance provider.

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Seeking external help, like legal counsel or a public adjuster, can be vital in navigating complex claims and stalling tactics.

What To Do if Homeowners Insurance Company Is Stalling

If your homeowners insurance company is stalling, make sure all interactions are documented and follow up diligently. If the issue persists, file a formal complaint with your state's insurance department and consider seeking legal advice. Understanding your rights and being proactive are important in dealing with a stalling insurance company and can significantly improve your chances of getting a payout in your renters insurance.

Document Everything

Keep detailed records of all communications with the insurance company. This includes dates of conversations, names of representatives you spoke with and details of what was discussed.

Review Your Policy

Make sure you understand the coverage details and the procedures outlined in your insurance policy. This will help you know your rights and what to expect from the process.

Follow Up Regularly

Regularly follow up with the insurance company. Persistent and consistent communication can sometimes expedite the process.

Write a Formal Complaint

If regular follow-ups are not effective, consider writing a formal complaint letter to the company. This letter should be clear and concise. Include all relevant details about your claim and the delays you are facing.

Contact Your State Insurance Department

If the issue remains unresolved, contact your state's insurance department. You can file a complaint against the insurance company with this department, and they can offer assistance or intervene on your behalf.

Seek Legal Advice

Consult with an attorney who specializes in insurance law. They can provide legal advice specific to your situation and help you understand your options.

Hire a Public Adjuster

Consider hiring a public adjuster if the issue is about claim valuation. Public adjusters work for the policyholder to negotiate with the insurance company and can often expedite stalled claims.

Pursue Mediation or Arbitration

Some insurance policies include provisions for mediation or arbitration. This can be a way to resolve disputes without going to court.

Reach Out to Consumer Advocates

Contact consumer advocate groups for guidance and support. They might offer resources or advice on how to deal with insurance companies.

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A homeowner should follow up with their insurance company about a claim at least every two weeks to maintain communication and ensure the claim is progressing.

The Role of Legal Counsel in Home Insurance Claim Delays

Legal counsel acts as an advocate for the homeowner, representing their interests in dealings with the insurance company. When dealing with home insurance claim delays, seeking legal counsel can be valuable. Here's when and how to seek legal advice, along with what to expect from hiring an attorney:

When to Seek Legal Advice:

  • Persistent Delays: If your insurance claim is continuously delayed without a valid reason, despite your efforts to resolve it.
  • Dispute Over Claim: If there is a dispute regarding the claim amount, coverage or denial of the claim.
  • Complex Claims: In cases where the claim is complicated, involving significant damages or legal intricacies.

How to Seek Legal Advice:

  • Research Attorneys: Look for attorneys who specialize in insurance law or have experience with home insurance claims.
  • Initial Consultation: Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and offer guidance.
  • Engagement: If you decide to proceed, you will sign a contract with the attorney to officially start the representation.

What to Expect from Hiring an Attorney:

  • Expert Guidance: An attorney can provide expert advice on insurance laws and your policy's specifics.
  • Negotiation: They will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure a fair settlement.
  • Representation: If necessary, they will represent you in legal proceedings or in disputes with the insurance company.
  • Fees: Be aware of their fee structure, which might be hourly, a flat fee or contingent on the claim's success.
  • Communication: They should provide regular updates and open lines of communication regarding the status of your claim.

The Role of Public Adjusters in Home Insurance Claim Delays

Public adjusters are licensed professionals who assist homeowners in managing home insurance claims, particularly during delays. They review the policy, accurately assess property damage and handle all aspects of filing and negotiating the claim. Their expertise in insurance laws and negotiation helps secure fair settlements and reduces the burden on homeowners, streamlining the claim process. By taking over communication with insurance companies, they alleviate the stress and complexity often associated with insurance claims.

Why Would Home Insurance Providers Stall?

Home insurance providers might stall for several reasons, often related to their internal processes, business practices or specific circumstances related to a claim. While these are potential reasons for stalling, not all delays are intentional or malicious. Insurance claims can be inherently complex, and various legitimate factors can contribute to the time it takes to resolve a claim.

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    Complex Claims

    Some claims, especially those involving significant damage or complex situations, require extensive review and investigation. This can lead to delays in processing and resolving the claim.

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    High Volume of Claims

    During periods of natural disasters or other widespread events, insurance companies may experience a high volume of claims, leading to backlogs and delays.

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    Inadequate Documentation

    If the documentation provided by the policyholder is incomplete, unclear, or requires additional verification, this can slow down the process.

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    Dispute Over Claim Details

    Disagreements between the insurer and the policyholder regarding the extent of damage, the cause of loss, or the value of the claim can lead to prolonged negotiations and delays.

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    Fraud Prevention Measures

    Insurance companies often have protocols to detect and prevent fraudulent claims, which can involve detailed investigations and thus result in delays.

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    Internal Bureaucracy

    Large insurance companies can have complex internal structures and processes that may slow down decision-making and claim processing.

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    Financial Motivations

    In some cases, insurance companies might delay claims processing as a tactic to protect their financial interests. This could be through hoping that the claimant will accept a lower settlement out of desperation or by delaying payouts to manage their cash flow.

Understanding Your Rights as a Homeowners Insurance Policyholder

As a homeowner's insurance policyholder, you are best served by understanding your rights to ensure fair and just treatment by your insurance provider. This empowers you to effectively manage claims, handle disputes and recognize when your policy's terms are being met or violated. Protect your interests and receive the coverage you're entitled to under your policy.

  • Fair Treatment: You have the right to fair and non-discriminatory treatment from your insurance company, including clear communication.
  • Prompt Communication: Insurers must respond to your inquiries and claims in a timely manner and explain any delays.
  • Policy Clarity: You are entitled to a clear understanding of your policy's coverage, exclusions, limits and deductibles.
  • Appeal Rights: If a claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision and receive a detailed explanation for the denial.
  • Filing Complaints: You can file a complaint against your insurance company with the state insurance department if you're dissatisfied with claim handling.
  • Representation: You have the right to hire legal or professional representation, like a public adjuster, in your dealings with the insurance company.
  • Fair Claims Process: You are entitled to a timely and unbiased investigation and settlement of your insurance claims.

FAQ About Homeowners Insurance Company Stalling

Understanding why your homeowners insurance company is stalling is important to know what you should do next. There are several steps that you can take such as following up with them by having open communication and providing all requirements that they ask for. And if things get worse, you can seek legal advice. We answered frequently asked questions to help you navigate this issue.

What constitutes 'stalling' by a homeowners insurance company?
What should I do if my homeowners insurance company is stalling?
How can I effectively document my interactions with the insurance company?
How often should I follow up with my insurance company about a claim?

Read More

About Mark Fitzpatrick

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Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.