Complete denials of renters insurance claims are comparatively rare. There are a number of reasons that it could happen, and there are real people, real mistakes, and real stories behind each. Many of the reasons people have a renters insurance claim denied are easy to avoid – if you’re aware of them.
“But I Moved Six Months Ago!”
Troy is just out of college, and has landed his dream job. He had Philadelphia Renters Insurance when he lived in PA for college, but never called the company to change it when he moved to Chicago for the job.
While this might sound like an innocent oversight, the location of the policy is crucial to coverage and that can lead to a claim not being paid. Not only do policies and coverage vary between states, but a policy written in one state can’t be moved to another.
Troy thought he was covered when he realized that someone had stolen his new MacBook. He made the call to file a claim almost casually. Needless to say, he was disappointed to find out that there was no coverage because he didn’t live at the location on the policy.
Renters insurance claims denied for inaccurate residence premises addresses are not uncommon. Troy knew to call the utility companies at both locations when he moved, and didn’t call his insurance. But now you know how important that call can be.
“I Live Here, I’m On The Policy, Why Was My Girlfriend’s Renters Insurance Claim Denied?”
Taylor and Lisa were happy to move in together, and found a great apartment that they both loved. It was even close to work and school for both of them, so they could spend more time together. One day, Lisa was home and making lunch when Taylor called on his lunch break from work.
The call would only take a second, it was their daily “just to say hi from work” call. Lisa turned away from the stove to talk to him for just a moment, and the next thing she knew the pan was on fire. In her panic, Lisa put the pan in the sink and poured water in it… Spreading the fire.
Thirty thousand dollars of damage to the apartment later, they’re looking at a renters insurance claim denied because Lisa was never added to the policy. They’re not married or related, so there’s no automatic coverage.
That unpaid claim means that both Taylor and Lisa (they signed the lease together) are on the hook personally for that thirty grand when the landlord’s insurance comes after them to recover what they paid to fix the damage.
If you live with someone, list them on the policy. Period. Doing so can prevent you from having a renters insurance claim denied and makes sure that everyone’s personal property is protected as well.
“I Need To File A Claim For My Five Computers…”
Arthur doesn’t work from home. He doesn’t have any company property at home. He just happens to enjoy computers, so he has one for media, one for internet, one to control his lights on a timer, and two that he’s retired from active use but still hangs onto just in case. The problem is that Arthur is not an organized person.
Somewhere, he might have a receipt for some of those computers. Or he might not. Somewhere, he might have a bank statement that shows the charge for the purchase. Or, again, he might not. Unfortunately, after a fire, “somewhere” was no longer accessible.
Arthur is looking at a denied renters insurance claim because he legitimately has more expensive property than many people would, but isn’t able to prove it.
To make sure your claim goes smoothly, it’s a good idea to have a home inventory with a list of all your significant property. Better yet is pictures, of course, but either way you should keep it in the cloud so that a loss to your home doesn’t mean a loss of the list of your property!
“But I Never Got Anything In The Mail!”
Sometimes, the mail simply does not arrive. Where it goes, we’re not sure, but items do get lost from time to time. Casey thought she had renters insurance, and had not received anything to the contrary. Renters insurance is so inexpensive that she didn’t give a second thought to not having received a bill.
When it came time to make a claim, Casey didn’t have the coverage she thought she did because the policy had cancelled for non-payment.
Not willful non-payment, of course, but if you don’t get a bill for something you should wonder why and ask the company. You don’t want to have a renters insurance claim denied because the policy didn’t get paid.
You can usually set your renters insurance up on automatic payment in order to avoid this situation entirely, but you should still open the mail. If your bank sends you a new card, the automatic payment might not work.
Are There Other Reasons A Claim Might Not Be Approved?
There are many other reasons for a claim to be denied. Most of them don’t concern the average person with a policy, but they’re worth touching on. Outright fraud would cause more problems than just a claim not being paid, of course. That would include things like claiming property that you never owned or intentionally causing the loss.
Misrepresentation of risk is something that might be intentional or might be accidental, but can get a claim denied quickly. Did you fail to mention a dog? Is the apartment your second home but listed as your primary home? Those are examples of minor and accidental misrepresentation that can cause a claim to be denied.
Some losses, there just isn’t coverage for. Your renters insurance is not designed to cover normal wear and tear, that’s what a security deposit is for. Your renters insurance is also not designed to cover business losses, unless you’ve endorsed that coverage on. You should read your policy carefully, of course, and know what’s covered – and what’s not.
If you still have questions about renters insurance, claims, or how you can best protect yourself, it’s easy to get the answers. Just call the insurance experts for renters at (800)892-4308 or click to get covered - whether you need Philadelphia renters insurance quotes online or coverage anywhere else!
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