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3 ways stonewalling can impact a homeowner’s insurance claim

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Property Damage Insurance Claims |

People may carry homeowner’s insurance coverage for years without ever needing to file a claim. However, all it takes is one big storm to produce damage that necessitates a sizable insurance claim.

People who have long paid their premiums without requiring coverage might expect a quick and easy claims process. They may find themselves unsure of what to do next when the insurance professional handling their claim stonewalls them or the contractors providing quotes for the work on the property. Stonewalling is a negotiation tactic in which one party refuses to acknowledge or communicate with the other.

Stonewalling delays claim resolution

Many basic property damage claims are easy to resolve with an inspection of the property and a review of the policy. When insurance professionals refuse to communicate with claimants or the professionals hired to work on the home, it can take weeks to settle what could otherwise be a relatively straightforward claim. Homeowners may find themselves becoming increasingly frustrated as they deal with a home where they cannot live or where there are issues caused by property damage.

Property conditions could worsen

The longer it takes to resolve a property damage claim after a storm, the greater the possibility of secondary damage. For example, if winds compromised the integrity of the roof, water incursion could cause increasing damage to the interior of the house and drastically increase the expense involved in getting the home back to its original state. Insurance companies might even try to blame homeowners for the secondary damage and might try to avoid responsibility despite the delayed claim being the underlying cause of those issues.

Panicked homeowners may settle for less

The goal of stonewalling is often to push a homeowner into accepting a low settlement or to convince contractors to reduce their quotes out of desperation for a response from the insurance company. Those who fail to recognize an attempt to stonewall as an inappropriate negotiation tactic could put themselves at a disadvantage, as they may react exactly as the insurance professional hoped.

Oftentimes, those who need to initiate sizable homeowner’s insurance claims may need assistance dealing with an insurance company. Having help when navigating a claim impacted by aggressive negotiation techniques can protect homeowners from delays, worsening property damage and unfair settlements.