O'Connor, O'Connor, Bresee & First, P.C.
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518-465-0400 New York

Insurance company denies claim not covered in policy

An insurance policy can be a dense document that includes many exceptions and caveats. One of the most common reasons why New York policyholders are shocked when their claims are denied is because they did not take the time to read and understand the information within their policies. One man in another state is currently disputing the denial of his homeowner's claim with his insurance company.

The man owns an 85-acre farm where he raises cattle. When he purchased the property three years ago, he took out a homeowner's policy with State Farm Insurance. Last March, severe storms came through the area, bringing hail that caused damage to the roofs of his chicken coop, barn and equipment shed. When he filed a claim with State Farm, he was surprised to learn the damage to the barn and equipment shed were not covered under his policy.

This is because the man's farm is a business. Since he had homeowners insurance and not farm or business insurance, his policy covers his dwelling and contains a specific caveat denying coverage of any business-related outbuildings, particularly those housing farm animals. The damage to the roofs may reach $20,000, most of which may have been covered if he had purchased the correct form of insurance.

Despite the man's reception of overwhelming support from his social media following, the fact remains that his policy contains an explanation of his coverage. A New York insurance company would be within is rights to deny a claim for a business structure when the policy the homeowner purchased does not cover businesses. When those policyholders attempt to take the matter to civil court, insurers can rely on the experience of an attorney.

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