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Wear and Tear Exclusions in Property Insurance Claim

Arnett & Arnett, PC Jan. 4, 2024

We understand that dealing with property insurance claims can be a daunting task, especially when you're faced with wear and tear exclusions. This can often lead to confusion and frustration as you try to navigate the complexities of your policy. We know how it feels to be in this situation and we empathize with you. 

That's why our firm—Arnett & Arnett, PC—is here to help. As experienced property insurance attorneys, we're well-versed in all aspects of this area of law. We take pride in serving our clients in Chandler, Arizona, and the surrounding areas, offering them the expert legal representation they need to get the compensation they deserve. 

Understanding Wear and Tear Exclusions

Wear and tear exclusions are common in property insurance policies. They're designed to protect insurers from being held liable for damage that results from normal deterioration or a lack of proper maintenance. In other words, if your property has suffered damage due to wear and tear, your insurance company may not cover it. 

But what exactly constitutes wear and tear? It's a term used to describe the gradual deterioration of an object or property over time due to normal use or aging. In the context of property insurance, it typically refers to damage that could have been prevented through regular maintenance or repair, like a leaky roof that was left unattended. 

The Process for Filing Property Insurance Claims in Arizona

We understand that filing a property insurance claim can feel like navigating through a maze. But we're here to guide you through each step of the process, specifically focusing on the unique considerations in Arizona. 

The first thing you need to do is identify the statute of limitations in your policy. This is the period within which you must file your claim following the damage. It's crucial to act within this timeframe, or you risk having your claim denied. 

Next, it's time to document the damages. We recommend taking photos or videos, capturing as many details as possible. This evidence will be invaluable when it comes to supporting your claim and ensuring you get the compensation you deserve. 

Now, let's talk about protecting your damaged property from additional damages. This means taking reasonable steps to prevent further harm, like covering a broken window or securing a compromised door. Keep in mind, any additional damages that occur due to negligence after the initial incident may not be covered by your insurance. 

Lastly, getting help from a property insurance attorney can be a game-changer. The process of filing a property insurance claim can be complex and daunting. Having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference. They can guide you through the process, help you understand your policy's terms, and fight for your rights. 

The Impact of Wear and Tear Exclusions on Your Claim

The presence of wear and tear exclusions in your insurance policy can significantly affect your claim. If your insurer determines that the damage to your property is due to wear and tear, they may deny your claim outright. 

This can be particularly challenging when dealing with older properties. Oftentimes, insurers will inspect the property before issuing a policy and later attempt to use wear and tear as a reason to deny a claim. However, without specific "anti-concurrent cause" language in the policy, a court may rule in your favor if a covered and an uncovered peril combine to cause a loss. 

Navigating Disputes and Challenges

As you navigate the process of filing a property insurance claim, you might encounter disputes and challenges. These can arise for various reasons, from disagreements over the extent of damage to issues involving wear and tear exclusions. At Arnett & Arnett, PC, we understand these complexities and are here to guide you through each step. 

Here's what you need to know about navigating these disputes and challenges: 

  • Understanding the Reasons for Disputes: Disputes often arise when insurance companies invoke wear and tear exclusions. They might try to deny your claim by attributing the damage to wear and tear or pre-existing conditions. For instance, if your roof was damaged in a hailstorm, your insurer might argue that it was due to the age or poor maintenance of the roof rather than the storm. 

  • Dealing with Claim Denials: There can be various reasons for claim denials, such as insufficient information or documentation, late premium payments, or damage less than the deductible. It's crucial to understand these reasons to effectively challenge any unjust denial of your claim. 

  • Challenging Bad Faith Practices: Insurance companies sometimes engage in bad faith practices, like low-ball settlement offers or refusing to pay valid claims. If you suspect such practices, it's essential to get legal help immediately. Our firm has extensive experience in handling bad faith practices and can provide the necessary legal support. 

  • Appealing Denied Claims: If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal. This involves submitting additional documentation, getting an independent appraisal, or presenting new evidence. Our team can guide you through this process, ensuring you have the best possible chance of success. 

  • Filing a Lawsuit: In some cases, you might need to file a lawsuit against your insurance company. This is particularly true if there's evidence of bad faith practices. At Arnett & Arnett, PC, we have the resources and experience to handle such lawsuits effectively. 

Knowledgeable Legal Guidance

Navigating the world of property insurance claims, especially when dealing with wear and tear exclusions, can be challenging. But you don't have to go through this process alone. Our experienced attorneys at Arnett & Arnett, PC are here to help you every step of the way. 

We proudly serve clients in Chandler, Arizona, and surrounding areas. So, if you're facing challenges with a property insurance claim and believe that wear and tear exclusions are being unfairly used against you, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Let us provide you with the knowledgeable and dedicated legal representation you need. Schedule a consultation with us today to discuss your case and explore your options.