If you’re facing a homeowners insurance dispute in West Virginia, you need an experienced attorney on your side. At Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, our award-winning insurance dispute lawyers represent clients throughout the state, helping them secure the compensation they deserve when they suffer injuries and other losses for which insurance companies do not properly compensate them. Don’t let insurance companies undervalue your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help.

Homeowners Insurance Statistics

Homeowners insurance is essential for protecting your property and finances. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average annual premium for West Virginia home insurance is just under $1,000. Additionally, about 5.3 percent of homeowners filed a claim in a recent year, with property damage accounting for 98.1 percent of these claims. Homeowners insurance can give you peace of mind of knowing that you are covered in a bad situation.

Common Reasons for Filing a Homeowners Insurance Claim

Some of the most common reasons for filing homeowners insurance claims include:

Fire and Lightning Damage

Fires can occur for various reasons, such as electrical malfunctions, cooking accidents, and natural events like lightning strikes. A fire can cause severe damage to your home and personal belongings, requiring extensive repairs or even a complete rebuild. Smoke can ruin personal belongings, so they have to be replaced.

Homeowners’ insurance claims for fire and lightning damage typically cover the cost of repairs or reconstruction, as well as replacement costs for lost or damaged personal property.

Windstorm and Hail Damage 

Windstorms, including tornadoes and hurricanes, can cause significant damage to your home’s exterior, such as roof damage, broken windows, and damaged siding. Hailstorms can also lead to dents and cracks in your roof, siding, and other exterior structures. Homeowners’ insurance policies usually provide basic coverage for windstorms or hail damage.

Water Damage from Internal Sources (Excluding Floods)

Water damage can come from various sources inside a home, such as burst pipes, leaking appliances, or water intrusion from the roof or foundation. Claims for these types of water damage typically cover the costs of repairing affected areas and replacing damaged belongings. However, most homeowners insurance policies exclude flood damage, meaning you might need separate flood insurance coverage if your home is in a flood-prone area.


Theft claims arise when someone steals personal belongings from a home or property. Homeowners’ insurance policies typically cover theft, reimbursing claimants for the value of the stolen items. Make sure you have an up-to-date home inventory to support future claims in the event of theft.

Liability Claims

If someone suffers an injury on your property, you could be liable for their medical costs, lost wages, and other damages. Fortunately, your homeowner’s liability insurance can cover these costs and legal expenses if the injured party files a lawsuit against you.

How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim

When filing a homeowners insurance claim, follow these steps to ensure the process runs smoothly:

  • Report the incident to the police if necessary (e.g., theft or vandalism).
  • Document the damage with photos and videos.
  • Contact your insurance company to notify them of the incident.
  • Avoid apologizing or admitting fault when speaking to the adjuster.
  • Fill out any required forms and provide the necessary documentation.
  • Work with the insurance adjuster to assess the damage to your home.
  • Keep detailed records of all correspondence with the insurance company.
  • Hire a homeowners insurance lawyer for help with your claim.

Common Reasons Homeowners’ Insurance Claims Are Denied

Insurance companies might deny homeowners insurance claims for various reasons, including:

Late Filing of the Claim

Insurance companies typically require policyholders to report claims promptly. Failing to file your claim within your policy’s specified timeframe could result in a denial. To avoid this issue, contact your insurance company immediately after discovering the damage or loss.

Insufficient Documentation of Damages or Losses

When filing a claim, you must provide evidence of the damage or loss, such as photos, videos, or receipts for damaged items. Insufficient documentation could result in a denial because the insurance company won’t have what it needs to accurately assess your claim. To improve your chances of a successful claim, gather comprehensive documentation before you file.

Claims for Damage Not Covered by the Policy

Your homeowners’ insurance policy outlines the specific areas it covers. If you file a claim for damage resulting from an excluded peril, the insurance company might deny your claim. Review your policy carefully to understand what it covers, and consider purchasing additional coverage if necessary.

Misrepresentation or Fraud

Insurance companies deny claims if they suspect claimants of providing false information or attempting to defraud the company. Acts of misrepresentation or fraud could include:

  • Exaggerating the extent of the damage
  • Filing a claim for pre-existing damage
  • Staging an incident to collect insurance benefits

Always provide accurate and truthful information when filing a claim to avoid denial and potential legal consequences.

Neglect or Lack of Maintenance

Homeowners’ insurance policies generally do not cover damage resulting from property neglect or a lack of proper maintenance. If the insurance company determines that poor maintenance or neglect led to the damage, it could deny your claim. To avoid this, maintain your property regularly and address issues promptly to minimize the risk of preventable damage.

How Can an Attorney Help?

If you’re involved in a dispute over a homeowners insurance claim, an experienced homeowners insurance dispute lawyer can offer valuable assistance in various ways, such as:

  • Ensuring you file your claim correctly the first time to minimize delays and complications
  • Gathering valuable evidence and documentation to support your claim
  • Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf to secure a fair settlement
  • Representing you in court if the insurance company refuses to provide fair compensation or acts in bad faith

Contact Us Today

At Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, our dedicated team of homeowners insurance lawyers is ready to handle your insurance claim now. Don’t let your insurance claim concerns overwhelm you. Put them in our capable hands instead, so you can focus on returning your life to normal.

Contact our West Virginia homeowners insurance dispute attorneys today for a free initial consultation. We look forward to meeting you and hearing your story.

Note: This article was previously published in June 2021 and updated for relevance in August 2023.


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Financial Losses

A client we represented in Preston County incurred significant structural damage to a commercial building from excessive snow accumulation on the roof of that building. The insurance company offered a less than adequate amount of reimbursement which would have only partially covered the cost of repairs. Jeff Robinette was able to obtain a settlement amount that would fully compensate the building owner for the damages, lost income, and rental expenses resulting from the damage to his building.

Brain Injury

While timbering in WV, a heavy equipment operator sustained a permanent brain injury while performing the duties of his job. What price can you put on the loss of a fully functioning, fully reasoning brain? Jeff Robinette was able to negotiate a settlement that was annuitized to provide for this man for the rest of his life.

Crushed Foot Injury

While working in Morgantown, WV for a large national retailer, our client, a young woman in her early twenties, was ordered to use equipment that she was not properly trained to use. In the course of attempting to complete her task, she sustained a severe crush injury to her foot. Due to this incident, our client lost full use of this foot for the rest of her life and was living with chronic, persistent pain.

Our firm was able to obtain a sizable settlement which took care of all her medical bills and future treatment for her foot injury. The settlement was ample enough to allow this young woman to go back to college and retrain for employment which will accommodate her permanent disability.


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Jeffery Robinette
Jeffery Robinette is a West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer based in Morgantown who represents individuals who have been seriously injured or killed due to motor vehicle collisions or catastrophic workplace accidents.
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