There are some situations where you may be denied a claim on your homeowner's insurance, either because you were reckless, or because the insurance company views it as your fault. Two particular situations, arson and break-ins where you left windows open or doors unlocked, might result in denied claims. Here is why.
Arson may be a deniable claim under your homeowner's insurance. It may be because it is not a covered incident, like floods and a lack of flood insurance. It may also be because you left several lighters, gas cans and/or flammable materials out in the open where an arsonist could access them. In the event that the arsonist is a member of your immediate family and living in the same home with you, your claim may also be denied since you knew you were living with someone who intentionally starts fires. The only time that arson may be covered is if the arsonist brought his/her own fire-starting kit with him/her and picked your place at random to light up. Be sure to check your homeowner's policy too, since you may be able to purchase and addendum for arson and intentional fires not set by you or immediate family.
Break-ins are usually covered by homeowner's insurance. However, that is only typical where the intruder smashed glass or busted in the door. If you left windows on the first floor open and unlocked, or left doors unlocked when you left for the day, that is not really a break-in, even though it is still an intrusion. At best, your insurance will cover stolen items. At worst, it will cover nothing because the insurance company views the situation as entirely your fault for not doing a better job of protecting your home and your belongings. If you have provisions in your homeowner's insurance for break-ins and theft, be sure to lock up your windows and doors before you leave. That way, the insurance company will be more willing to cover your losses and damages rather than refuse you entirely.
Expect a Full Investigation
If the insurance company is not satisfied with the pictures and police or fire reports you have sent them, they may send a company investigator out to see the damages personally. The investigator is usually the one person who gives the final word on whether or not your claim should be accepted. You should get a reply and/or a check within a few days after the investigator has viewed the damaged property.