Property Insurance Dispute Lawyers

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If I Get a Cancellation Notice for Missing a Premium Payment, What Can I Do?

Usually when an insurance provider wants to cancel a property insurance policy, the state requires that the provider give the policy holder advance notice, usually at least a little more than a week, before they can cancel the policy. If you receive a notice of cancellation, generally you can pay the missed payment before the date of cancellation, and your coverage will not be canceled.

In the event your coverage is canceled, your provider may choose to reinstate your policy if you pay past due payments. Usually you will have to sign a form promising that, to the best of your knowledge, any of your property interests covered under policy did not suffer any loss during the period you were not covered.

What Can I Do if There is a Conflict with My Provider over the Interpretation of the Policy as to What Items Are Covered?

If you have a difference in opinion with your provider over certain provisions of your policy, you may have to go to court to resolve the dispute. In this case, the court has what are called rules of construction for reading insurance policies. These rules tend to favor the insured over the insurer since the insurer wrote the policy and has an advantage.

Where there is more than one reasonable way to interpret whether a provision grants coverage of a certain property interest, the court will choose the interpretation that most favors coverage rather than denial of coverage.

Where there is more than one way to interpret a provision talking about coverage exclusion, the court will choose the interpretation that most narrowly defines that exclusion.

Is There Any Regulatory Agency I Can Complain to if I Do Not Think a Claim Was Handled Fairly by My Provider?

Yes. Insurance company practices are regulated by state law, and as such every state has a Department of Insurance to make sure providers are following the requirements the Department has created. If you feel your provider did not handle your claim properly, you can complain to your local Department of Insurance, who should then launch an investigation of the matter.

Can I Take Any Other Action Against my Provider after I Complain to my State's Department of Insurance?

You may want to contact a lawyer specializing in insurance matters to see if you can recover any damages from your provider. Your attorney will be able to advise you of your rights under state law and help you decide on a course of action.

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Last Modified: 05-10-2013 02:42 PM PDT

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