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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I have a rental house that has had some hail damage on the

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I have a rental house that has had some hail damage on the roof. My policy had previously been cancelled because of non payment. The mortgage company put a forced policy in place and later I got a normal policy that I intended to replace the one that the mortgage company set up. Currently both policies are in effect since the mortgage company didn't cancel their policy automatically and since I haven't called them yet to cancel it. The hail damage occurred during the time that both policies have been in effect. Can I file a claim with both insurance companies? If not what should I do?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation.

My policy had previously been cancelled because of non payment. The mortgage company put a forced policy in place and later I got a normal policy that I intended to replace the one that the mortgage company set up.

This is not unusual. Since the lender has an interest in the property, then as part of the mortgage contract, they want you to have insurance in case the property is damaged. If you do not, it is standard in a mortgage contract that the lender will force their own (normally, at a higher rate) which would add on to the mortgage.

The hail damage occurred during the time that both policies have been in effect. Can I file a claim with both insurance companies? If not what should I do?

Technically, you can. However, someone in your situation should let BOTH of them know that you are filing with both of them. Then they will coordinate and decide which should cover the damage, or, perhaps 50/50.

Not letting them know that you are filing with both policies makes it look like insurance fraud, since you would in essence be asking for twice the coverage.

Ergo, filing a claim with both but also adding a note that a claim has been filed with the other is standard. Then, the two insurance companies should work it out.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

When you say it looks like insurance fraud, what does that mean? If I was paying for two insurance policies that were both in effect, I'm not trying to do something fraudulent, but it seems to me that if loss occurred while both policies were in effect that they should both pay for the loss. Is it fraud? Or would some just think it looks that way? I don't know much about the coverage that the forced policy has, so if the companies are going to share the burden of paying for the loss rather than both paying for the loss it looks to me like I may actually have less coverage for more than twice the premium. Is that right? If I can't file a claim and be paid by both, can I only file a claim with the one I arranged and seek a refund for the policy period from the forced policy for the time frame I had double coverage?


 


Thanks

Paul,

No problem - allow me to explain.

If you contact one insurance company and tell them "I have hail damage, come out, inspect it and please cover it," then they will.

Then, you can possibly tell the second company the same thing, and it may look like you were trying to get the second company to send you a check while or after already receiving a check for the same damage from the first company.

So to avoid any confusion and any presumptions, it is typical to let both insurance companies know "Oh, just so you know, I am also filing this as a claim with the other company - here is the claim number and their information."

Then, the two companies work it out.

but it seems to me that if loss occurred while both policies were in effect that they should both pay for the loss. Is it fraud?

It is if you are receiving double the claim money for one singular matter.

If I can't file a claim and be paid by both, can I only file a claim with the one I arranged and seek a refund for the policy period from the forced policy for the time frame I had double coverage?

I am afraid not. They already provided coverage - now it is simply a matter of who pays you out.

It is as though you had two insurance policies - if both of them covered an operation that you paid out of pocket, then they would only pay you out once for it, not twice, either splitting the cost or with one company bearing the burden.

Otherwise, nothing is stopping you from having 5 insurance policies, having an accident/health issue/damage, and then getting five times the amount in payout - it simply does not work like this.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
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