How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16288
Experience:  13 years experience in RE Law, including LL/Tenant, contractor disputes, comm'l prop. issues
20355756
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Legalease is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been insured with California Casualty, homeowners

Customer Question

I have been insured with California Casualty, homeowners insurance, since August 2007. I left the country for 3 years and switched from homeowner to renters and when I returned in August I switched back to homeowners insurance. They sent out an inspector each time.
They are now denying my insurance, even thought nothing has changed! They sent out yet another inspector from the same company; first, when I bought the house, second, when I switched to renters, and now when I returned. Nothing has changed. I feel like a victim, they have collected money from me with no claim for 8 years.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello there --

-

I am a bit confused -- when you were out of the country you changed the policy to a landlord's policy and informed the insurance company that you were renting the property to tenants who would be responsible for insuring their own personal belongings while living at the house?

MARY

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I left the country I informed my insurance company there would be renters in my house and they changed the policy only for me. That isn't the point, the point is they are denying insurance to me when nothing has changed. Does this mean they should not have insured me for 8 years?
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello again --

-

It does not mean that they should not have insured you for the past 8 years at all. Insurance companies have a vast number of reasons why they can and will refuse to insure certain people or homes and it can be anything from something erroneous about you or the house showing up on a credit report that you are unaware of or the property has been reclassified in zoning (either regular or flood) or there may have been some glitch with your turning the property over to a rental for that time period and it just caught up to you so they simply decided not to insure you anymore. Because insurance companies are private businesses, even though highly regulated, they can still decide who they wish to insure and who they do not wish to insure and unless you can show that the base reason for their failure to insure you is because of your race, gender, age (over 40), sexual orientation, religion or disability (in which case you would have a good civil rights lawsuit against them) then there is little that you can do to get them to change their mind regarding insuring you unless you can find out the reason and convince them that they are not correct in assessing the situation in that manner.

-

I agree with you that it is crazy that they should drop you like this without your filing a claim but house insurers have gone way overboard during the last 20 years in the criteria they use to determine whether or not they will insure a property and an owner -- work histories, credit reports, privately compiled insurance databases, driving records and criminal records are ALL fair game for a house insurance company to use to try to find a reason for denial. There is an insurance database where each property in the US is listed and any claims against that property dating back to as early as they can dig up are ALL listed -- and I was denied insurance because the prior owner called her house insurance company about a potential water claim in the basement of my home 14 years ago -- and she never even made a claim (payout was listed as $00) -- yet I was turned down by two house insurance companies as having a potential basement water problem and I KNOW the premium that I ended up with was higher because of that entry into the private insurance database -- and these are databases with information that the public is not even aware of (I certainly was not aware of this until a friend who was working for an insurance company pulled my address and showed me what she found!).

-

Obviously, you do not want to get a mark against you and your property as being uninsurable so my suggestion here is to send them a written request asking them WHY they are refusing to insure you after all of this time without a claim? Many insurance companies will give you a reason and then you can look into the matter and if you find it to be incorrect you can point it out to them and if they still refuse to insure you, you can then file a complaint with the CA Insurance Commissioner's office against them (they are the state regulatory agency for insurance companies and you can initiate a complaint right on their website). If there have been no major changes in your employment or personal status (credit, etc) in the last few years, then perhaps the property is suddenly being scrutinized -- but you will not know unless you ask.

-

Please let me know if you have further questions.

MARY

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How can a mortgage company provide a loan if the house is not insurable? California Casualty insured my house under the same circumstances when I purchased the home. Something is not right here.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nothing has changed with my status. I have no records against me. I felt the inspector did not want a single women to own a home.
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello again --

-

I also own my home, so perhaps you are correct. But speculation will not get you anywhere -- they should be able to give you some reason why they are declining to insure the property again and once they give you that reason, then you can proceed to tear it apart on them.

-

There are always insurance companies and pools who will offer house insurance at the right price. Mortgage lenders have their own insurance companies if an owner cannot get insurance and they charge about double the normal price for it against the owner. There are also state insurance pools where the owners of houses and cars who are considered "high risk" are referred and those owners pay about double the normal price for such insurance through these state mandated insurance pools. So there are always ways for the houses to be insured and slimy insurance companies out there to take the increased premiums for little or no reason at all. That is why it is important that you determine what their reasoning is and if you cannot trace their reasoning back to anything reasonable that you remember then this may be a case where the insurance company is playing games with you.

-

MARY

Related Real Estate Law Questions