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My homeowners policy agent told my mortgage company when they

called inquiring about where the...
My homeowners policy agent told my mortgage company when they called inquiring about where the bill was, that I had cancelled the policy. I did not cancel the policy, but then the insurance company cancelled the policy for non-payment. I knew nothing of all this since the payment comes out of our escrow. I never received anything in the mail or any other notification that this was taking place. Now the insurance agent is trying to sell me another policy at a higher rate, of course, and I told him I want my old policy back since I never cancelled it. What is my recourse in this situation?
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Answered in 1 minute by:
11/2/2013
Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: Licensed in PA & NJ, Experienced attorney.
Verified
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

This might be a situation based on timing. How long ago was your policy cancelled and was it more than 30 days ago?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

I honestly don't know since I never received anything in writing about the cancellation. My mortgage company has documented in they're notes from last September that they called the agency inquiring about the insurance bill and who they spoke to that told them the homeowner (me) had cancelled the policy. I had an auto/home policy and cancelled the auto part in writing, but not the homeowner's policy. The agent is totally inept and that's part of the reason I cancelled the auto policy.

Thank you for your follow-up, Susan.

 

In terms of providing you with the same policy, that is usually called 'reinstatement'. Reinstatement typically only can occur once you bring the policy up to date, and that can only be done within the first 30 days of the policy lapsing. After that point the insurer has no duty provide you with the same terms and can offer a different policy since you would no longer be 'grandfathered' or under the same terms as before. Here, since the issue took place in terms of escrow, that would technically not be the insurer's error and they would not be obligated to extend the time in allowing you to obtain a policy under different terms.

 

I am sorry about that, truly.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

What about the insurer telling my mortgage company I had cancelled the policy which I had not and they have nothing in writing from me saying I wanted to cancel it? Also, why wasn't I as the homeowner, notified about the impending cancellation?


In the event that something should happen to our (currently uninsured) home at this point, who would be liable?

Thank you for your follow-up, Susan.

 

Let me address that point below.

 

You posted:

What about the insurer telling my mortgage company I had cancelled the policy which I had not and they have nothing in writing from me saying I wanted to cancel it? Also, why wasn't I as the homeowner, notified about the impending cancellation?

Both good questions. To answer your second question, it depends on whether you are a member of an HOA or not--some HOAs receive the policy notification and not you. If you were supposed to receive it but did not, then you have a legitimate argument that this was the insurers fault and they have to reinstate the policy. To answer the first question, non-payment is treated as notice of cancellation. If they did not receive payment, it is treated as a lapse and cancellation of policy.

 

In the event that something should happen to our (currently uninsured) home at this point, who would be liable?

You would be, as you do not have any insurance on the premises--the liability would be personally on you and any other owner listed on title.

 

Hope that helps.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Ok, so I am not part of an HOA and yet, as the homeowner and policy holder, did not receive a notice of cancellation, so where do I go with my legitimate complaint to get them to reinstate the policy?

Susan,

 

You contact the company directly and have them do an internal investigation and review as to why notice was not provided. Review their information they have on you and then if they cannot justify, demand reinstatement. Only if they fail to assist or pursue do you potentially claim bad faith breach and resort to threats of litigation. Hope that helps.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Dimitry,


That information has been helpful to me and I will take your advice. In the meantime, should I find another policy from someone else and what happens with it if I get them to reinstate my old policy?


Thanks

Susan,

 

I am glad to hear that you found my information to be useful. If you do end up taking a new policy, you can always cancel it, or potentially keep it if you found better terms. But that other policy remains active until and if you cancel--it does not get set aside if you reinstate the old policy.

 

Good luck.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Ok, thank you very much for the information.

Susan,

 

You are most welcome and glad to help. If satisfied with my work, kindly do not forget to positively rate my answers so I can obtain credit for my work. Thank you!

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Dimitry, I'm sorry, I have one more quick question. Can the insurer come back to my mortgage company at any time for last year's payment, even though I wasn't aware the policy was cancelled? The funds are in escrow for the insurance.


Thanks!

Susan,

 

The insurer can only pursue you for the period of time they issued coverage and were not paid. Beyond that they have no legal basis or right to pursue you for any further funds.

 

Good luck to you!

Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: Licensed in PA & NJ, Experienced attorney.
Verified
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Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
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