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Insurance Policy Questions

People who have dealt with situations involving insurance policies have had issues with the clarity found within the policies. Uncertainties about multiple policies and what they cover or what happens when an insurance company no longer exists often lead to questions like the ones answered below by the Experts.

Can I collect on claims from two pet insurance companies if I have taken out policies from both companies?

This would greatly depend on what both the policies state. If one of the policies doesn’t have a no “other insurance” clause, you may be able to collect on both. There are three key types of “other insurance” clauses to consider. One clause could state that if the claim is being covered by another policy, this policy will only cover the amount that is in excess of the limits of the other policy. Another clause could state that this policy shall not cover a claim if there is another policy that will cover it as well. This is referred to as the escape clause. The last clause could state that this policy will only pay its pro rata share of the claim in relation to the total limits of both policies, if there is already another policy that will cover the claim. This is referred to as the pro rata clause. In other words, you would have to read through both policies carefully to know what claims you can make.

I found a life insurance policy from 1968 for my parent who died four years ago. The company Prudent American Life Assurance Company of Cleveland, Ohio no longer exists. How do I find out what happened to this policy?

To find out about an insurance policy that was held by an insurance company that is no longer in existence, you can contact the state Department of Insurance (DOI). They can track the company and check if another company has acquired them. All insurance companies are required to file records as per the law with the Department of Insurance. The requirement to file records is in place in case companies go out of business or are being acquired by other companies which can be done so only with permission from the DOI. If the policy you are referring to is paid for, it can be found in the books of the current insurer.

Can the Power of Attorney change a life insurance policy?

This would all depend on how the Power of Attorney (POA) is written. An individual who is acting as an agent under a Power of Attorney (POA) could change the name of the beneficiary of a life insurance policy if the written POA gives them the power to do so. Not all POAs may allow this.. It must be remembered that the POA has a fiduciary duty to the person who appointed them to act in their best interest. If they fail in their duty, they could be sued for breach of said duty.

United Postal System (UPS) damaged an antique table that was shipped and packed by a UPS Store. They have agreed to the damage being their fault. I took out an insurance policy with them for the fair market value. Now they only want to pay me what I paid for it. What recourse do I have?

If you took out an insurance policy for a certain amount of coverage and the company accepted the premiums paid by you for that amount of coverage, they owe you the amount that the policy covers. Check your policy again and try to claim the amount from the insurance company. If that fails, you can sue them in Small Claims court to recover the amount.

We have a car insurance policy for 100k/300k liability. My spouse had an at fault accident 2 years ago. The insurance company told us they are still paying on the claim. The party is also suing us in Small Claims court for car repairs and medical expenses. Shouldn’t my insurance company be sued and not me?

The party is correct in suing you since you were at fault. However, your insurance carrier needs to handle the suit on your behalf. You need to contact them and let them know that you received a notice that you are being sued for the accident that they are currently paying out on. Based on the facts of your case, the claim should be within the limits of your policy so you should be covered for it.

It is important to understand your insurance policy thoroughly so that you know when you have a valid claim and when you don’t. While the questions above may have clarified some of your doubts on the issue, you may have other questions that pertain to your specific case. In these situations, turn to an Expert who can offer quick and valuable information to help with your case.
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