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My wife and I have 4 children. My home burned down due to a dryer fire 1.5 years ago. The insurance company said they dispatched someone and they were on their way with a check for $ 10,000 while the fire was still smoldering. What a relief…not so fast, They called back 20 minutes later and claimed we were cancled due to a check that bounced a couple weeks earlier. So I called back and spoke to a representitive and he said if I made a payment right away we would be covered and caught up til the end of the month. I paid by credit card over the phone. What a relief right? not so fast. The company turned around and said we were covered all month long except on the day of the fire. Now they are sending me bills and it is affecting my credit because I haven’t paid them since. We feel like we have been raped. We had a $ 100,000. policy and now they claim my phone was disconnected and this is why they did not notify us that our policy was cancled. They even sent out ann adjuster to take pics.

4 Thoughts on My house burned down and the renters insurance company won’t pay do I have a case?
  1. Reply
    July 27, 2011 at 3:02 am

    If your policy lapsed due to non-payment, there’s nothing much you can do legally. Usually insurance companies have grace periods for reinstatement as a general policy. You might find that written into your policy, but more often it is just a “general courtesy” that the company extends. You might have a case if you could establish that reinstatement is a generally accepted practice for the company and that it was only in your circumstance that they chose not to offer it. You might contact the insurance commission office for your state to see if they could provide you any guidance — or even intervention on your behalf. But keep in mind, that insurance is a contract and you didn’t keep your end of the agreement by paying premiums on time.

  2. Reply
    July 27, 2011 at 3:36 am

    It’s pretty unusual to reinstate a policy without a no-loss letter. It’s also pretty unusual to reinstate a policy with a known loss during the lack of coverage period. Depending on what state you are in, it’s possible they reinstated the policy, but NOT giving you retroactive coverage.

    They aren’t required to notify you via telephone that the policy cancels – they only have to make an ATTEMPT by mailing a notice to your last known address.

    You don’t have a case. Sorry. Want a second opinion? Go to one of those “free consult” lawyers, see if they’re willing to take the case on contingency – no win, no fee – if they win, they get 30% of the payout. I bet no one will take it – that means they don’t think you have a case, either.

  3. Reply
    July 27, 2011 at 4:28 am

    When you called them to notify them of the fire, their adjuster should have noticed your policy had lapsed; before offering you a settlement. Then when they saw it was cancelled they offered you an “out” by allowing and accepting payment via Credit card.

    I think you have a good case and should contact an attorney.

    By the way, Once your house burnt down and they didn’t cover it why didn’t you cancel your insurance through them to keep from owing them future monthes premiums?

    Good Luck to you

  4. Reply
    July 27, 2011 at 4:54 am

    I don’t think you have a case.
    Technically, they did not have a duty to allow you to pay your past bill. They did that as a favor.
    It boils down to the fact that your policy was cancelled due to non-payment, therefore you did not have coverage for the loss.
    Unless you can prove that your original check did not bounce, you can’t claim you didn’t know you should have been cancelled. You would have seen in your checking account that the check did not clear.

    I’m sorry for your loss, but I think the facts are working against you.

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