Locking the Barn Door

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Q: During a snowstorm, my building collapsed.  Today, my insurance carrier and my insurance agent had bad news.  They say my insurance policy does not cover this building.  Why didn’t they tell me back then?  I had specifically requested coverage for the building!  That agent has worked with me for years; he should have known what I need.  Can I sue them?

Meanwhile, the tenant of my building also had insurance.  His insurer says that the trouble is that only my tenant is insured.

A: Regarding your own policy, with narrow exceptions, the law requires you to know the terms and limits.  The law comes down very hard on a policyholder’s unilateral mistake or oversight.  We can still try to go to bat for you, but the cards are stacked much better when you read your policy as soon as it arrives.  A gap in coverage is like a door to a barn.  Close it now before the cow escapes.  Don’t wait to hire a lawyer afterwards.

Regarding your tenant’s policy, I guess you were lucky, after all.  We can imagine an excellent shot at reforming the policy to add you as an insured.  Apparently, your tenant was told to get his own policy and erroneously by mistake himself as the owner.  If that is what happened, then we will tell the court: having accepted your tenant’s premium payment and having intended to insure this very property, there is every justification to give you coverage, too.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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