Am I entitled to a homeowner’s insurance settlement if the policy was not in my name but I was co-owner of the property that was destroyed?

I am listed as co-owner with my mother of on the deed to our home and property. I was sole dweller of the house until it burned down 2 months ago. My mother did have fire insurance in her name on the home and paid all premiums, along with the taxes. She received a check to cover the structure of $150,000 but has yet to help me rebuild. Since I lost everything, am I

entitled to a portion of the insurance proceeds to rebuild or buy a home? She is stating that she is not obligated to help me since the policy was in her name only.

Asked on May 16, 2016 under Real Estate Law, West Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Insurance is a contract: it pays to the listed beneficiaries, and to those beneficiaries only. If your mother was the one who took out the policy, paid the premiums, and was the sole benefiary, then she was the only one entitled to the proceeds of the policy. A non-beneficiary has no right to insurance payments. You could have had your own insurance--for your belongings at least, even if not on the home itself--to protect you.

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