Can homeowners insurance refuse to pay out on claim because my name is not issued in my name?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Aug 13, 2012

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Insurance Question from Lebanon, TN

Asked on 08/13/2012

Can homeowners insurance refuse to pay out on claim because my name is not issued in my name? About 8 years ago, my mother quick claimed her home to me. The property was in both of our names for 5 years before this point and the insurance was issued in her name. The insurance was never changed over to be in my name and now there is a claim and the company is refusing to pay the claim. My mom keep the insurance up because she still lived in the home. Can they refuse the claim? My mortgage company nor the insurance company ever questioned this before. The insurance company even took two payments from me electronically last year when my mom was unable to make the payments.

Answer given on August 16, 2012

Homeowner insurance is a legal contract between the insurance company and the owner of the home. If your mother set up a quit claim deed with you, that means that you are both on the title of the property unless and until your mother files the quit claim deed. If you had a homeowner claim, the insurance company must make the claim check payable to the named insured on the policy. If your mother lives there and is still on title, then the check would be made out to her. The check cannot be made out to you if you are not on the homeowner policy. If you own the home on your own but your mother lives there, you may be able to get the insurance company to pay the claim to her.It is your responsibility to review your insurance at each renewal. If you have an agent they usually will contact you before the renewal and offer to review the policy with you. However, if you have a direct policy with the insurnace company then it is your responsibility to check the policy for accuracy Insurance companies will take a payment for a policy from a person who is not the insured, so the fact that you paid the premium is not relevant to the claim. Try to work this out with the company since your mother is a resident of the household, but if she is not on title, it may not work out.

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