For a landlord insurance claim on a condo, isn’t the insurance company required to explain what is covered PRIOR to any restoration work being done?

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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: Jun 8, 2012

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Insurance Question from Culver City, CA

Asked on 06/08/2012

For a landlord insurance claim on a condo, isn’t the insurance company required to explain what is covered PRIOR to any restoration work being done? The condo I own had major water damage and the insurance company sent out adjuster and allowed all work to they will not cover the work and are leaving me with a $20,000 bill! IS IT THEIR RESPONSIBILTY TO GET ME THE FACTS PRIOR TO WORK BEING DONE, instead of at the very end when all work is complete?

Answer given on June 22, 2012

If you present a property damage claim to your insurance company and they send an adjuster out to inspect the property, they should indicate if the claim is covered under your policy and an estimate of the amount they will pay to make the repairs. The contractor hired should have also spoken with the adjuster to discuss what is covered and what is not. Did they ever have any conversations discussing the coverage? You ahould contact the adjuster and ask why they are now declining to pay for the damages to your unit. In California the claims adjusters are required to provide, in writing, the status of the claim and if the policy will cover the loss. If he will not explain the declination of coverage you should ask to speak to a supervisor about the claim. Also, if you have an agent, ask them to get involved in this claim, to see if they can make any progress.

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