How long is an ins co req to keep a claim open if you are unable to make repairs? What should be done about any add’l damages before repairs complete?

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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: Apr 19, 2012

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Insurance Question from Chattanooga, TN

Asked on 04/19/2012

How long is an ins co req to keep a claim open if you are unable to make repairs? What should be done about any add’l damages before repairs complete? My ins dropped us bc of new underwriting laws 2011 at the end of our policy. We have an open claim (April 2011 damages) but could not afford to start repairs. Now, we have a contractor willing to start the work and work directly with insurance company, but there has been additional damages from another storm last month.

Answer given on April 21, 2012

You did not indicate if the insurance company has issued a check for the repairs to you or what is being done with the settlement. If there has not been a check issued, you need to find out why the insurance company has not settled the claim. They should have been willing to pay the contractor directly for a partial settlement to get the work started. Then, when the work is completed the balance due on the claim would be paid to the contractor. You would owe for your deductible.The new damage to your home would not be considered a part of the previous claim, since this was causd by a different storm, so a new claim would have to be presented. If the damage occured before the policy was cancelled, you need to submit to the insurance company. However, it is possible they will deny this claim because it was caused by the fact you had not made repairs to the home for the previous claim.

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