Is a waiting period on a ‘rider’ considered an ‘exclusion?’ If the agent did not inform of the waiting period verbally or on paper, is thisactionable

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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 2, 2010

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Insurance Question from Glendale, WI

Asked on 08/02/2010

Is a waiting period on a ‘rider’ considered an ‘exclusion?’ If the agent did not inform of the waiting period verbally or on paper, is thisactionable On July 15, I added the 'rider' to my homeowners insurance for water and sewer backup (we'd been affected by a storm July 15). The agent's secretary verbally confirmed the addition.Seven days later, we had a torrential rain (July 22) and the sewer backed up into our basment again. I called the after-hours number, and the insurance company rep said it did show that we had this rider.On July 23 our agent told us of a 10-day waiting period on this coverage. This meant we were not covered for the July 22 incident.A few days later, the paperwork arrived, confirming the policy change and rider, and charging us for half of it. Nowhere on the paperwork is the waiting period mentioned.

Answer given on August 03, 2010

I am wondering what effective date is shown on the paperwork you received adding the sewer backup coverage.  If it shows the July 15th date, I would think that the coverage would be there for you.  However, if the date is later, then that would be the effective date of the coverage.

Your agent, or someone in the office should have told you if there is a waiting period to add coverage.  Most insurance policies do not have waiting periods to add coverage, but it is possible your insurance company has one.  I would ask the agent to explain the coverage and if he has something indicating the waiting period.  Even though the agent’s assistant confirmed the addition of the coverage, she may not have indicated the effective date, although you may have presumed the date.

It is possible the agent failed to properly inform you of the limitation and that could be considered an errors & omission incident.

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