My homeowner insurance agent changed my policy and deductible without my signature or knowledge what can I do?

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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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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Mar 26, 2011

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Insurance Question from Lake City, GA

Asked on 03/26/2011

My homeowner insurance agent changed my policy and deductible without my signature or knowledge what can I do? I filed a claim for hail damage to my roof to find out my agent had changed my insurance deductible as well as the insurance company without my signature. I lost over $5000 in insurance money because of this. Two of my claims I received no money from. He sent in an electronic signature and does not have my signature on the original application with the company nor does he have my signature on any documents because he never sent me the forms. Can I sue him and the original company from cancelling my policy without my signature and the new company?

Answer given on March 30, 2011

Based on the information you have given, your insurance agent acted unethically, and possibly criminally by changing your insurance without your approval. 

I presume that the change of deductible is the reason you lost $5,000, since the claim should have been honored by the new insurance company.  You indicate you had two claims, which seems odd.  If you knew your claim was denied the first time, I’m not sure what created the second claim.

You may well have a case to sue the insurance agent for his actions.  However, the original insurance company really has no responsibility.  They was advised to cancel the policy, which they did.  It is standard procedure for them to accept a cancellation request from the agent without a signed form from the insured. 

I do wonder why you did not receive an acknowledgement that the first insurance policy was cancelled.  A paper confirmation is usually sent to the policyholder.  In addition, you should have received the new policy, from the new insurance company, showing the coverage and deductible.  You should have contacted your agent at that time.   Your failure to act at that time may work against you.

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