If the cost of rebuilding my house after it burned downis $40k more than the estimate and covered under the policy, can the adjustor decide not to cover?

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If the cost of rebuilding my house after it burned downis $40k more than the estimate and covered under the policy, can the adjustor decide not to cover?

We have the estimate from one place that the adjuster agreed to with the understanding that there were items that would be extra. Now the adjuster says he isn’t paying for anything else and that I am “on my own”. I know that the items are covered under my policy. There are also several issues with my contents that are also covered, yet the insurance adjuster gave no funds for them as well.

Asked on October 31, 2011 under Insurance Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for your situation.  The word "understanding" here has me worried.  It generally means "not in writing" to an attorney and that is a problem.  Although oral agreements made can indeed be binding, I am assuming that there is a written agreement as to the loss in place here.  When there is a written agreement in place courts do not usually take oral testimony to alter the agreement.  So what you need to do is take all the stuff that you have  - claims, reports, your policy, estimates, etc., - to an attorney to review because you may have to bring a declaratory judgement action against your own insurer to have the court declare that you are indeed covered by the policy in effect for the items and costs.  Good luck.


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