Can a homeowners insurance company deny or delay a claim for emergency expenses

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can a homeowners insurance company deny or delay a claim for emergency expenses

Our home was significantly vandalized resulting in displacement of my husband, my three children, and my husband. We have filed a claim for emergency funds to cover the costs of temporary housing. The insurance company insists on completing a full investigation before releasing any emergency funds. Can they legally do this?

Ashley Silvers

Asked on September 22, 2019 under Insurance Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The only way to get the money faster would 1) IF you policy has some provision for emergency funds, to 2) sue the insurer for "breach of contract," or violating that contractual provision (an insurance policy is a  contract), 3) on an "emergent" (an expedited; think "urgent" or "emergency") basis) and 4) prove to the court by a "preponderance of the evidence," or that it is more likely than not that under the facts of the situation and the terms of the policy, they need to provide emergency funding. The insurer does not need to do anything not provided for in or required by the policy, and when they do not honor their obligations, only a court order can compel them to do so.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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