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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 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.


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