Do we have a claim if out insurer took too long to issue insurance coverage?

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Do we have a claim if out insurer took too long to issue insurance coverage?

About 4 months ago, we applied for home and car insurance. The car was done right away. The home, however, I had to ask a few times and was always told by the agent that it was at the underwriters and would be done in a couple days. The inspection took place 3 days after we applied. Approximately a month later, storms came and a tree landed on our garage. The damage was $17,000. I was told that we had no policy, so no coverage. A rep actually said that we should have had coverage so a claim was filed. An inspector, not an adjuster, came out to us again. They needed additional pics of the house he said. A few days later, I called the adjuster who didn’t show up and he said that they don’t cover pre-existing damage. Well it wasn’t there when we first applied. Agents switched the pics to cover up that fact. He is not answering emails or calls from us at all. In About 2 months ago, we got a letter that coverage for our home was denied due to the fact that the garage was damaged. Is there anything that we can do?

Asked on June 13, 2017 under Insurance Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you unfortunately do not have a claim. First, no insurer must insure you: it is voluntary for them to offer insurance (they are private businesses, not government benefits) and they can take their time in offering it--there is no legislatively mandated or otherwise legally required time frame within which they must make insurance available. Therefore, since there is no obligation on them to offer insurance, either at all or certainly within a certain time frame, there is no liability on them fordelaying. 
Second, if the insurer is taking too long, you could have gone to a different insurer or broker: the responsibility is on the homeowner to procure insurance, not on any given insurer to provide it to or for you. Since the onus was on you to find insurance, you again cannot hold them liable for your failure to do so, unfortunately.


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