HOI USAA has charged me double square footage for 20 years

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HOI USAA has charged me double square footage for 20 years

I recently had a tree go down in a storm in the backyard of my half of the duplex that I own. When the insurance rep came to assess he asked if there was any damage on the other side of the duplex. I said no but I don’t own that side. He informed me I had been paying a premium for both sides of the duplex. Since I bought my half for almost 20 years. When I called my insurer, they told me that they cannot refund the total amount for 20 years because I receive a booklet every 6 months that states the square footage double the size of my side that I am insuring. This booklet they are referring to is thick and the part about the square footage is on the second to last page. They pretty much told me it was my fault that I never noticed the discrepancy. They say they may be able to refund me for the last year. Also, when I went over to my neighbor’s house to let him know the situation, he sais,

Asked on November 11, 2016 under Insurance Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You have two problems. The larger one is, their position is most likely legally correct: when you receive a policy, contract, insurance binder, etc., it is your legal obligation to read, review, and understand what you are agreeing to. The law requires you to read it, presumes you read it and agreed to what you read, and holds you to what you read. It doesn't matter if the booklet is fat and the information is near the end--you are still expected to read it. Therefore, if the information has been provided to you each year, so that you could see the error and correct it, but you never did, the law will almost certainly hold you to the therefore agreed-upon amount.
Second, even if you could overcome the above--somehow convince a court that they tricked or deceived you as to what you were paying for (i.e. committed fraud)--the "statute of limitations" (or time for suing) in your state for fraud (or, for that matter, violating a contract, too) is only 4 years. This means that at most, you could sue for would be the last 4 years of overpayment.
Therefore, given the above challenges, you may wish to accept the offer they made so as to get something without the cost of likely unsuccessful litigation.


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