What to do if I’ve had coverage on my house for a year and have a fire claim now but my insurer is holding out on paying because a question on the application wasn’t corrected when I first applied?

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What to do if I’ve had coverage on my house for a year and have a fire claim now but my insurer is holding out on paying because a question on the application wasn’t corrected when I first applied?

Can that be done?

Asked on March 2, 2013 under Insurance Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If an application was filed out incorrectly or incompletely, that may sometimes allow an insurer to decline coverage--especially if it appears fraud (a knowing lie) was involved. However, if the effect of the question was minor (that is, the correct answer would not have had a significant impact on your eligibility for coverage, or the cost of coverage) a court may decline to allow an insurer to escape paying on that basis, applying "equitable" principals. Therefore, there is no hard and fast answer, but it is worth fighting this determination. There are lawyers who specialize in suing insurers who will not honor their obligations; your chance of winning will be greatly increased if you retain such an attorney.


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