What notification must a property and casualty insurance company give in order to unilaterally change the terms of insurance?

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What notification must a property and casualty insurance company give in order to unilaterally change the terms of insurance?

Homeowners insurance policy was originally written with a $500 deductible on all perils. A couple years later, they changed it to $500 all perils except wind and hail, with 2% on the latter. Notification was supposedly provided by e-mail, but they conveniently had the wrong email address. When asked for copies of all the dec sheets, they instead sent a blanket explanation why the deductible was so much higher for wind and hail, and provided a contact to revert policy to original terms at an increased premium. Still no dec sheets.

Asked on March 22, 2011 under Insurance Law, Nebraska

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your insurance policy is a contract and generally speaking, contracts of insurance do not change for the time period for which they are entered in to.  Your insurance company can indeed change the terms upon renewal and then you would be free to look into getting new insurance.  But if they changed the terms during your policy period then that would be a problem.  And the e-mail issue is a problem as well.  State law will deal with policies of insurance and changes and cancellations and the rights of the parties.  But it can be difficult to sift through.  So I would strongly suggest contacting your state department of insurance and filing a complaint stemming from at least your inability to obtain a dec page.  Good luck. 


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