Imagine your rental house catching on fire, but your insurance denies the claim. This exact incident happened on the Williams rental property. The homeowner submitted a claim to her insurance company (Auto-Owners Insurance Company).
No one expects their claim to be denied, but that is exactly what happened. Williams’ claim was denied because her policy didn’t cover “losses caused by explosions.” This particular explosion apparently happened outside of the property.
Rented Didn’t Have Proper Insurance
Come to find out, Williams’ also went on to file a lawsuit against the insurance agent (Jervis-Fehtke). Williams states that Jervis didn’t give her the type of home insurance that she requested. Williams went to court and testified that she asked her insurance agent to give her full coverage insurance on her home.
Three Types of Insurances Available
When it comes down to home insurance there are 3 types available.
Williams had the basic homeowner’s insurance policy on her own when the fire happened.
- replacement cost
- “dwelling fire” policy
Here is what came to be after Williams and Jervis went head to head in court.
- The court actually ruled that Williams never had a firm foundation for the proper documents for her argument in court, they just ruled it as hearsay.
- The Court also ruled that the evidence brought forth by the insurance company was also not relevant.
- The verdict was also eventually in favor of Jervis: basically, Williams was not able to prove neglect on the account of Jervis.
Rental Property Fire Insurance Lessons to Be Learned:
There are several lessons to be learned in this court case.
#1. Know what your homeowner’s policy covers. Read every single piece of paper you get from your insurance agent. Accidents and disasters happen when you least expect it, so make sure you understand your policy in-depth.
#2. Communication is important. Obviously, Williams never fully communicated with her insurance agent. It’s vital that you tell your insurance agent exactly what you want/need for your home.
#3. Stay organized. It’s clear that a lot of evidence, in this case, was thrown out because Williams and Jervis didn’t have their “ducks in a row.” Stay organized, so if a disaster does happen, you are properly prepared.
BONUS: Recognize the dangers of hiring an unlicensed electrician, especially when dealing with rental property.
Remember, Mahar Insurance Agency is always here to help!